TODAY’S SPORTSTAT: Cowboys, Chiefs aim to end conference championship appearance droughts


By JERRY TAPP

Eight teams remain in the quest to be the NFL champion this season. With four games this weekend, a win will put teams in the AFC Championship or NFC Championship game.

Of the eight teams remaining — Dallas, Indianapolis, Kansas City, L.A. Chargers, L.A. Rams, England, New Orleans and Philadelphia — two of those teams, Dallas and Kansas City, have not played in a Championship Game this century. The Cowboys last played in the NFC Championship Game in 1995, while the Chiefs were last in the AFC Championship Game in 1993.

There are 24 NFL teams whose 2018 season has already ended. Of those 24 teams, the Cincinnati Bengals have the longest drought since a Championship Game appearance. The Bengals last appeared in the AFC Championship Game in 1988, a span of now 30 seasons without playing in a championship contest.

The NFC teams with the longest championship drought are the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins: They last appeared (and faced off against each other) in the 1991 NFC title game.

All but one of the current 32 NFL teams has played in an AFC or NFC championship game in their franchise history. The Houston Texans have never played in an AFC Championship Game in their history that began in 2002.

Following is a list of the last season each NFL franchise appeared in either an AFC Championship Game or NFC Championship Game (teams are noted by current franchise city).

Never: Houston Texans (franchise began in 2002)

1988: Cincinnati Bengals

1989: Cleveland Browns

1991: Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins

1992: Miami Dolphins

1993: Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs

1995: Dallas Cowboys

2001: L.A. Rams

2002: Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Bucs, Tennessee Titans

2007: L.A. Chargers

2009: New Orleans Saints

2010: Chicago Bears, New York Jets

2011: New York Giants

2012: Baltimore Ravens

2013: San Francisco 49ers

2014: Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks

2015: Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos

2016: Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers

2017: Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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