Will the two No. 1s be movin' on to Super Bowl XXXVII?
For the first time since 1998, and just the second time in the past decade, the top two seeds in both conferences will square off in their respective championship games.
Updated: January 14, 2003, 11:24 AM ETBy by Tony Nistler, STATS. Inc.
Despite a busy offseason that saw the NFL add a new franchise, dramatically re-align its divisional structure and actually open its season on a Thursday night. Despite a wild regular season that saw no fewer than 12 AFC teams finish with records of .500 or better. Despite an even wilder postseason that has been laced with improbable comebacks and controversial officiating. Despite all of this, the final four teams left standing heading into this weekend's conference championship games are, on paper at least, the exact four teams that should be left standing. Funny how sometimes things work out exactly as planned, even if hardly anything goes as planned along the way. For the first time since 1998, and just the second time in the past decade, the top two seeds in both conferences will square off in their respective championship games. In the NFC, the top-ranked Eagles will host the No. 2 Buccaneers, while the championship of the AFC will be decided by No. 1 Oakland and No. 2 Tennessee. Of course, the No. 1's enjoy the significant advantage of playing in front of friendly crowds, but what do past results say about these 1 vs. 2 matchups? Since the NFL adopted its current 16-game regular-season schedule prior to the 1978 campaign, there have been 16 championship games in the NFC that have pitted the top two seeds in the conference against one another. Let's take those NFC results:
ESPN TOP HEADLINES
- NFL: Bills vs. Jets won't be played in Buffalo
- Blount returns to Patriots on new deal
- Brown: UNC scandal could hurt Smith legacy
- Pierce: Rivalry with LeBron 'misunderstood'