NFC Championship logo
|First played||1971 (1970 season)|
|Trophy||George Halas Trophy|
|Recent and upcoming games|
Santa Clara, California
January 19, 2020
San Francisco 49ers 37,
Green Bay Packers 20
The NFC Championship Game is the annual championship game of the National Football Conference (NFC) and one of the two semi-final playoff games of the National Football League (NFL), the largest professional American football league in the United States. The game is played on the penultimate Sunday in January by the two remaining playoff teams, following the NFC postseason's first two rounds. The NFC champion then advances to face the winner of the AFC Championship Game in the Super Bowl.
The game was established as part of the 1970 merger between the NFL and the American Football League (AFL), with the merged league realigning into two conferences. Since 1984, each winner of the NFC Championship Game has also received the George Halas Trophy, named after the founder and longtime owner of the Chicago Bears, George Halas.
The first NFC Championship Game was played following the 1970 regular season after the merger between the NFL and the American Football League. The game is considered the successor to the original NFL Championship, and its game results are listed with that of its predecessor in the annual NFL Record and Fact Book. Since the pre-merger NFL consisted of six more teams than the AFL (16 teams for the NFL and 10 for the AFL), a realignment was done as part of the merger to create two conferences with an equal number of teams: The NFL's Baltimore Colts, the Cleveland Browns, and the Pittsburgh Steelers joined the ten former AFL teams to form the AFC; while the remaining 13 pre-merger NFL clubs formed the NFC.
Every NFC team has played in an NFC Championship at least once. The Seattle Seahawks, who have been members in both the AFC and the NFC, hold the distinction of appearing in both conference title games. Only the Detroit Lions have yet to win or host an NFC Championship Game. The San Francisco 49ers have the most appearances in the NFC Championship Game at 16, and have hosted the most at 10. The Dallas Cowboys have won the most NFC Championships at 8.
The Los Angeles Rams and the Minnesota Vikings are the only two NFC teams to appear in at least one NFC Championship game in every decade since 1970.
The structure of the NFL playoffs has changed several times since 1970. At the end of each regular season, the top teams in the NFC qualify for the postseason, including all division champions (three division winners from the 1970-71 to 2001-02 seasons; four since the 2002-03 season) and a set number of "wild card" teams that possess the two best win-loss records after the regular season yet fail to win their division (one wild card team from the 1970-71 to 1977-78 seasons; two wild cards from 1978-79 to 1989-90, and from 2001-02 to 2019-20; three from 1990-91 to 2001-02, and since 2020-21). The two teams remaining following the Wild Card round (first round) and the divisional round (second round) play in the NFC Championship Game, with the winner advancing to the Super Bowl.
Initially, the site of the NFC Championship Game was determined on a rotating basis.:10 Since the 1975-76 season, the site of the game has been based on playoff seeding based on the regular season won-loss record, with the highest surviving seed hosting the game. A wild card team can only host the game if both participants are wild cards; such an instance has yet to occur in the NFL.
|The George Halas Trophy is held by a member of the media during the NFC Championship game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings. Getty Images. January 21, 2017.|
|The (former version of the) George Halas Trophy sits on a table at the Hyatt Union Station Hotel in St. Louis. UPI.com. January 25, 2002.|
Beginning with the 1984-85 NFL playoffs, the winner of the NFC Championship Game has received the George Halas Trophy, named after the longtime owner and coach of the Chicago Bears, a charter member of the NFL. The original design consisted of a wooden base with a sculpted NFC logo in the front and a sculpture of various football players in the back.
It, and the Lamar Hunt Trophy that is awarded to the AFC champion, were redesigned for the 2010-11 NFL playoffs by Tiffany & Co. at the request of the NFL in an attempt to make both awards more significant. The trophies are now a new, silver design with the outline of a hollow football positioned on a small base to more closely resemble the Vince Lombardi Trophy, awarded to the winner of the Super Bowl.
The George Halas Trophy should not be confused with the Newspaper Enterprise Association's George S. Halas Trophy which was awarded to the NFL's defensive player of the year from 1966 to 1996 or the Pro Football Writers Association's George S. Halas Courage Award.
|Season||Playoffs||Winning team||Score||Losing team||Score||Location||Stadium|
|1970||1970-71||Dallas Cowboys (1)||17||San Francisco 49ers||10||San Francisco, California||Kezar Stadium[fn 1]|
|1971||1971-72||Dallas Cowboys (2)||14||San Francisco 49ers||3||Irving, Texas||Texas Stadium|
|1972||1972-73||Washington Redskins (1)||26||Dallas Cowboys||3||Washington, D.C.||RFK Stadium[fn 2]|
|1973||1973-74||Minnesota Vikings (1)||27||Dallas Cowboys||10||Irving, Texas (2)||Texas Stadium (2)|
|1974||1974-75||Minnesota Vikings (2)||14||Los Angeles Rams||10||Bloomington, Minnesota||Metropolitan Stadium|
|1975||1975-76||Dallas Cowboys (3)||37||Los Angeles Rams||7||Los Angeles, California||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum[fn 3]|
|1976||1976-77||Minnesota Vikings (3)||24||Los Angeles Rams||13||Bloomington, Minnesota (2)||Metropolitan Stadium (2)|
|1977||1977-78||Dallas Cowboys (4)||23||Minnesota Vikings||6||Irving, Texas (3)||Texas Stadium (3)|
|1978||1978-79||Dallas Cowboys (5)||28||Los Angeles Rams||0||Los Angeles, California (2)||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (2)|
|1979||1979-80||Los Angeles Rams (1)||9||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0||Tampa, Florida||Tampa Stadium|
|1980||1980-81||Philadelphia Eagles (1)||20||Dallas Cowboys||7||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Veterans Stadium|
|1981||1981-82||San Francisco 49ers (1)||28||Dallas Cowboys||27||San Francisco, California (2)||Candlestick Park|
|1982||1982-83 [fn 4]||Washington Redskins (2)||31||Dallas Cowboys||17||Washington, D.C. (2)||RFK Stadium (2)|
|1983||1983-84||Washington Redskins (3)||24||San Francisco 49ers||21||Washington, D.C. (3)||RFK Stadium (3)|
|1984||1984-85||San Francisco 49ers (2)||23||Chicago Bears||0||San Francisco, California (3)||Candlestick Park (2)|
|1985||1985-86||Chicago Bears (1)||24||Los Angeles Rams||0||Chicago, Illinois||Soldier Field|
|1986||1986-87||New York Giants (1)||17||Washington Redskins||0||East Rutherford, New Jersey||Giants Stadium|
|1987||1987-88||Washington Redskins (4)||17||Minnesota Vikings||10||Washington, D.C. (4)||RFK Stadium (4)|
|1988||1988-89||San Francisco 49ers (3)||28||Chicago Bears||3||Chicago, Illinois (2)||Soldier Field (2)|
|1989||1989-90||San Francisco 49ers (4)||30||Los Angeles Rams||3||San Francisco, California (4)||Candlestick Park (3)|
|1990||1990-91||New York Giants (2)||15||San Francisco 49ers||13||San Francisco, California (5)||Candlestick Park (4)|
|1991||1991-92||Washington Redskins (5)||41||Detroit Lions||10||Washington, D.C. (5)||RFK Stadium (5)|
|1992||1992-93||Dallas Cowboys (6)||30||San Francisco 49ers||20||San Francisco, California (6)||Candlestick Park (5)|
|1993||1993-94||Dallas Cowboys (7)||38||San Francisco 49ers||21||Irving, Texas (4)||Texas Stadium (4)|
|1994||1994-95||San Francisco 49ers (5)||38||Dallas Cowboys||28||San Francisco, California (7)||Candlestick Park (6)|
|1995||1995-96||Dallas Cowboys (8)||38||Green Bay Packers||27||Irving, Texas (5)||Texas Stadium (5)|
|1996||1996-97||Green Bay Packers (1)||30||Carolina Panthers||13||Green Bay, Wisconsin||Lambeau Field|
|1997||1997-98||Green Bay Packers (2)||23||San Francisco 49ers||10||San Francisco, California (8)||3Com Park (7)|
|1998||1998-99||Atlanta Falcons (1)||30[a]||Minnesota Vikings||27||Minneapolis, Minnesota (3)||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome|
|1999||1999-2000||St. Louis Rams (2)||11||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6||St. Louis, Missouri||Trans World Dome|
|2000||2000-01||New York Giants (3)||41||Minnesota Vikings||0||East Rutherford, New Jersey (2)||Giants Stadium (2)|
|2001||2001-02||St. Louis Rams (3)||29||Philadelphia Eagles||24||St. Louis, Missouri (2)||Edward Jones Dome (2)|
|2002||2002-03||Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1)||27||Philadelphia Eagles||10||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2)||Veterans Stadium (2)[fn 5]|
|2003||2003-04||Carolina Panthers (1)||14||Philadelphia Eagles||3||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (3)||Lincoln Financial Field|
|2004||2004-05||Philadelphia Eagles (2)||27||Atlanta Falcons||10||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (4)||Lincoln Financial Field (2)|
|2005||2005-06||Seattle Seahawks (1)||34||Carolina Panthers||14||Seattle, Washington||Qwest Field|
|2006||2006-07||Chicago Bears (2)||39||New Orleans Saints||14||Chicago, Illinois (3)||Soldier Field (3)|
|2007||2007-08||New York Giants (4)||23[a]||Green Bay Packers||20||Green Bay, Wisconsin (2)||Lambeau Field (2)|
|2008||2008-09||Arizona Cardinals (1)||32||Philadelphia Eagles||25||Glendale, Arizona||University of Phoenix Stadium|
|2009||2009-10||New Orleans Saints (1)||31[a]||Minnesota Vikings||28||New Orleans, Louisiana||Louisiana Superdome|
|2010||2010-11||Green Bay Packers (3)||21||Chicago Bears||14||Chicago, Illinois (4)||Soldier Field (4)|
|2011||2011-12||New York Giants (5)||20[a]||San Francisco 49ers||17||San Francisco, California (9)||Candlestick Park (8)|
|2012||2012-13||San Francisco 49ers (6)||28||Atlanta Falcons||24||Atlanta, Georgia||Georgia Dome|
|2013||2013-14||Seattle Seahawks (2)||23||San Francisco 49ers||17||Seattle, Washington (2)||CenturyLink Field (2)|
|2014||2014-15||Seattle Seahawks (3)||28[a]||Green Bay Packers||22||Seattle, Washington (3)||CenturyLink Field (3)|
|2015||2015-16||Carolina Panthers (2)||49||Arizona Cardinals||15||Charlotte, North Carolina||Bank of America Stadium|
|2016||2016-17||Atlanta Falcons (2)||44||Green Bay Packers||21||Atlanta, Georgia (2)||Georgia Dome (2)[fn 6]|
|2017||2017-18||Philadelphia Eagles (3)||38||Minnesota Vikings||7||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (5)||Lincoln Financial Field (3)|
|2018||2018-19||Los Angeles Rams (4)||26[a]||New Orleans Saints||23||New Orleans, Louisiana (2)||Mercedes-Benz Superdome (2)|
|2019||2019-20||San Francisco 49ers (7)
||37||Green Bay Packers||20||Santa Clara, California||Levi's Stadium|
^ a: Overtime
|#||Team||W||L||%||PF||PA||Last game||Last win||Home games||Home wins||Home losses||Home win %||Away games||Away wins||Away losses||Away win %|
|16||San Francisco 49ers||7||9||.438||344||309||2019||2019||10||5||5||.500||6||2||4||.333|
|10||St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams[b]||4||6||.400||82||187||2018||2018||4||2||2||.500||6||2||4||.333|
|8||Green Bay Packers||3||5||.375||184||207||2019||2010||2||1||1||.500||6||2||4||.333|
|6||Washington Redskins/Football Team||5||1||.833||139||78||1991||1991||5||5||0||1.000||1||0||1||.000|
|5||New York Giants||5||0||1.000||116||50||2011||2011||2||2||0||1.000||3||3||0||1.000|
|3||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1||2||.333||33||30||2002||2002||1||0||1||.000||2||1||1||.500|
|3||New Orleans Saints||1||2||.333||45||67||2018||2009||2||1||1||.500||1||0||1||.000|
^ b: Includes appearances during their first tenure in Los Angeles (the 1970 merger to 1994), where they went 1-6 in NFC Championship Games; and their period as the St. Louis Rams (1995-2015), where they went 2-0 in NFC Championship Games.
^ c: The Seahawks were members of the NFC in 1976 and then members of the AFC from 1977 to 2001, before rejoining the NFC in 2002. Including their only appearance (1983) in the AFC Championship Game (0-1), they hold a combined 3-1 record between both Conference Championship Games.
|6||Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers||Cowboys, 4-2||1970, 1971, 1981, 1992, 1993, 1994|
|2||Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins||Redskins, 2-0||1972, 1982|
|2||Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings||Cowboys, 2-0||1973, 1977|
|2||Los Angeles Rams vs. Minnesota Vikings||Vikings, 2-0||1974, 1976|
|2||Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams||Cowboys, 2-0||1975, 1978|
|2||Los Angeles / St. Louis Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Rams, 2-0||1979, 1999|
|2||Chicago Bears vs. San Francisco 49ers||49ers, 2-0||1984, 1988|
|2||New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers||Giants, 2-0||1990, 2011|
|2||Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers||Tie, 1-1||1997, 2019|
This section needs to be updated. The reason given is: the references, number of viewers, sources.December 2018)(