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Under the current format that 6 teams from each conference make it to the playoffs, how many times has a #5 seed hosted the conference championship game?

In order for the #5 seed to host the game, both the #5 and the #6 seed have to upset their higher seeded opponents in the wild card and the divisional round. So an equivalent question would be how many times the #5 and #6 seeds of a conference have met in the AFC or NFC championship game?

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Under the current format that 6 teams from each conference make it to the playoffs

Note: This format has been used since 1990(1).

how many times has a #5 seed hosted the conference championship game?

0 times.

Only twice since 1990 has a #1 or #2 seed not been involved in a conference championship:


Moreover, a #5 seed vs. a #6 seed would require one of those seeds to reach the Super Bowl(2).

Only one #5 seed has reached the Super Bowl:

  • 2007 Giants - faced the #2 seed Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship.

Only two #6 seeds have reached the Super Bowl:

  • 2005 Steelers - faced the #2 seed Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship
  • 2010 Packers - faced the #2 seed Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship

Aside: Coincidentally, the three times a #5 or #6 seed reached the Super Bowl, they went on to win.

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