The focus of the National Football League will be in Atlanta and Boston this weekend. The two cities will host the NFC and AFC championship games.
Recent history indicates the best chance for a victory for the road team will come
in the National Football Conference game between San Francisco and Atlanta. The road team has won the last two NFC Championship games. The Packers beat the Bears two years ago in Chicago. Last year, the Giants knocked off the 49ers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
In the past thirty years, road teams have won twelve times in the NFC title game.
Yet, before betting the bank on San Francisco note the Niners have only won
the NFC title game on the road once back in 1989 when they beat the Bears 28-3 in Chicago.
San Francisco will be playing in their 14th NFC championship game since the merger in 1970. That ties them with the Dallas Cowboys who have not made the playoffs in four years. San Francisco is only 5-8 in NFC title games.
On the other side of the field, this will be the first time Atlanta will host a NFC championship game. They have appeared in two previous conference title games.
The Falcons shocked the once-beaten Vikings in Minnesota 30-27 in overtime in 1999.
The other appearance took place in 2005 when Atlanta lost in Philadelphia to the Eagles 27-10.
The American Football Conference has a completely different story. The home team has won the last six championship games. The last club to win the AFC title on the road was Pittsburgh in 2006 when the beat the Broncos in Denver 34-17.
In the last 30 years, the home team has won the AFC title game 21 times. So New England should be a big favorite based on recent history. Add to the fact, the Patriots are 7-1 in AFC title games will also make them the team to beat. The lone time New England lost an AFC Championship game was in 2007 when they fell to the Colts in Indianapolis 38-34.
The Ravens of Baltimore will be making their second straight appearance in the AFC championship showdown. They lost to the Pats last year in New England 23-20. For the Ravens this is only their fourth appearance ever in the AFC championship matchup. They lost to Pittsburgh 23-14 in 2009.
The Ravens other title game was a victory over the Raiders in Oakland 16-3 in 2001.
Here is one thing to keep in mind, if either Baltimore or San Francisco win this weekend bet on them in the Super Bowl. A visiting team that has won the last four Conference title games has gone on to win the grand prize, the Super Bowl.