11 Super Bowl victories.
Since 1966, the year of the inaugural Super Bowl game, the 4 remaining teams in the 2011 NFL playoffs, the New York Jets, the Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Bears, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have combined for those 11 titles. The Bears and the Jets have won 1 Super Bowl each, the Packers have won 3 (including the first 2 in ’66 and ’67. The Steelers have won an NFL record 6 Super Bowls.
The road to the NFC and AFC championship games for all these teams except the Bears has been a challenge. The Pittsburgh Steelers had to scrape out a victory at home over the surging Baltimore Ravens and their stifling defense. The Green Bay Packers had to beat Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles on the road followed by another impressive road victory over #1 seed Atlanta Falcons. The New York Jets, I would say, have had the most difficult and impressive road to the AFC championship. They beat Peyton Manning and the defending AFC Champion Indianapolis Colts on the road. Then, the Jets beat the #1 seed, clear favorite, and seemingly unstoppable New England Patriots in Foxboro, MA.
Next week will feature the Green Bay Packers at the Chicago Bears Sunday Jan. 23rd at 3PM ET. The Packers/Bears rivalry is the oldest in the League, having face each other 181 times since 1921. The Bears lead the series 92-83-6. Surprisingly, with such a storied history, the Bears and Packers have only met in the playoffs once in 1941. The Bears won that match-up 33-14. The Packers have already won 2 games on the road this post season and, even though they will face Chicago on the road Sunday, they are currently favored by 3 points.
The AFC title game will be later that day Sunday Jan. 23rd at 6:30PM ET and will feature the New York Jets at the Pittsburgh Steelers. These two teams have met 6 times since 2001 and are 3-3 against one another. The most recent match-up was just a few weeks ago on Dec, 19th 2010, where the Jets defeated the Steelers in Pittsburgh 22-17. The game ended on an incomplete pass from Ben Roethlisberger to back-up TE Matt Spaeth in the end zone on 4th down in the final 2 minutes. You can bet this game will be a defensive battle. The Steelers have been one of the best playoff teams in the NFL the last 5 years and are currently favored over the Jets by 3.
Predictions for the games:
NFC Championship Game – Packers beat the Bears 31-20
AFC Championship Game – Steelers beat the Jets 28-27