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Tom Landry was the head coach for five NFC champions, more than any other head coach.
Roger Staubach was the starting quarterback for four NFC championship teams.
Joe Montana was the starting quarterback for four NFC championship teams with the San Francisco 49ers.

The National Football Conference (NFC) is one of two conferences within the National Football League (NFL), the American Football Conference (AFC) being the other. Prior to 1970, there were two separate professional football leagues, the National Football League and the American Football League (AFL). In 1970, the AFL merged with the NFL. As part of the merger, the former AFL teams, plus three former NFL teams (the Baltimore Colts, the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers), were placed into the AFC. The remaining former NFL teams were placed in the NFC. As of the 2018 season only the Detroit Lions have not won an NFC championship.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

The NFC champion is not necessarily the team with the best record in the regular season. Rather, the champion is decided by the NFC Championship Game as part of the post-season playoffs involving the teams with the best regular season records. The Dallas Cowboys won the first two NFC championships, in 1970 and 1971.[1] No team has won more than two consecutive NFC championships. The Cowboys won two consecutive NFC championships three times (1970–1971, 1977–1978, 1992–1993). The Minnesota Vikings (1973–1974), Washington Redskins (1982–1983), San Francisco 49ers (1988–1989), Green Bay Packers (1996–1997), and Seattle Seahawks (2013–2014) have also won two consecutive NFC championships.[1]

Through the 2018 season, the Dallas Cowboys have won more NFC championships than any other team, with eight. The San Francisco 49ers have won six. The Washington Redskins and New York Giants have each won five NFC championships. The Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams has won four and the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers have won three apiece.[1] The San Francisco 49ers have also been the NFC runner up, as a result of losing the NFC Championship Game, a record nine times.[2] The Rams and Cowboys have each been the runner up six times.[3][4]

The record for the most regular season wins by an NFC champion is 15, by the 1984 San Francisco 49ers, the 1985 Chicago Bears and the 2015 Carolina Panthers, each with a 15–1 record. Six NFC champions have won 14 games. The 1982 Washington Redskins had the fewest wins of any NFC champion, with eight wins and just one loss in the strike–shortened 1982 season. The fewest wins by an NFC champion in a complete season were by the 1979 Los Angeles Rams, 2008 Arizona Cardinals, and the 2011 New York Giants. All three had nine wins and seven losses.[1]

Tom Landry was the head coach for five NFC championships, more than any other head coach. Landry coached the Dallas Cowboys to NFC championships in 1970, 1971, 1975, 1977 and 1978.[4] Joe Gibbs coached four NFC champions, and Bud Grant, Bill Walsh and Mike Holmgren each coached three.[5][6][7][8] Holmgren and Dick Vermeil both won NFC championships for two different franchises. Holmgren was the head coach of the 1996 and 1997 NFC champion Green Bay Packers and of the 2005 NFC champion Seattle Seahawks.[8] Vermeil was the head coach of the 1980 NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles, and 19 years later was the head coach of the 1999 NFC champion St. Louis Rams.[9]

Roger Staubach and Joe Montana were each the starting quarterback for four NFC championships, more than any other quarterback. Staubach was the starting quarterback for the 1971, 1975, 1977 and 1978 Dallas Cowboys.[4] Montana was the starting quarterback for the 1981, 1984, 1988 and 1989 San Francisco 49ers.[2] Fran Tarkenton, Troy Aikman and Kurt Warner were each the starting quarterback for three NFC champions.[3][4][10][11] Warner accomplished this for two different franchises, the 1999 and 2001 St. Louis Rams and the 2008 Arizona Cardinals.[3][11] Joe Theismann, Phil Simms, Brett Favre, Eli Manning and Russell Wilson were each the starting quarterback for two NFC champions, although Simms missed the NFC Championship Game in one of those seasons (1990) due to injury.[12][13][14][15]

Chuck Foreman and Emmitt Smith were each the leader in rushing yards for an NFC champion three times.[4][10] Others who led an NFC champion in rushing yards multiple times are Duane Thomas, Tony Dorsett, John Riggins, Wendell Tyler, Roger Craig, Marshall Faulk and Marshawn Lynch.[2][3][4][12] Tyler did so with two different franchises, the 1979 Los Angeles Rams and the 1984 San Francisco 49ers.[2][3] Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin each led an NFC champion in receiving yards three times.[2][4] Bob Hayes, Drew Pearson, Charlie Brown, Dwight Clark, Gary Clark and Antonio Freeman each led an NFC champion in receiving yards twice.[2][4][12][14]

The 1983 Washington Redskins had seven 1st team All-Pros, more than any other NFC champion. The 2012 San Francisco 49ers and 2015 Carolina Panthers each had six and 1985 Chicago Bears had five. The 1975 Dallas Cowboys, 2000 New York Giants and 2007 New York Giants did not have any 1st team All-Pros. Ron Yary of the 1973, 1974 and 1976 Minnesota Vikings is the only offensive lineman with three 1st team All-Pro selections for an NFC champion. Several defensive players have been 1st team All-Pros for two NFC champions, including Alan Page, Cliff Harris, Ronnie Lott, LeRoy Butler, Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas.

The Super Bowl is played annually between the AFC champion and the NFC champion. The first four Super Bowls were played prior to the AFL/NFL merger between the AFL and NFL champion. The 1970 NFC champion Dallas Cowboys lost the first Super Bowl played after the merger, but the 1971 Cowboys were the first NFC team to win the Super Bowl. The NFC had a streak in which its champion won 13 consecutive Super Bowls, from the 1984 NFC champion San Francisco 49ers through the 1996 NFC champion Green Bay Packers. Overall, the NFC champion has won 24 of the 45 Super Bowls played since the formation of the NFC with the AFL/NFL merger through the end of the 2014 season.[1]

KeyEdit

Season Each year is linked to an article about that particular NFL season.
Team Name of NFC Championship team, linked to the team's championship season
Record Championship team's regular season record wins–losses; if the team played any tie games the record is shown as wins–losses–ties
Head Coach Championship team's head coach; if the team had multiple head coaches for the season they are shown in decreasing order of number of regular season wins
Quarterback Name of quarterback with most passing attempts for the team during the regular season
Leading Rusher Name of player with most rushing yards for the team during the regular season
Leading Receiver Name of player with most receiving yards for the team during the regular season
All-Pros List of All-Pros on that season's NFC champion
Runner Up Name of team that lost the NFC Championship Game
Super Bowl Champion
* Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame

NFC Championship TeamsEdit

Season Team Record Head Coach Quarterback Leading Rusher Leading Receiver All-Pros Runner-Up Reference
1970 Dallas Cowboys 10–4 Tom Landry* Craig Morton Duane Thomas Bob Hayes* Howley San Francisco 49ers [16]
1971 Dallas Cowboys 11–3 Tom Landry* Roger Staubach* Duane Thomas Bob Hayes* Lilly*, Niland, Wright* San Francisco 49ers [17]
1972 Washington Redskins 11–3 George Allen* Billy Kilmer Larry Brown Charley Taylor* Brown, Hanburger* Dallas Cowboys [18]
1973 Minnesota Vikings 12–2 Bud Grant* Fran Tarkenton* Chuck Foreman John Gilliam Eller*, Page*, Yary* Dallas Cowboys [19]
1974 Minnesota Vikings 10–4 Bud Grant* Fran Tarkenton* Chuck Foreman Jim Lash Page*, Yary* Los Angeles Rams [20]
1975 Dallas Cowboys 10–4 Tom Landry* Roger Staubach* Robert Newhouse Drew Pearson none Los Angeles Rams [21]
1976 Minnesota Vikings 11–2–1 Bud Grant* Fran Tarkenton* Chuck Foreman Sammy White Yary* Los Angeles Rams [22]
1977 Dallas Cowboys 12–2 Tom Landry* Roger Staubach* Tony Dorsett* Drew Pearson Harris, Herrera, Martin, Pearson Minnesota Vikings [23]
1978 Dallas Cowboys 12–4 Tom Landry* Roger Staubach* Tony Dorsett* Tony Hill Harris, White* Los Angeles Rams [24]
1979 Los Angeles Rams 9–7 Ray Malavasi Pat Haden[a] Wendell Tyler Preston Dennard Brooks, Youngblood* Tampa Bay Buccaneers [25]
1980 Philadelphia Eagles 12–4 Dick Vermeil Ron Jaworski Wilbert Montgomery Charlie Smith Johnson Dallas Cowboys [26]
1981 San Francisco 49ers 13–3 Bill Walsh* Joe Montana* Ricky Patton Dwight Clark Dean*, Lott* Dallas Cowboys [27]
1982 Washington Redskins 8–1 Joe Gibbs* Joe Theismann John Riggins* Charlie Brown Moseley Dallas Cowboys [28]
1983 Washington Redskins 14–2 Joe Gibbs* Joe Theismann John Riggins* Charlie Brown Butz, Grimm*, Jacoby, Murphy, Nelms, Riggins*, Theismann San Francisco 49ers [29]
1984 San Francisco 49ers 15–1 Bill Walsh* Joe Montana* Wendell Tyler Dwight Clark Fahnhorst Chicago Bears [30]
1985 Chicago Bears 15–1 Mike Ditka* Jim McMahon Walter Payton* Willie Gault Covert, Dent*, McMichael, Payton*, Singletary* Los Angeles Rams [31]
1986 New York Giants 14–2 Bill Parcells* Phil Simms Joe Morris Mark Bavaro Bavaro, Landeta, Morris, Taylor* Washington Redskins [32]
1987 Washington Redskins 11–4 Joe Gibbs* Jay Schroeder[b] George Rogers Gary Clark Clark, Wilburn Minnesota Vikings [33]
1988 San Francisco 49ers 10–6 Bill Walsh* Joe Montana* Roger Craig Jerry Rice* Craig, Rice* Chicago Bears [34]
1989 San Francisco 49ers 14–2 George Seifert Joe Montana* Roger Craig Jerry Rice* Cofer, Lott*, Montana*, Rice*, Los Angeles Rams [35]
1990 New York Giants 13–3 Bill Parcells* Phil Simms[c] Ottis Anderson Stephen Baker Johnson, Landeta San Francisco 49ers [36]
1991 Washington Redskins 14–2 Joe Gibbs* Mark Rypien Earnest Byner Gary Clark Green*, Lachey Detroit Lions [37]
1992 Dallas Cowboys 13–3 Jimmy Johnson Troy Aikman* Emmitt Smith* Michael Irvin* Novacek, Smith* San Francisco 49ers [38]
1993 Dallas Cowboys 12–4 Jimmy Johnson Troy Aikman* Emmitt Smith* Michael Irvin* Smith*, Williams San Francisco 49ers [39]
1994 San Francisco 49ers 13–3 George Seifert Steve Young* Ricky Watters Jerry Rice* Rice*, Sanders*, Young* Dallas Cowboys [40]
1995 Dallas Cowboys 12–4 Barry Switzer Troy Aikman* Emmitt Smith* Michael Irvin* Newton, Smith*, Woodson Green Bay Packers [41]
1996 Green Bay Packers 13–3 Mike Holmgren Brett Favre* Edgar Bennett Antonio Freeman Butler, Favre* Carolina Panthers [42]
1997 Green Bay Packers 13–3 Mike Holmgren Brett Favre* Dorsey Levens Antonio Freeman Butler, Favre* San Francisco 49ers [43]
1998 Atlanta Falcons 14–2 Dan Reeves Chris Chandler Jamal Anderson Tony Martin Anderson Minnesota Vikings [44]
1999 St. Louis Rams 13–3 Dick Vermeil Kurt Warner* Marshall Faulk* Isaac Bruce Carter, Faulk*, Pace*, Warner* Tampa Bay Buccaneers [45]
2000 New York Giants 12–4 Jim Fassel Kerry Collins Tiki Barber Amani Toomer none Minnesota Vikings [46]
2001 St. Louis Rams 14–2 Mike Martz Kurt Warner* Marshall Faulk* Torry Holt Faulk*, Pace*, Warner*, Williams* Philadelphia Eagles [47]
2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12–4 Jon Gruden Brad Johnson Michael Pittman Keyshawn Johnson Brooks*, Rice, Sapp* Philadelphia Eagles [48]
2003 Carolina Panthers 11–5 John Fox Jake Delhomme Stephen Davis Steve Smith Jenkins Philadelphia Eagles [49]
2004 Philadelphia Eagles 13–3 Andy Reid Donovan McNabb Brian Westbrook Terrell Owens* Dawkins*, Owens*, Sheppard Atlanta Falcons [50]
2005 Seattle Seahawks 13–3 Mike Holmgren Matt Hasselbeck Shaun Alexander Bobby Engram Alexander, Hutchinson, Jones*, Strong Carolina Panthers [51]
2006 Chicago Bears 13–3 Lovie Smith Rex Grossman Thomas Jones Muhsin Muhammad Gould, Hester, Kreutz, Urlacher* New Orleans Saints [52]
2007 New York Giants 10–6 Tom Coughlin Eli Manning Brandon Jacobs Plaxico Burress none Green Bay Packers [53]
2008 Arizona Cardinals 9–7 Ken Whisenhunt Kurt Warner* Edgerrin James Larry Fitzgerald Fitzgerald Philadelphia Eagles [54]
2009 New Orleans Saints 13–3 Sean Payton Drew Brees Pierre Thomas Marques Colston Evans Minnesota Vikings [55]
2010 Green Bay Packers 10–6 Mike McCarthy Aaron Rodgers Brandon Jackson Greg Jennings Clifton, Collins, Jennings, Matthews, Woodson Chicago Bears [56]
2011 New York Giants 9–7 Tom Coughlin Eli Manning Ahmad Bradshaw Victor Cruz Pierre-Paul San Francisco 49ers [57]
2012 San Francisco 49ers 11–4–1 Jim Harbaugh Colin Kaepernick[d] Frank Gore Michael Crabtree Bowman, Goldson, Iupati, Lee, Smith, Willis Atlanta Falcons [58]
2013 Seattle Seahawks† 13–3 Pete Carroll Russell Wilson Marshawn Lynch Golden Tate Sherman, Thomas San Francisco 49ers [59]
2014 Seattle Seahawks 12–4 Pete Carroll Russell Wilson Marshawn Lynch Doug Baldwin Sherman, Thomas, Wagner Green Bay Packers [60]
2015 Carolina Panthers 15–1 Ron Rivera Cam Newton Jonathan Stewart Greg Olsen Davis, Kalil, Kuechly, Newton, Norman, Tolbert Arizona Cardinals [61]
2016 Atlanta Falcons 11–5 Dan Quinn Matt Ryan Devonta Freeman Julio Jones Beasley, Jones, Ryan Green Bay Packers [62]
2017 Philadelphia Eagles 13–3 Doug Pederson Carson Wentz[e] LeGarrette Blount Zach Ertz Johnson, Kelce Minnesota Vikings [63]
2018 Los Angeles Rams 13–3 Sean McVay Jared Goff Todd Gurley Robert Woods Donald, Gurley, Suh New Orleans Saints [64]

FootnotesEdit

  • a Pat Haden was the Los Angeles Rams' starting quarterback for most of the 1979 season. After he broke a finger late in the season Vince Ferragamo replaced him at quarterback for the last three regular season games, and was also the quarterback for the NFC Championship game and Super Bowl XIV.[25][65][66][67]
  • b Jay Schroeder was the Washington Redskins starting quarterback for most of the 1987 season. But Doug Williams replaced him several times during the season and was the Redskins quarterback for the NFC Championship game and Super Bowl XXII.[33][68][69][70]
  • c Phil Simms was the starting quarterback for the 1990 New York Giants until suffering a leg injury late in the season. As a result, Jeff Hostetler was the Giants starting quarterback for the last two regular season games and for the postseason, including the NFC Championship game and Super Bowl XXV.[15][36][71][72]
  • d Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith both finished the 2012 season with 218 attempts. Smith started the first nine games of the season before suffering a concussion. Kaepernick took over as starter the following week and remained the starter when Smith was cleared to play the week after that. Kaepernick was the 49ers starting quarterback for the final seven regular season games and the postseason, including the NFC Championship Game. He also started in Super Bowl XLVII.
  • e Carson Wentz was the starting quarterback for the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles until suffering an injury late in the season. As a result, Nick Foles was the Eagles' starting quarterback for the last three regular season games and for the postseason, including the NFC Championship game. He also started Super Bowl LII.[73]

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