AFC Championship Game 2023: The AFC Championship Game will feature two division winners, two star young quarterbacks and nine combined Pro Bowlers.
But that doesn’t tell the whole story of this unlikely matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs.
When is the AFC Championship?
- Date: Sunday, Jan. 29
- Time: 6:30 p.m. ET (5:30 p.m. CT)
- Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
When will AFC Championship game take place?
The AFC Championship game is scheduled for Sunday, January 29th at 6:30pm ET on CBS and Paramount+, with teams to be determined based on the results of this weekend’s Divisional matchups. Here are all the possible outcomes for locations based on seeding and Divisional Round results:
Chiefs win, Bills win – AFC Championship held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium neutral site
Chiefs win, Bengals win – Chiefs host AFC Championship game
Jaguars win, Bills win – Bills host AFC Championship game
Jaguars win, Bengals win – Bengals host AFC Championship game
In order for the neutral site to be in play, the Chiefs need to beat the Jaguars in the first game of the Divisional Round, Saturday, January 21st on NBC and Peacock. Coverage begins at 3pm ET with kickoff at 4:30pm ET.
Starting with Cincinnati, you would’ve been laughed at if you picked the Bengals to even make the playoffs before this season. The team went 4-11-1 in 2020, they hadn’t made the postseason since 2015 and second-year quarterback Joe Burrow was coming off of ACL surgery.
The Bengals started the season 5-2 before going 5-5 down the stretch, which was still enough to clinch their first NFC North title since 2015. Postseason play is a completely different story in Cincy, though, as the team hadn’t won a playoff game since 1991. This all changed in the wild card round with their 26-19 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. Soon after, they went to Nashville and upset the No. 1 seed Tennessee Titans on the foot of rookie kicker Evan McPherson. It’s clear that the Bengals are more than just a Cinderella story at this point.
On the opposing side, the Chiefs are in a familiar spot. Kansas City is hosting the AFC Championship Game for the fourth straight year, looking to advance to its third consecutive Super Bowl. But it didn’t always seem inevitable this season, especially after a 3-4 start. Many celebrated the downfall of the once-budding dynasty, claiming that the league had figured out star quarterback Patrick Mahomes.