Ranking the Patriots 11 AFC Championship Games since 2001

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 18: Nate Solder
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 18: Nate Solder /
4 of 7
FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 18: Nate Solder /

6. 2014 AFC Championship Game – Indianapolis Colts

Final: Patriots 45, Colts 7

Ahhh the game that started the DeflateGate saga that ultimately ended with a Tom Brady 4-game suspension. To be honest, that hurts this game a little bit in terms of enjoyability. Also the score. Sure it’s fun to run away with a huge blowout in one of the biggest games of the season, but the best football games are the nailbiters.

The Patriots were in control of this game from the start as LeGarrette Blount and James Develin both found the end zone in the first quarter to give New England a 14-0 cushion. The Colts looked like they could make it a game when Zurlon Tipton pushed one over the goal line in the second quarter, but they never got on the scoreboard again.

The game got even more interesting when left tackle Nate Solder caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady. Then. TB12 got his third of the game with a pass to Rob Gronkowski. The game was closed out on the ground with two more rushing touchdowns from Blount. He finished the night with 148 rushing yards while Brady threw for 226 yards, the 3 touchdowns, and one interception. Andrew Luck had just 126 passing yards and he threw two interceptions for the Colts.

5. 2004 AFC Championship Game – Pittsburgh Steelers

Final: Patriots 41, Steelers 27

This game helped the New England Patriots to become a true dynasty. They had to again beat the Steelers, this time against Ben Roethlisberger. New England dominated.

The Patriots led 24-3 at halftime, thanks to Tom Brady touchdown passes to Deion Branch and David Givens, as well as an 87-yard interception return touchdown from Rodney Harrison. The Steelers had no chance at that point. New England’s defense wasn’t as stout in the second half though. They allowed Jerome Bettis, Hines Ward, and Plaxico Burress to get into the end zone, but New England’s offense kept rolling too.

Corey Dillon had a 25-yard rushing TD and Deion Branch caught a second from Tom Brady. There were some field goals sprinkled in, but the Patriots ran away with a 41-27 victory.