Ranking the Patriots 11 AFC Championship Games since 2001

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 18: Nate Solder
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 18: Nate Solder /
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FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 22: Sean Davis /

4. 2016 AFC Championship Game – Pittsburgh Steelers

Final: Patriots 36, Steelers 17

The Steelers again? It seems the Patriots have a knack for taking down big, bad Pittsburgh in big games. In 2016, a season of vindication for Tom Brady and the Patriots, they did just that once again.

In order to get back to the Super Bowl for a 5th title, New England had to take down Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown. Luckily for the Patriots, Bell was limited due to an injury and DeAngelo Williams had to fill in. The Patriots defense shut down the Steelers, and Tom Brady carved up their secondary.

Chris Hogan had a huge day with 2 touchdowns and 180 yards receiving, followed by Julian Edelman’s 118 yards, 1 touchdown performance. Tom Brady was spectacular with 384 yards and 3 TD passes while not turning the ball over. The game was never close as the Steelers didn’t score their second touchdown until late in the final quarter. Most of the game was just a celebration for Patriots fans.

3. 2003 AFC Championship Game – Indianapolis Colts

Final: Patriots 24, Colts 14

Back when Peyton Manning was with the Colts, this was a huge rivalry. In this game, the Patriots defense made him look silly. Peyton Manning threw four interceptions to the Patriots, with 3 to corner Ty Law and 1 to safety Rodney Harrison. Jarvis Green sacked Manning 2.5 times, while Willie McGinest added 1 and Roman Phifer cleaned up with half a sack. It was a defensive clinic. Oh, and they had a safety too!

New England’s offense did just enough with a touchdown from Tom Brady to David Givens and 5 field goals from the legendary Adam Vinatieri.