The Chiefs and Bengals meet again. These title game rematches are rarer than you think.

We meet again: Quarterback Joe Burrow and the Bengals will face the Chiefs in the AFC championship game for the second straight year. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

For the first time since the 2012 season, one of the NFL’s conference championship games will be a rematch when the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals meet Sunday to decide the AFC title. Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, there have only been eight previous instances in which a championship game matchup was a repeat of the year before (including two trilogies). The good news for the Chiefs, who lost last year’s game, 27-24, in overtime, is that one year’s result hasn’t always predicted the next. Here’s a look back at the previous championship game rematches.

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Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers, 1970 and 1971

The same two teams played in the first two NFC championship games, with the Cowboys winning the first one, 17-10, in the 49ers’ final game at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco and then taking the rematch, 14-3, on their home field in Irving, Tex.

In the first game Jan. 3, 1971, the first postseason meeting in what would become a storied NFC playoff rivalry, Dallas was coming off a 5-0 win over Detroit — the lowest-scoring postseason game in NFL history — while San Francisco had upset the favored Minnesota Vikings, 17-14. The Cowboys twice intercepted 49ers quarterback John Brodie in the third quarter, leading to 14 points and a 17-3 lead, and held on from there.

The next season, Dallas beat Minnesota and San Francisco beat Washington to set up a rematch at Texas Stadium, which hosted a postseason game for the first time Jan. 2, 1972. The Cowboys forced turnovers on San Francisco’s final three drives to preserve a 14-3 victory and went on to defeat the Miami Dolphins in the Super Bowl.

Dallas and San Francisco met again the following year in the divisional round, with the Cowboys overcoming a 28-13 fourth-quarter deficit to win, 30-28.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Oakland Raiders, 1974, 1975 and 1976

The Steelers and Raiders are the only teams to play each other in five consecutive postseasons, and they squared off in the AFC championship game for three seasons in a row during that stretch.

In their first championship game meeting, played at Oakland Coliseum on Dec. 29, 1974, the favored Raiders held a 10-3 lead at the start of the fourth quarter, but Ken Stabler threw two interceptions that led to two Steelers touchdowns as Pittsburgh won, 24-13.

In the rematch the next season, the teams combined for 12 turnovers (seven for the Steelers, five for the Raiders) and 12 punts on a bitterly cold day at Three Rivers Stadium on Jan. 4, 1976, with the Raiders contending that the Steelers purposely created icy field conditions to slow Oakland’s passing attack. Whatever the reason, the Raiders struggled through the air, with Stabler completing 18 of 42 passes for 246 yards and two interceptions. Wide receiver Cliff Branch, who had nine catches for 186 yards in the previous season’s meeting, had only two catches for 56 yards in the rematch.

With his team trailing 16-10 late in the fourth quarter after a field goal and a recovered onside kick, Stabler found Branch for a 37-yard reception to the Steelers’ 15, but time ran out and Pittsburgh was off to its second straight Super Bowl with a 16-10 victory.

The Raiders finally broke through in the third consecutive AFC championship game meeting, winning, 24-7, on their home field Dec. 26, 1976. Steelers running backs Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier missed the game because of injuries, and Pittsburgh managed only 72 rushing yards. Stabler had only 88 passing yards but threw for two touchdowns, and Mark van Eeghen, Clarence Davis and Pete Banaszak combined for 166 rushing yards.

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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Houston Oilers, 1978 and 1979

In the first postseason meeting between the then-division rivals Jan. 7, 1979, the Steelers forced nine turnovers, allowed only 142 yards and didn’t give up a touchdown in a 34-5 demolition of the Oilers, who got just 62 rushing yards from running back Earl Campbell, the rookie of the year. This is the only game in NFL history to end with a 34-5 final score, making it a rare postseason Scorigami.

The Steelers won the rematch with the Oilers, 27-13, on Jan. 6, 1980, again shutting down Campbell, who had 17 carries for only 15 yards. The game was marked by a controversial third-quarter call in which officials ruled that Houston’s Mike Renfro was out of bounds on what looked to be a touchdown catch. Instead of tying the score at 17, Houston kicked a field goal and would not score the rest of the game.

The Steelers went on to win the Super Bowl after both wins over the Oilers, the final two titles of the “Steel Curtain” era.

Denver Broncos vs. Cleveland Browns, 1986 and 1987

The two AFC championship game meetings between the Broncos and Browns in the 1980s were two of the most memorable playoff games in NFL history.

First came “The Drive.” On Jan. 11, 1987, quarterback John Elway led Denver on a 15-play, 98-yard drive over 5 minutes 2 seconds, tying the score at 20 with 37 seconds left on a five-yard touchdown pass to Mark Jackson. Rich Karlis’s 33-yard field goal in overtime won it for the Broncos, the 23-20 final score depriving the Browns of their first Super Bowl appearance.

In the rematch Jan. 17, 1988, came “The Fumble.” The Broncos held leads of 21-3 at halftime and 28-10 in the third quarter, but the Browns staged a furious comeback and were on the verge of tying the score at 38 late in the fourth quarter. But Jeremiah Castille stripped Cleveland running back Earnest Byner of the ball at the Broncos 2-yard line and recovered the fumble, allowing Denver to preserve a 38-33 victory after a late safety. Byner finished with 187 total yards and two touchdowns, but his miscue is what everyone remembers.

Cleveland and Denver would meet again in the AFC championship game two seasons later, with the Broncos winning in comparatively undramatic fashion, 37-21. The Browns haven’t been back since.

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Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers, 1992, 1993 and 1994

No teams have played each other more often in a conference championship game than the Cowboys and 49ers, with the three most recent meetings increasing the number of matchups between the teams to six.

The first game of that trilogy Jan. 17, 1993, was a back-and-forth affair, but the Cowboys intercepted 49ers quarterback Steve Young twice in the fourth quarter, the last one ending host San Francisco’s comeback hopes in Dallas’s 30-20 victory. After the game, jubilant Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson celebrated with his “How ’bout them Cowboys?” speech. Dallas, however, would not win another playoff game on the road until this month.

Johnson’s mouth was the story again the next season, when he guaranteed a Cowboys victory before the game Jan. 23, 1994, the first NFC championship game rematch since the Dallas-San Francisco games in the 1970s. His team did not disappoint, jumping to a 28-7 halftime lead and cruising to a 38-21 victory even though quarterback Troy Aikman missed nearly all of the second half after suffering a concussion.

The 49ers finally broke through against the Cowboys in the NFC championship game played on Jan. 15, 1995, winning, 38-28, even though they were outgained by 157 yards. Dallas committed three turnovers in the first half alone, with San Francisco converting each of them into a touchdown and a 21-0 lead after only 7:27 of game time. The game was more competitive after that — Aikman set a then-NFC championship game record with 380 passing yards, and Michael Irvin did the same with 192 receiving yards — but San Francisco was able to keep Dallas at arm’s length thanks to the early cushion.

New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens, 2011 and 2012

The first AFC championship game meeting between the Patriots and Ravens ended in dramatic fashion Jan. 22, 2012, when Baltimore kicker Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal that probably would have forced overtime in New England’s 23-20 win. The Ravens claimed afterward that the scoreboard at Gillette Stadium initially indicated they had picked up a first down on the play that preceded Cundiff’s kick. Baltimore’s kicking team was rushed onto the field after the error was corrected, and holder Sam Koch failed to properly position the ball with the laces out. The Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl for the fifth time in the Tom Brady era despite getting outgained by the Ravens and committing three turnovers.

Baltimore would get its revenge the next season despite being a 7½-point road underdog entering the game Jan. 20, 2013. The Ravens again forced three turnovers and held the Patriots without a point in the second half of their 28-13 victory, even though New England advanced to at least the Baltimore 34-yard line on four second-half drives. It was the first time in 68 career games that a Brady-led team lost after it held the lead at halftime, and Baltimore became the first road team to win an AFC title game since the Steelers in the 2005 season.