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NFL playoff schedule, conference championships: Broncos-Patriots, Panthers-Cardinals

The two participants in Super Bowl 50 will be decided by the results of today's AFC and NFC championship games. Who are you pulling for in each contest today, Bills fans?

The best day of the NFL calendar year is here: today, the AFC championship game and NFC championship game will decide the participants in Super Bowl 50, which will take place two weeks from tonight in San Francisco.

Our matchup in the AFC features two oldies, but goodies, while in the NFC, two more interesting, upstart franchises are vying for a trip to the big dance. Here's your conference championship game viewing schedule in full.

Broncos (13-4) vs. Patriots (13-4)

  • Date: Sunday, January 24, 2016
  • Time: 3:05 p.m. ET
  • Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
  • TV (announcers): CBS (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms)

The surface story here is the latest (and, perhaps, final) matchup between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. But more practically, it's a matchup of Brady and the Pats dynasty against a gritty Broncos team with the league's best defense. If Denver wins, Manning makes his fourth trip to the Super Bowl, and Denver makes its second trip in three years. If New England wins, Brady makes his seventh trip to the big dance, and the Patriots make their second straight appearance.

Panthers (16-1) vs. Cardinals (14-3)

  • Date: Sunday, January 24, 2016
  • Time: 6:40 p.m. ET
  • Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
  • TV (announcers): FOX (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman)

Neither of these franchises have ever won a Super Bowl; Arizona last appeared in the big game in February of 2009 (they lost to Pittsburgh), while for Carolina, it was February 1, 2004 (they lost to New England). Arizona is the veteran-laden team, headlined by the likes of Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, and Dwight Freeney, among several others, while the Panthers are the young(er) upstarts, embodied by their quarterback, Cam Newton. Whoever wins this game, there's already been a changing of the guard in the NFC, with Seattle's two-year run as the conference's Super Bowl representative at an end.