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Top seeds meet in Super Bowl for first time since 2017

Patrick Mahomes gives a shoutout to the Chiefs' training staff for getting his ankle healthy enough that he could thrive against the Bengals in the AFC Championship Game.

The Eagles parlayed the No. 1 seed in the NFC into a Super Bowl berth. In the AFC, the Chiefs did the same.

It’s the first time in five years that both top seeds qualified for the Super Bowl.

The last time it happened came in 2017, when the top-seeded Eagles (who were nevertheless underdogs at home) won the NFC Championship and the top-seeded Patriots won the AFC crown.

That year became the fourth time in five years that the top seeds in each conference made it to the Super Bowl.

Before that, the two top seeds had made it to the Super Bowl only once during the period of 1994 through 2012. The exception came in 2009, when the Saints and Colts made it to Super Bowl XLIV.

It will become a little harder for the No. 1 seeds to make it if/when the conference championship games become neutral-site affairs. Even then, there’s hardly a presumption that both teams will make it. Since seeding was introduced in 1975 (previously, home-field advantage was based on a rotation), both top seeds have advanced to the Super Bowl only 13 times.