Near-record audience for AFC title contest

Sunday night’s game between New England and Kansas City was the second-most watched AFC Championship Game in 42 years.

The overtime thriller on CBS averaged 53.919 million viewers, just shy of the 54.850 million that viewed Pittsburgh’s victory over the New York Jets in 2011.

Fox’s telecast of the NFC Championship Game between the Rams and Saints averaged 44.218 million, which is up 14 percent over last year.

Titans promote Smith: Tennessee promoted tight ends assistant Arthur Smith to offensive coordinator, staying inside the organization after Matt LaFleur left for the Packers’ head-coaching job.

Monachino to Bears: Chicago hired former Indianapolis defensive coordinator Ted Monachino as senior defensive assistant and outside linebackers coach.

Waiting game: Because Brian Flores’ team is headed for the Super Bowl, the Dolphins must wait another two weeks before they can seal a deal with the Patriots’ defensive play-caller to become their head coach. The Dolphins are expected to meet with Flores this week, but no agreement can become final until after the Patriots play the Rams in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.

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