Sunday's showdown between the throwback Tennessee Titans (11-7) and the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs (13-4) marks the first AFC championship game since 2010 without Brady barking under center and Bill Belichick scowling on the sideline.
It's also the first time since 2002 that the AFC championship doesn't include Brady, Manning or Roethlisberger.
The star attractions this time are the Titans' bulldozing running back Derrick Henry, the man most responsible for putting an end to New England's pre-eminence and for trampling the high hopes in Baltimore after All-Pro Lamar Jackson played his position in 2019 unlike any other quarterback in the league's first 100 years.
Reigning league MVP Mahomes produced an astonishing 51-7 response to the 24-0 hole the Chiefs found themselves in against Houston in the divisional round last week. So consummate was Kansas City's comeback that the Chiefs ran out of fireworks they shoot off to celebrate their touchdowns at Arrowhead Stadium.
Before Brady made the AFC title game his personal playground, John Elway, Bob Griese and Terry Bradshaw built their reputations in the big games that secured Super Bowl appearances for the eventual Hall of Famers.
Two decades before winning two AFC titles from the front office with Manning as his quarterback, Elway engineered five victories for the Denver Broncos from the huddle, including classics such as " The Drive " and "The Fumble" against the Cleveland Browns.
He won Super Bowls following his last two conference championship appearances and another with Manning, who toppled Brady 20-18 in the 2016 AFC title game in the 17th and final meeting between the two greatest quarterbacks of the 21st century.
Griese led Miami to three consecutive AFC trophies in the years following the 1970 merger, including a win over Pittsburgh and Bradshaw during the only undefeated season in league history.
Bradshaw bounced back to win four AFC titles in six seasons, parlaying each of them into a Super Bowl ring.
Jim Kelly won a record four consecutive AFC championships in the 1990s, but heartbreaking Super Bowl losses followed each of them during a streak of 13 consecutive victories by the NFC representative.
Elway snapped the streak with an upset of Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl 32 after beating the Steelers 24-21 for the AFC title, providing the first ring for the celebrated QB class of 1983, which had gone 0-9 in Super Bowls.