The divisional round of the playoffs certainly settled some tales about who the best teams in the NFL were after a thrilling weekend of games. Ultimately, the league has its top four teams playing on Conference Championship weekends.
The Philadelphia Eagles rolled to victory over the New York Giants, showing they’re still one of the best teams in the league and the Super Bowl contender they’ve been all season. Philadelphia will host the NFC Championship game against the san francisco 49erswho won a confrontation against the Dallas Cowboys to set up the conference with a clash of its top two seeds.
The AFC Championship Game has a highly anticipated rematch between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals in what is sure to be one of the best games of the season. Patrick Mahomes had a brave performance on a sprained ankle to take the Chiefs past the Jacksonville Jaguars while Joe Burrow led the Bengals to a dominating victory over the Buffalo Tickets — in Snowy Buffalo.
The conference championship weekend has the makings of a stopwatch. Here’s a first look at what’s to come next week.
All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook
NFC Championship Game
(2) San Francisco 49ers vs. (1) Philadelphia Eagles
When: Sunday, January 29, 3 p.m. ET
TV: Fox | Flux: fuboTV
Line: Eagles -2, O/U 45.5
The 49ers and Eagles don’t have a rich playoff history, with Philadelphia and San Francisco meeting only once in the playoffs (the 49ers won 14-0 in the 1996 NFC Wild Card Round). Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy — the game’s two starting quarterbacks — weren’t even born yet. Hurts (24 years, 175 days) vs. Purdy (23 years, 33 days) will be the youngest matchup in NFC Championship Game history.
Purdy is the fourth quarterback drafted in the sixth round or later (or undrafted) to achieve a conference championship in his first season as a starter. The 49ers are playing their 18th conference championship game, the most in NFL history (and the third in the last four years). They are the only NFC team to never play Philadelphia in a road playoff game.
Hurts is the youngest quarterback in Eagles history to reach the conference championship game, breaking Donovan McNabb’s record from 2001. This is the Eagles’ seventh conference championship game since 2000, the most important of the NFC and behind only the New England Patriots for the most in the NFL. The Eagles are seeking their fourth Super Bowl appearance in franchise history and their second in the past six seasons.
The Eagles finished with the NFC’s best offense in points and yards per game. The 49ers finished with the NFC’s best defense in points and yards per game. This game is sure to pin down the age-old offense vs. defense debate, setting the stage for a thriller in Philadelphia.
AFC Championship game
(4) Cincinnati Bengals vs. (1) Kansas City Chiefs
When: Sunday, January 29, 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: SCS | Flux: Paramount+
Line: Chiefs -1.5, O/U 47.5
A rematch of last year’s AFC title game against the Chiefs and Bengals is already worth the hype. Add Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow to the mix and NFL fans might be ready to embrace another classic, especially with Mahomes playing through a sprained ankle.
Mahomes has never beaten the Bengals since Burrow became the starting quarterback, going 0-3 against him the past two seasons – including last year’s AFC Championship game where Kansas City lost a 21-10 second quarter lead and was down 27-24 in overtime. Each of those meetings was decided by exactly three runs, with Cincinnati beating Kansas City 26-6 in the fourth quarter and overtime in those games.
Mahomes will join Tom Brady (eight in a row) and Ken Stabler (five in a row) as the only quarterbacks to start five straight conference championship games, with the Chiefs the first team in NFL history to play five consecutive home conference championship games. He is also the only quarterback to lead a team to five conference championship games before turning 30. The Chiefs are looking to become the ninth team to reach the Super Bowl three times in four years.
The Bengals are looking to reach the Super Bowl in back-to-back seasons, trying to become the first team since the rankings began in 1975 to reach back-to-back Super Bowls without having a top-two seed in both seasons. Joe Burrow can join Russell Wilson as the only quarterbacks to start two Super Bowls in their first three seasons. Burrow is 5-1 in his playoff career and 3-0 on the road (the Bengals never won a playoff road game before Burrow). Cincinnati has never lost an AFC Championship game, going 3-0 in franchise history.
Mahomes vs. Burrow IV should be a classic, regardless of how the Chiefs quarterback plays with his sprained ankle.