Buckle up. It’s almost time for what may go down as one of the best championship weekends in recent memory.
Two of the most hostile environments in sports will host the NFC and AFC championship games, but both road teams are riding high.
Both games at Lincoln Financial Field and Arrowhead Stadium will be dogfights with a trip to Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona on the line.
Here’s a look at each conference championship.
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San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles – 3 p.m. ET, FOX – FOXBet odds: Eagles -2.5
The Niners have won 12 straight games and Brock Purdy has been the quarterback in the last eight. The bottom pick of the latest NFL Draft is now just one win away from a Super Bowl appearance.
The Niners are a well-oiled machine. They dominated the Seattle Seahawks in the wild card round and defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round. Christian McCaffrey has scored in both playoff games, and Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuka and George Kittle are dangerous weapons.
Oh, and they also have the likely Defensive Player of the Year in Joey Bosa, who wreaks havoc no matter who’s in front of him.
However, the Philadelphia Eagles showed off their entire 14-3 regular season record when they defeated the New York Giants, 38-7, in the divisional round. Jalen Hurts was the favorite to win MVP before he got hurt, and it’s clear the Eagles are going like him. Including last week, Philly is 13-1 with Hurts under center this season.
The receiving duo of AJ Brown and Devonta Smith is a nightmare for San Francisco’s suspect secondary, and the Eagles’ defense had the most sacks, by far, in the league this season.
If Hurts’ arm isn’t right, he’ll have no problem doing it with his legs.
The Eagles won the Super Bowl five years ago. San Fran has reached the NFC title game in each of their playoff appearances since the 2011 season. Despite winning two of them, their last Super Bowl victory was in 1995.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Kansas City Chiefs — 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS — FOXBet Odds: Chiefs -1.5
The Bengals are talking the talk and have been walking the walk for two seasons. Joe Burrow is 3-0 against Patrick Mahomes, one of those victories coming in last year’s AFC Championship Game. If you ask anyone in Cincinnati, this year’s game is at «Burrowhead Stadium.»
Just like last year, the Bengals are doing it with a suspect offensive line. This time, however, it is due to the countless injuries to the starters. But Burrow is again unfazed. How could it not be? He passes it to Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Hayden Hurst, while Joe Mixon does the dirty work on the floor.
Cincinnati came within 90 seconds of winning a ring last year, and there seemed to be a hangover early in the season. They lost three of their first five games, including each of their first two. But, since Week 6, they are 12-1 and haven’t lost since Week 8.
CINCINNATI MAYOR RIPS PATRICK MAHOMES IN PROCLAMATION, JOKES JOE BURROW IS MAHOMES’ FATHER BEFORE TITLE GAME
But these are still the Bosses. This is still Patrick Mahomes. He still has Travis Kelce. His head coach is still Andy Reid. This is their fifth straight AFC title game, so it’s all familiar territory.
Kansas City lost Tyreek Hill in the offseason, but Mahomes managed to set the NFL record for total yards in a season.
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However, that was before he sprained his ankle badly last Sunday. Mahomes reportedly suffered a high ankle sprain but returned to the game after missing a couple of series.
He was a full participant in practice all week, so excuses are out the window. But if the Chiefs want to win their second Super Bowl since the 2019 season, they’ll have to overcome the recent thorn in their side.