NFL Conference Championships Preview


Pike Temple, Sports Editor

After the Divisional round, only the true Super Bowl contenders remain. On the AFC side, the Kansas City Chiefs held on against the Jacksonville Jaguars despite Patrick Mahomes suffering a high ankle sprain (he would return to the game), while the Buffalo Bills disappointed against the Cincinnati Bengals and lost at home. In the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles took care of business and demolished their division rivals, the New York Giants. The 49ers were also able to beat a NFC East opponent in the Dallas Cowboys in a low scoring affair.


NFC: Philadelphia Eagles vs. San Francisco 49ers

The Eagles easily defeated the Giants, although that was to be expected. Jalen Hurts played well and the Eagles ran all over New York in an impressive 38-7 victory. The 49ers escaped the grip of defeat by beating the Cowboys by a touchdown. In the lowest scoring game of the weekend, the team’s defenses came to play. The Eagles and 49ers matchup should be an entertaining one. Philadelphia has the best offense in the NFC and San Francisco’s defense is the best unit left in the playoffs. However, the 49ers won in the Divisional round, Purdy did not play too well against the Cowboys. He faced a great defense, but the rookie will make a rookie mistake eventually and likely lose San Francisco a game. Although the 49ers have weapons on the offensive side of the ball, such as George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Christian McCaffrey, the Eagles offense has been far superior as of late and, in this day and age, offense wins championships. The Eagles will move on and represent the NFC in Super Bowl LVI.


AFC: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The Bengals played efficient football last week versus the Bills in an epic 27-10 victory over Buffalo. Joe Burrow, despite the offensive line woes, looked poised and made play after play when it mattered most. The Chiefs, on the other hand, played well, but starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes injured his ankle against the Jaguars. Kansas City will be glad to have Mahomes play in any fashion, but the injury could limit the QB’s lethality and his ability to extend plays. The weapons around him are solid, but with the injury, Mahome’s mobility will suffer and hinder the Chiefs offense ever so slightly. That being said, Mahomes could very well come back from the injury and drop a 300+ yard game with multiple touchdowns and impress like usual. However, with that in mind, the Bengals have a fully healthy Joe Burrow, better offensive weapons overall, and a better defense. Cincinnati will keep its winning streak against the Patrick Mahomes led Chiefs alive and make it to the Super Bowl in consecutive seasons. 


Updated Super Bowl Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are an impressive team to watch when the defense and offense are humming on all cylinders. If Cincinnati can put up a performance like the one against Buffalo, the Bengals should have no trouble eliminating a Chiefs team with a limping Patrick Mahomes. A Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl would be one of the more exciting matchups over the past few years. Although the Eagles are a formidable foe, I trust Burrow in the playoffs more than Hurts as of now. Cincinnati made it to the big dance last season when nobody expected them to even make it past the Divisional round. Now the Bengals will win the Super Bowl after being overlooked as Super Bowl contenders.