The divisional round of the playoffs certainly decided a few narratives about who the best teams in the NFL were after an exciting weekend of games. Ultimately, the league has its top four teams playing on conference championship weekend.
The Philadelphia Eagles rolled to victory over the New York Giants and showed they are still one of the best teams in the league and the Super Bowl contender they have been all season. Philadelphia will host the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers, who won a showdown against the Dallas Cowboys to set up the conference with a matchup of its top two seeds.
The AFC Championship Game features 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 stellar performance on a high ankle sprain for the Chiefs to get past the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Joe Burrow led the Bengals to a dominating win over the Buffalo Bills — in snowy Buffalo.
Conference championship weekend has the makings of an all-timer. Here’s an early primer on what’s coming up next week.
All odds from Caesars Sportsbook
NFC Championship Game
(2) San Francisco 49ers at (1) Philadelphia Eagles
When: Sunday, January 29 at 15 A.M
TV: Fox | Power: fuboTV
Line: Eagles -2, W/O 45.5
The 49ers and Eagles do not have a rich playoff history, with Philadelphia and San Francisco meeting only once in the postseason (49ers won 14-0 in the 1996 NFC Wild Card round). Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy — both the starting quarterbacks in the game — weren’t even born yet. Hurts (24 years, 175 days) vs. Purdy (23 years, 33 days) will be the youngest tackle in NFC Championship game history.
Purdy is the fourth quarterback drafted in the sixth round or later (or undrafted) to win a conference championship in his first season as a starter. The 49ers are playing in their 18th conference championship game, the most in NFL history (and third in the last four years). They are the only NFC team that has never played in 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 set in 2001. This is the Eagles’ seventh conference championship game since 2000, the most in the NFC and behind only the New England Patriots for most . in the NFL. The Eagles are looking for their fourth Super Bowl appearance in franchise history and second in the last six seasons.
The Eagles finished with the top offense in the NFC in points and yards per game. The 49ers finished with the top defense in the NFC in points and yards per game. This game is sure to perpetuate the age-old offense vs. defense debate that sets the stage for a thriller in Philadelphia.
AFC Championship game
(4) Cincinnati Bengals at (1) Kansas City Chiefs
When: Sunday, January 29 at 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: CBS | Power: 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 could be set to embrace another classic, especially with Mahomes playing through a high ankle sprain.
Mahomes has never beaten the Bengals since Burrow became the starting quarterback and has gone 0-3 against him over the past two seasons — including last year’s AFC Championship Game, when Kansas City blew a 21-10 lead in the second quarter and lost 27-24 in overtime. Each of those meetings has been decided by exactly three points, with Cincinnati outscoring Kansas City 26-6 in the fourth quarter and overtime in those games.
Mahomes joins Tom Brady (eight straight) and Ken Stabler (five straight) as the only quarterbacks to start five straight conference championship games as the Chiefs become the first team in NFL history to play in five consecutive conference- championship games at home. He is also the only quarterback to lead a team to five conference championship games before turning 30. The Chiefs are looking to become just the ninth team to reach the Super Bowl three times in four years.
The Bengals are looking to reach the Super Bowl in consecutive seasons and are trying to become the first team since seeding began in 1975 to reach back-to-back Super Bowls without having a top-two seed in either season . 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 postseason road game before Burrow). Cincinnati has never lost an AFC Championship game and has gone 3-0 in franchise history.
Mahomes vs. Burrow IV should be a classic no matter how the Chiefs quarterback plays with his high ankle sprain.