Matt’s NFL Championship Weekend Preview

We’ve made it to Championship Sunday and this year’s field features some impressive talent.

The Eagles proved they were no fluke, Brock Purdy is showing the poise of a seasoned veteran, Joe Burrow continued his ascent to being the best quarterback in the league not named Mahomes, and Patrick Mahomes himself pulled together a gutsy performance and showed he’s still better than most quarterbacks on one ankle. We’re a little over two weeks from the Super Bowl and here is how I see this weekend playing out:

49ers @ Eagles: Going to try to remain objective here as the Chances settled in the Philadelphia area centuries ago and we all bleed green. The Eagles put together a dominating effort against the Giants this past weekend. I get New York was coming into the game hot—and credit to Brian Daboll for turning that franchise around this year—but anyone with any football sense knew they would be overmatched in that game.

The Eagles had an edge at every position, and it showed. Jalen Hurts is quietly becoming the best QB in the NFC and showed no signs of an injured shoulder. The offensive line completely took over this game and the ground game ran with ease. The defense also put pressure on Daniel Jones the whole game and held the Giants offense to seven points. It will not come that easy against the 49ers vaunted defense this weekend.

The 49ers held on to beat the Cowboys in a 19-12 offensive struggle. San Francisco didn’t play their best game, but still gave a very good Dallas team problems. Brock Purdy appears to be their guy for the future. He had a few rookie moments in this game but overall played a clean game. The running game was stuffed early but wore down the Dallas defense late and put the game away. The 49er defense baited Dak Prescott into a couple interceptions and in the end kept the Cowboys out of the Championship round for yet another year. They roll into the NFC Championship winners of 12 straight.

As an Eagles fan I am nervous. As a football fan, I am excited for this matchup. Two teams with playmakers on both sides of the ball. I can see this game being a struggle for both offenses. Brock Purdy has not seen a pass rush like this one or played in an environment this hostile. Jalen Hurts has not played a defense this loaded, and they will be looking to pounce on any mistake he makes. This game could go either way, but the Eagles have a clear advantage in QB, offensive and defensive lines, and in their cover corners. Grease up those light posts on Broad Street and give those police horses some Kevlar to wear. The Eagles advance to the Super Bowl once again.

Final score prediction: Eagles 23, 49ers 16

Bengals @ Chiefs- The Bengals took the ticket sales for the potential neutral site game between the Chiefs and Bills personally. Cincinnati went into Buffalo and made a statement on their first two drives of the game and cruised to a 27-10 win. The Buffalo defense had no answers and folded like a broken table that split due to a drunk fan swan diving from the top of an RV. Josh Allen could not replicate his playoff success from last year while Joe Burrow showed why he is about to be the highest paid QB in the league. The Bengals offense was missing three starting offensive lineman and still operated with little resistance. Their offense gets all the publicity with that receiving core, but the Bengals defense deserves a lot of credit for shutting down Buffalo’s offense.

The Chiefs managed to hold off the Jaguars at home, but Kansas City fans remain uneasy with the injury to Patrick Mahomes. He was visibly ailing and missed a series after his ankle was rolled on. The Chiefs showed they are a well-coached group and scored a touchdown with Chad Henne(Yes, he’s still around) leading in Mahome’s absence. Mahomes came back in the second half and wasn’t quite the same but still played effectively enough to get his team back to the AFC Championship. Travis Kelce also set receptions record for a tight end and is still the best one in the game. 

This upcoming matchup will depend on the health of the ankle of Mahomes. If he can’t scramble the Chiefs will not be as effective on offense and will need to get creative to keep up with the Bengals offense. Joe Burrow has already shown he can go into Arrowhead and win. Will’s favorite coach in the league is Zac Taylor and luck or not he has this team playing at a high level. Andy Reid has been here before too though has not had the best luck in conference championships. I find it hard to believe Mahomes (even hampered) drops this game at home again. If he can’t play, Cincy by 20 but I think he shows up, adrenaline takes over and he leads the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl.

Final score prediction: Chiefs 34, Bengals 31

The Kelces become a house divided. Enjoy the action this Sunday!

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