NFL championship weekend is about, and if it is something just like the divisional spherical then two extra spectacular video games are on the way in which.
Kansas Metropolis hosts Cincinnati within the AFC championship recreation in a rematch of the Week 17 matchup at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals received that 34-31 however should attempt to do the identical at Arrowhead Stadium this time.
The Chiefs are capturing for a 3rd straight AFC championship beneath coach Andy Reid after outlasting Buffalo 42-36 in an additional time thriller. Patrick Mahomes continues to dominate the AFC playoffs with the assistance of Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, however Tyrann Mathieu left the divisional spherical with a concussion.
Cincinnati is again within the AFC championship for the primary time since 1988, and second-year quarterback Joe Burrow and rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase have shaped a prolific mixture. The Bengals have an underrated protection, too, one that doesn’t appear afraid of the lights with third-year coach Zac Taylor, and that was evident within the thrilling 19-16 victory towards the Titans within the AFC divisional spherical.
MORE NFL PLAYOFFS:
AFC & NFC bracket | TV schedule | Tremendous Bowl picks
NFC West rivals Los Angeles and San Francisco meet within the NFC championship recreation in a battle of two of the final three convention champions. The Rams are attempting to get again to the Tremendous Bowl for the second time beneath coach Sean McVay, and Matthew Stafford made the clutch throw in a 30-27 victory towards the defending Tremendous Bowl champion Buccaneers. In-season additions Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr. have delivered within the late-season surge.
The 49ers beat the Packers 13-10 within the NFC divisional spherical, and San Francisco swept the regular-season sequence with the Rams. That included an additional time thriller in Week 18. Can Jimmy Garopppolo lead an offense that features breakout star Deebo Samuel and George Kittle to a different enormous victory? 49ers coach
Kyle Shanahan has the crew taking part in its greatest ball.
Sporting Information’s Invoice Bender break up 4 video games on divisional playoff weekend. Here’s a take a look at our observe report this season:
- Playoffs: 7-3
- Final week: 2-2
- Common season: 172-98-1
Listed below are our picks for NFL convention championship weekend:
NFL picks, predictions for championship video games
- Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (-7)
Sunday, 3 p.m., CBS
Huge performs. That was the distinction within the first recreation. Each groups have 5 performs of 25 yards or extra, however the important thing for the Bengals had been the defensive changes made after halftime.
Kansas Metropolis had 5 completely different gamers make these performs, however none recreation after halftime. The Bengals’ secondary additionally did a terrific job of preserving Tyreek Hill and Travis Kielce in entrance. That tandem mixed for 65 yards within the first assembly. Can the Bengals replicate that effort in a secondary led by Jesse Bates and Chide Awuzie? Operating again Clyde Edwards-Helaire didn’t play within the first assembly, and Logan Wilson will must be a distinction maker.
Cincinnati didn’t have a sack or turnover within the final assembly. They’ll’t try this once more.
After all, Burrow goes to feed Chase once more. Chase had 11 catches for 266 yards and three TDs, and he had 4 catches of 30 yards or extra. Mathieu’s standing shall be an enormous issue on this recreation, too. Kansas Metropolis will reply by dialing up the stress after watching Burrow get sacked 9 instances by the Titans. Chris Jones had two of Kansas Metropolis’s 4 sacks within the first assembly. Burrow will make performs, and this one may very well be simply as entertaining because the final matchup.
However it’s nonetheless Mahomes within the AFC playoffs. Mahomes is 7-1 with 23 TDs and one interception in AFC playoff video games, and the home-field benefit shall be a distinction maker. This shall be shut, too, and the Bengals show they’re going to be a pressure. Kansas Metropolis, nonetheless, makes another large play in crunch time.
Choose: Chiefs 31, Bengals 28
- San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-3.5)
Sunday, 6:30 p.m., FOX
What was the frequent thread within the Rams’ two regular-season losses to the 49ers? Los Angeles couldn’t generate a working recreation. The Rams averaged 58 speeding yards in these two losses, and Stafford threw a pair of interceptions in these video games.
Cam Akers may assist with that, particularly early within the recreation. If Stafford can follow the brief passing recreation with Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. early (which the Packers didn’t do after the opening drive within the divisional playoffs), then that ought to open up a number of deep pictures later. Arik Armstead had 2.5 sacks within the Week 18 matchup and Nick Bosa is an issue off the sting, so it’s value monitoring whether or not veteran Andrew Whitworth (knee) can go.
San Francisco has discovered the correct offensive mixture round Garoppolo, who accomplished 74.5% of his passes within the two regular-season conferences towards the 49ers. Garoppolo will make a number of head-scratching errors, however he will get the ball to Samuel and Kittle in crunch time. Elijah Mitchell must be an element on the bottom. The Rams will counter that with a livid move rush led by Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd and Miller.
Samuel would be the X-factor participant, too. He averaged 10.8 yards per contact in that Week 18 thriller. The Niners have received the final six conferences on this sequence, so it is on McVay to make the changes essential to match Shanahan.
Will it include the working recreation? Akers had a pricey late fumble within the divisional victory towards the Buccaneers, and Sony Michel must be an element inside. This one performs out quite a bit just like the Week 18 matchup, solely this time Stafford stays locked in and the Rams are capable of maintain on to the lead late. Los Angeles seals its journey to the Tremendous Bowl with a late interception, and Stafford will get his first Tremendous Bowl journey.
Choose: Rams 26, 49ers 21