NFL Predictions: Conference Championship Games Tips – AthlonSports.com

the NFL With the last four sides in the books, fans should be treated to two fascinating and exciting conference championship games on Sunday. The NFC pits the top two teams against each other, while the AFC is a replay of the regular season as well as last season’s conference title game.

See Also: NFL Playoff Schedule (Updated)

First up on Sunday is the NFC Championship Game between San Francisco and Philadelphia. The top two seeds have been tackling business so far, particularly the host Eagles, who dominated the Giants 38-7 last Saturday. Meanwhile, the 49ers held the Cowboys at bay, knocked out Dak Prescott twice and made enough plays on offense to earn a hard-fought 19-12 win at home. Aside from being the top two teams in the NFC, this is also a matchup of the league’s No. 1 and No. 2 defense in yards allowed per game, while both offenses are among the the first five of the season landed in the same category.

For Philadelphia, Jalen Hurts showed no ill effects from the shoulder injury that sidelined him for two games in the Giants’ loss in December, when the Eagles rushed for 268 yards alone and three points on the ground. On the other hand, 49ers rookie quarterback Brock Purdy will face his toughest test yet against an Eagles defense that was the runaway sack leader in the regular season (70) and has 28 total takeaways in 18 games. The San Francisco defense has done even better in the turnover department (34 in 19 games overall) and is led this season by NFL sack leader All-Pro Nick Bosa (18.5). This game is also the reason the 49ers were traded for Christian McCaffrey. He has a total of 193 yards from scrimmage (154 rushing) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in his first two postseason games with San Francisco.

This is followed by another high-stakes showdown between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bengals are aiming for back-to-back Super Bowl appearances and know what it takes to beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium after doing so in last year’s AFC Championship Game (27-24 in overtime). In fact, Cincinnati has beaten Kansas City three times in a row, including a 27-24 win at home in Week 13. The Bengals are ramping up after last Sunday’s convincing 27-10 away win over Buffalo while the Chiefs battle the Jaguars cared 27-20. All eyes will be on the health of Patrick Mahomes who sustained a serious ankle sprain in the game. Mahomes was injured early in the second quarter and went to the dressing room for an X-ray, but was able to return and finish the job against Jacksonville despite clearly being limited. Backup Chad Henne did his part by leading the team on a 98-yard touchdown drive, but Kansas City will need Mahomes even if he’s not at 100 percent to beat Cincinnati. Even that might not be enough considering Joe Burrow is 3-0 against the Chiefs with eight touchdown passes and just one interception in those games. Last week, Burrow and the Bengals jumped onto the bills early against Buffalo as he improved his postseason record to 5-1.



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