AFC & NFC Championship Preview


Jaree Abney and Caulin Avery

As we approach the month of February with the Super Bowl just two weeks away, four teams remain in the 2022 NFL season.

The Philadelphia Eagles will host the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC Championship and a spot to play in Super Bowl LVII. In the AFC, it will be a rematch of last year’s game. The Kansas City Chiefs look to end their 3-game losing streak against the Cincinnati Bengals, while Joe Burrow looks to stay undefeated against Patrick Mahomes.

Let’s dive into both games and give predictions on who earns a spot in Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona.

In the AFC, this will be the third meeting between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals in the past three years β€” with the Bengals winning each game by three points.

Kansas City comes in this matchup as the No. 1 seed and fresh off a Divisional Round victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Meanwhile, the Bengals are the No. 3 seed and have beaten their AFC North rivals in the WildCard Round, then recently beating the No. 2 seed Buffalo Bills.

During the offseason, the Chiefs lost superstar receiver Tyreek Hill β€” yet the loss of Hill had no impact on the offense or quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes finished the season leading the league in passing yards, passing touchdowns and quarterback rating. He set a career record for passing yards and completion percentage. The superstar quarterback is back in the MVP race and is the favorite to win; safe to say the departure of Hill didn’t impact him.

All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce added to his streak of 1,000-yard seasons, which is now at seven straight. He had a career-high in touchdowns with 12 and receptions with 110.

Rookie running back Isiah Pacheco, drafted out of Rutgers, stepped up big for the running game for Kansas City. Once starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire went down with an injury, Pacheco began to get more carries.

Meanwhile, the Bengals come in scorching hot having won their last ten games. Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow has been red hot, throwing for 21 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He has connected with receiver Jamar Chase for a touchdown in nine straight games.

Both defenses will have a tough assignment on their hands this weekend, but due to the frequent matchups, they should have a concept of what each offense is throwing at them.

The NFC Championship Game between San Francisco and Philadelphia will take place on Sunday. The top two seeds have handled business so far, particularly the Eagles, who dominated the Giants 38-7 last Saturday.

The Cowboys were kept in check by the 49ers, who also intercepted Dak Prescott twice and produced enough plays on offense to win the game 19-12 at home.

The No. 1 and No. 2 defenses in the league in terms of yards allowed per game will face off in this game, which also features the top two teams in the NFC. During the regular season, both offenses were in the top five in the same category.

In the thrashing of the Giants, Jalen Hurts of Philadelphia showed no signs of the shoulder injury that kept him out of two games in December as the Eagles piled up 268 yards and three touchdowns just on the ground.

On the other hand, against an Eagles defense that led the league in sacks during the regular season (70) and has produced 28 total takeaways in 18 games, 49ers rookie quarterback Brock Purdy will face his biggest test yet. San Francisco’s defense has performed even better in terms of forcing turnovers (34 in 19 games overall), and it is anchored by All-Pro Nick Bosa, who leads the NFL in sacks this year (18.5).

The 49ers acquired Christian McCaffrey in a trade because of this game as well. In his first two postseason games with San Francisco, he has 193 total yards from scrimmage (154 rushing) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving).

Look for the Kansas City Chiefs to prevail and get over the hump to beat the Cincinnati Bengals. Mahomes could solidify his season with a great performance and lock up the MVP trophy.

In the NFC, the more experienced quarterback Jalen Hurts will help lift the Eagles past the 49ers. Rookie quarterback Brock Prudy will get rattled playing in Philly and against the stout defense of the Eagles..

Prediction: The Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles will matchup in Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona.