2023 NFL Conference Championships
We’re getting close. Four NFL powerhouses are left:
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Philadelphia Eagles
- San Francisco 49ers
- Cincinnati Bengals
Each team has a shot of getting past this next round. It’s a tight race till the end.
The most significant upset this past weekend in the Divisional Finals was the Buffalo Bills losing to Cincinnati. Remember the Bills? They were supposed to win it all.
The injury-laden Bengals didn’t lose any momentum in their win against the Buffalo Bills. Joe Burrow was well protected even without three of their starters on the offensive line. The Bills’ defense couldn’t get to him most of the game.
The 49ers were able to get past the Cowboys by keeping Dak Prescott to only 12 points in their 19-12 win. San Francisco’s kicker got 13 of those points with four field goals and an extra point.
2023 NFL Conference Championships Preview
The AFC Championship game will be between the Chiefs and the Bengals, while the NFC Championship game will be between the 49ers and the Eagles.
The Eagles have the top offensive in the NFC in points and yards per game, while the 49ers have the top defense in the NFC in points and yards per game. Jalen Hurts is the youngest starting quarterback in Philadelphia Eagles franchise history to make it to the conference championship game. Brock Purdy of San Francisco is even younger. They are the youngest starting quarterbacks of NFC teams to play against each other for the Conference Championship.
Speaking of injuries, the only team that doesn’t seem to be having a problem is San Francisco. The only kink in their armor is that they have a rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, who was drafted in the seventh round.
Patrick Mahomes will be the focus of many anxious fans watching how he will place his feet this Sunday when he makes his first throw. He says he’ll be fine for their game against the Bengals, but he was clearly in pain in the second half of their game against the Jaguars. He adjusted his throwing stance to take the pressure off his injury, which is a high ankle sprain.
Before their game against the NY Giants, Jalen Hurts said he was still not 100% after suffering a shoulder sprain last month. It didn’t show. He had a great game leading his Eagles to a 38-7 win over the Giants.
The Cincinnati Bengals have numerous injuries on their offensive line, but it didn’t show against the top-rated Buffalo Bills, so I’m not sure if it’s a problem. Would they have beaten the Bills by more than 27-10? Who knows? But these guys seem to get tougher the later into the season we get.
At this point in the playoffs, with only four teams left, it should be relatively easy to pick the top contender to win the Super Bowl and hoist the Lombardi trophy. But not this year. With last weekend’s results and the reported injuries, it’s a toss-up at this point. Joe Burrow and the Bengals are still considered underdogs but no less dangerous than Kansas City.
But here’s some bookie betting info, just in case you want action. Burrow is now 7-0 for the month of January, and he has one more game to play. Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs haven’t beaten the Bengals since Burrows became the QB, going 0-3 over the last two seasons. And the Bengals have never lost an AFC Championship game in franchise history (3-0).
But Mahomes has some great stats of his own. He’s the only quarterback in NFL history to lead his team to five consecutive conference championships before turning 30. It will be huge whichever way things go between these two great teams.
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