Skip to Content

Blockbuster games await in the AFC and NFC Championships

<i>Charlie Riedel/AP</i><br/>Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes celebrates with fans after Kansas City's dramatic OT win against the Buffalo Bills.
Charlie Riedel/AP
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes celebrates with fans after Kansas City's dramatic OT win against the Buffalo Bills.

By Homero De La Fuente, CNN

Following an epic weekend of games during the NFL’s divisional-round playoffs that saw all four games decided on the final play — including possibly the greatest game in NFL Playoff history — two spots will be up for grabs as four teams look to secure a ticket to next month’s Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles.

AFC Championship: Chiefs vs. Bengals

Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs will be in familiar territory as they play in their fourth-straight AFC Championship game, going against a resurgent Cincinnati Bengals team looking to make a name for themselves.

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow refuses to accept his team’s Cinderella story narrative, despite entering the season with Las Vegas bookmakers giving the team a zero percent chance to even win the AFC North division.

After Cincinnati’s upset victory over the No. 1 seeded Tennessee Titans, Burrow remarked: “I’m tired of the underdog narrative. We’re a really, really good team. We’re here to make noise.”

Standing in their way of making more “noise,” the Bengals will need to overcome a raucous crowd at Arrowhead Stadium, and a Chiefs team that’s won 11 of its last 12 games. In his career, Mahomes is 8-0 in the playoffs against quarterbacks not named Tom Brady — with his only two losses coming in against the New England Patriots in 2018 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.

Mahomes is certainly excited with the home-field advantage. When asked about the loudness at Arrowhead Stadium, he told reporters, “I’ve been in some pretty loud stadiums. I’ve played in a couple SEC stadiums. Arrowhead is pretty loud, I don’t think you can get around that.

“I’m sure it’ll be pretty loud this weekend. They’re a great football team, they’re coming in trying to win a big football game, but I’m glad we are at Arrowhead. We have a chance to use our crowd to our advantage on trying to find a win.”

The Chiefs are considered a seven-point favorite and look to advance to their third-straight Super Bowl.

In their Week 17 match-up, the Bengals overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat Kansas City, 34-31, and clinch the AFC North. On Sunday, they’ll hope to repeat the feat and make the franchise’s third ever trip to the Super Bowl and earn a shot at their first ever Vince Lombardi trophy.

NFC Championship: Rams vs. 49ers

The Los Angeles Rams will hope third time’s the charm as they host their division rival, the San Francisco 49ers — the Niners defeated the Rams both times they played this season.

Rams head coach Sean McVay acknowledged the 49ers’ recent success against his team telling reporters earlier this week: “They’ve done a great job. You look at it, you got to play well in that three-and-a-half-hour window that we’re allotted. You look at the last time that we played them, (we) didn’t finish the game. This is a really good football team.

“We have a lot of respect for them. We’re competing and preparing to the best of our ability to go out and see if we can advance. But this is a really good team.

“(49ers head coach) Kyle (Shanahan) is an excellent coach. They (have) great players, great coaches, good schemes. It’s why they’re in the NFC Championship.”

Despite the Rams becoming the first team in NFL history to host a conference championship game at the site of the Super Bowl in the same postseason, LA might be at a home-field disadvantage. Entering Sunday’s showdown, San Francisco has won three straight road games against the Rams and been victorious in five of their last six meetings at SoFi Stadium.

After their Week 18 meeting, Kelly Stafford — wife of Rams quarterback Matt Stafford — pleaded with the Rams faithful on her podcast, “The Morning After with Kelly Stafford,” not to sell their tickets to Niners supporters, where the visiting fans’ cheers forced the home team to use silent counts in order to avoid false start penalties.

In that game, 20% of tickets were sold to fans in Northern California, according to StubHub. As of late Thursday evening, that number has more than doubled, with StubHub reporting that 43% of tickets have been sold to fans in NorCal.

Sunday’s game is trending towards being the No. 1 best-selling playoff game in StubHub history, excluding the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl LVI is scheduled to be played on Sunday, February 13, and whichever teams make it, it’s bound to be must-see TV.

Sunday’s Conference Championships:

AFC – Bengals at Chiefs, 3:05 p.m. ET on CBS

NFC – 49ers at Rams, 6:40 p.m. ET on Fox

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Sports

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content