NFL Playoffs: Conference Round Preview & Predictions

(© imago images) CINCINNATI, OH – DECEMBER 04: Cincinnati Bengals running back Samaje Perine against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals on December 4, 2022, at the Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire NFL, American Football Herren

Just two games stand between us and Super Bowl LVII and boy are they some crackers. The Philadelphia Eagles will be hosting the red hot San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Championship game, while the Kansas City Chiefs will be visited by the Joe Burrows and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Both games are expected to go down to the wire, with not much separating the teams at this point in the playoffs. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the Conference Round, including our predictions for the two teams to make it to the Super Bowl.

NFC Championship Game 

San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles, 

Time: Sunday, 3 p.m. 

TV Broadcaster: Fox

The big question surrounding this game is the status of Eagles QB Jalen Hurts, after suffering a sprained shoulder earlier this year. He seemed comfortable throwing the ball against the Giants in the Divisional Round but didn’t have to do much, finishing with only 154 passing yards, his second-lowest total of the season.

The 49ers defense has been on a tear, with the best linebacker trio in the NFL in Azeez Al-Shaair, Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw and Nick Bosa causing absolute terror up front. Rushing the ball will likely be a difficult prospect, as the SF has been holding its opponents to a league-low 3.4 yards per rushing attempt this season.

On the offensive end, the 49er’s rookie quarterback Brock Purdy has held his nerve in clutch moments thus far in the postseason. The Eagles are a different beast however, landing 70 sacks on opposing team quarterbacks this regular season, two sacks shy of the NFL record set by the Bears in 1984. If the 49ers don’t protect Purdy, they will likely have a very long night on the offensive side of the ball.

Prediction: San Francisco 49ers Beat the Philadelphia Eagles

AFC Championship Game

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City

Time: Sunday, 6:30 p.m.

TV Broadcaster: CBS

Patrick Mahomes has already announced that he plans to play through the high ankle sprain that he underwent in the Divisional Playoff win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bengals have held over the Chiefs in their last three meetings, making key halftime changes in each affair to come out on top.

With Mahomes not 100%, the Chiefs will need to rely on the running game to help provide some space to throw the ball. Running back Jerick McKinnon may be the key to the Chiefs offense if he can get some early yardage against the stingy defense of the Bengals. 

The other big weapon of the Chiefs they will need to fire is TE Travis Kelce. The last time the teams met in Week 13, Kelce had only four receptions and 56 yards, including a huge fumble which changed the course of the game in the 4th quarter.

Joe Burrows has been silently one of the most effective quarterbacks in the league. The Bengals might have trouble protecting him on Sunday though, with 3 starting offensive linemen listed as questionable for the game. Expect much of how the Bengal’s offense goes to revolve around how much time Burrows gets in the pocket.

Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals Beat the Kansas City Chiefs

Plan on betting on the NFL Conference Championship games? Then go through our list of the top NFL online sportsbooks for all the best betting sites in the province.

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