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NFL

Benglas vs. Chiefs, Niners vs. Eagles: The dream matchups for the NFL’s Championship Round

The NFL is salivating at this weekends Championship Round games. The Chiefs host the Bengals in the AFC and the Eagles take on the Niners in the NFC.

Update:
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 22: Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers runs off the field after defeating the Dallas Cowboys 19-12 in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Levi's Stadium on January 22, 2023 in Santa Clara, California.   Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)
LACHLAN CUNNINGHAMAFP

The final four teams left in the playoffs are a win away from the Super Bowl, and the NFL couldn’t be happier with how things have played out this post season. There are two mouthwatering matchups in the AFC and the NFC Championship, and the NFL should be expecting a ratings field day.

It’s not often that the best four teams are the last four teams left in the playoffs. You can rely on one of those teams having an off day, and getting bounced early at some point of the playoffs. While the Eagles breezed past the Giants over the weekend, the Chiefs had their troubles against the Jags, the Niners just edged the Cowboys and the Bengals needed a length of the field fumble recovery for a TD to survive a scare against the Ravens in Wild Card Weekend.

Top seeds vs. hottest teams

So let me paint the picture for you, if you haven’t already realized. We have the two top seeds in each respective conference. The Eagles finished the regular season 14-3 after piecing together one of the most complete teams in the league. Their only question coming into the season was third year season Jalen Hurts, who ended up being the team’s best player.

The Chiefs won the AFC after seeing their top receiving target, Tyreek Hill, ship off to Miami in the offseason. How would the Chiefs recover? What would their offense look like with out him? Would Patrick Mahomes be the same Patrick Mahomes that we have seen over the last half decade? The Chiefs were more dominant then ever on the offensive end, and Patrick Mahomes was the reason. They looked more balanced then ever before, and the defense made drastic improvements to last year’s AFC Championship loss to the Bengals.

San Franciso is the without question the hottest team in the league. They haven’t lost a game since trading for Christian McCaffery. They saw two starting quarterbacks go down for the season, and the offense only got better under their third string rookie Brock Purdy. They head into the the NFC Championship having won 12 straight and will need lucky number 13 to get back to the Super Bowl for the second time in the last four years.

Joe Burrow and the Bengals started their AFC title defense campaign in unimpressive fashion, dropping four of their first eight games despite the front office making moves to bring in some hogs on the O line to protect their franchise QB. Things started to sort themselves out midway through the season and the Bengals went on an eight game win streak to clinch the AFC North and get the three seed in the AFC.

MVPs and Purdy

The other dream scenario for the NFL is having three of the favorites to win the MVP in the spotlight during the Championship Round. Patrick Mahomes was a preseason favorite to win the award along with Josh Allen who also at +700 odds before Week 1. He has strengthened his case for the leagues best player over the regular season and had heroic performance against the Jags, after almost snapping his ankle in the first half of the Divisional Round. According to MGM Casino is now at -1400 odds to win the MVP considerably ahead of the rest of the pack.

Jalen Hurts and Joe Burrow sit a ways behind Mahomes in the oddsmakers minds going into the NFL’s “Final Four” weekend. Joe Burrow is at +900 after a fantastic second half of the season, not to mention, knocking off Josh Allen in a head to head battle last weekend. Hurts was one of the steadiest QBs in the NFL this season, and if it wasn’t for a late season shoulder injury the Eagles could very well be 16-1 which would have Hurts level or even ahead of Mahomes in the race.

The other quarterback involved might be the best story of this postseason, and could end up being the best story we have ever seen play out in an NFL season. Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy is now the talk of the town in the Bay and across the nation. He has already drawn comparisons to Tom Brady, and some of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the game after winning his first seven. He is a game away from the Super Bowl after leading his team to a two seed in the regular season and posting 41 points against Seattle in Wild Card weekend. Purdy showed flashes of his inexperience against the Cowboys last week but his defense carried the Niners into the NFC Championship.

It’s a simple formula. Football fans want the best teams with the best players still in it during the Championship Round. The league wants that, because that’s what the fans want, and that’s what will draw the biggest audience. It doesn’t happen often, but we have a perfect weekend of football in store to decide who is moving on to Super Bowl LVII.

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