By Stephen “Twist” Kearns
The Conference Championships are here, but who will be heading for Glendale on February 12th? Our resident NFL writer Twist is back with another playoff preview! Keep reading to find out who he thinks will be in Super Bowl in 2 weeks time!
San Francisco 49ers #2 at Philadelphia Eagles #1
The Eagles fan will make sure the 49ers will face the most hostile crowd possible. The last thing Eagles fans want is the 49ers lifting the George Halas trophy on their field.
Purdy vs Hurts, Sanders vs McCaffery, Brown vs Aiyuk, an explosive offensive matchup is happening in Philly… or so we’d hope but believe me when I say this:
This game is going to be won in the trenches!
The Eagles made sure the Giants did not even come close to hanging with them last week handing out a 38 -7 beatdown and defending their house! Now they face the red-hot 49ers who themselves made sure the Cowboys cycle of choking in the playoffs continued for another year and now look to end the Super Bowl dreams of 49ers fans!
The Eagles, 2nd in total offence, 3rd in total defence, 9th in passing and 5th in rushing hold the advantage over the 49ers in everything but defence, 5th in total offence, 2nd in total defence, 13th in passing and 7th in rushing and on paper this would see the Eagles winning this game, especially with a Rookie quarterback under centre for the 49ers but the 49ers defence will not make this easy and remember defence wins Championships!
While Purdy did not throw a touchdown or an interception against the Cowboys, he did enough to make sure his team won, a mistake free performance by a quarterback in the playoffs is a key to victory. Purdy has the heart, the poise and the determination to go all the way, you will not see him falter and with an explosive defence helping him out it’s not going to be the blow out Eagles fans saw last week.
And this Sunday in the Linc, you will see a battle in the trenches, this game will be down and dirty as both lines will fight for superiority. We may not get a high scoring shootout but we’ll definitely see some good old fashion smash mouth football! Something that just feels right with a hostile Philly crowd.
Prediction: 49ers 21 – Eagles 17
Cincinnati Bengals #3 at Kansas City Chiefs #1
There will be no neutral site in the battle for the Lamar Hunt trophy after the Bengals buried the Bills dreams in the snow of Buffalo.
However this means the Bengals will have to face the loud as hell Chiefs fans in Arrowhead!
The “on paper” review sees the Bengals, 15th overall offence, 7th over defence, 7th passing and 29th rushing facing the Chiefs 1st overall offence, 12th overall defence, 1st passing and 20th rushing. The Chiefs win this right?
Well that all depends how bad Mahomes’ ankle is. If you ask Mac Jones he’d tell you it requires amputation and is impossible to play on but Mahomes stayed in the tilt with the Jaguars to make sure his team had a shot at making another Super Bowl run.
Mahomes’ ankle is going to determine how much “magic” he can perform on Championship Sunday, and that’s before he faces the defensive mind of Lou Anarumo, the Bengals defensive coordinator has caused headaches for teams all season.
Mahomes has faced Burrows’ Bengals three times in the past two years and has lost all three of those matchups. The rise of Burrows’ Bengals to face Mahomes’ Chiefs has been a quick one and has many questioning who is the superior team, the current win/loss record puts the Bengals squarely as the better team.
Like the NFC Championship game, the AFC Championship game will be decided in the trenches and it will pit Anarumo against Spagnuolo. The quarterback with the fewest mistakes will lead their team to victory as this Sunday defences will shine!
Prediction: Bengals 31 – Chiefs 28