NFL: Championship Sunday


Ashton Erickson, Staff Writer

After another great week of football, the AFC and NFC championships are finally set. The divisional round started with a matchup between the Jaguars and Chiefs. 

This was a matchup no one would’ve guessed at the start of the season and many don’t even put the Jaguars at the same level to even play against the Chiefs in the playoffs. But they were mistaken.

The Jags gave the Chiefs a run for their money and stayed in the game all the way until the end. Mahomes first half ankle injury gave some scare to Chiefs fans but he didn’t let that stop him from returning in the second half. 

The Chiefs held on to win 27-20, advancing to the AFC Championship. 

The games that followed throughout the weekend went mostly as expected. The Eagles flew through the Giants defense winning 38-7 and advanced as expected. 

The Bills and Bengals rematch came with some snowy conditions making the playing field open for any team. As many people thought, this year was the Bills time to finally do some damage in the playoffs… they were mistaken.

Joe Burrow and the Bengals couldn’t be stopped and wasted no time. And with an outstanding performance out of their defense, they went on to win 27-10.

 The final game was a very slow game. The Cowboys almost came close to actually winning a good playoff game, but they fell short. The 49ers won 19-12.

Taking a look at the championship games these are matchups football fans are excited to watch. 

A rematch of last year’s AFC championship game the Chiefs are looking to redeem themselves. However the Bengals have been looked past all year and as we saw this past week they are playing with a purpose. 

The one thing that everyone’s eyes are on right now is Mahomes’ injury. Will his ankle be healthy enough to be 100% in the championship game? Even though an injured Mahomes is still a top 10 quarterback the defense he is facing is a lot better than the one he saw this past week.

Even with a healthy Mahomes, the Bengals have shown they can take down this dominant AFC team. They met earlier in the season and the Bengals won with a field goal 27-24. 

The Chiefs should be scared to see the Bengals again and not only because they have won the past two times they’ve played, but also because of how they embarrassed the Bills in Buffalo. Joe Burrow has had another outstanding season with many weapons on the offensive side. Once they decide to double Chase it just leaves the door wide open to Hurst, Higgens, and Boyd to shine. 

However the Chiefs have many offensive weapons as well. McKinnon has had an amazing season out of the backfield giving Mahomes an easy option to go to. And of course Mahomes will keep slinging the rocket down to Kelce as he has been his main guy after Hill departed the Chiefs. 

This matchup is always a thrill and everyone is eager to see the outcome. Will the Bengals continue to own the Chiefs?

The NFC matchup is another great matchup of the Eagles and 49ers. If you’re like me you will find it hard to root for one team over the other, cause these are both likable teams. 

Both teams have had an outstanding season and this is the first time they have seen each other this season. They have been the top dominating teams in the NFC and we finally get to see them go head to head. 

The Eagles had a strong start with 8-0 and went to finish 14-3. Jalen Hurts has had a dominant season and has really proven his spot at a top quarterback in the NFL. They have had such a consistent offense putting up 477 points in the regular season and have great talent. 

A receiving core consisting of Davonte Smith, A.J. Brown, and Dallas Goedert have given Hurts many options to use his rocket of an arm. He has a reliable running back, Miles Sanders, out of the back field that gives him many opportunities. And to top this off Hurts is a dual threat quarterback and if he gets the chance to run he will do some damage. 

However this Eagle team hasn’t seen a team like San Francisco this year. They have one of the top defenses in the league and this team is back for redemption from last year’s playoff run.

After being so close and ending with a crushing loss in the NFC championship to the Rams, the 49ers are back to take what’s theirs. They have had such a surprising season with 2 injured quarterbacks turning to rookie Brock Purdy.

Ever since he has stepped under center the 49ers haven’t lost a game and this rookie has balled out earning his spot in the league. They also had a huge trade this season gettin one of the best running backs in the league, Christian McCafferey.

Looking at the talent this team has, consisting of top players in the league such as; Christian McCafferey, Deebo Smauel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, and Nick Bosa it’s hard to say this team is getting beat. 

Both teams are going into the matchup with mostly healthy rosters and it’s hard to say what team is going to come out on top. Both teams have dominant offenses and it might come down to a shootout of who gets the ball last. Or it might become a defensive battle because you have 2 very young quarterbacks with very little playoff experience. 

This weekend is going to be one of the best weeks of football the NFL has seen in a while. All teams are led by very young quarterbacks that are on a mission to prove themselves.