Preview of the NFL Conference Championships

Chiefs versus Bengals; Eagles versus 49ers



Mahomes faced Tampa Bay in a Super Bowl LV matchup on Sunday night.

SETH STERN, Evergreen reporter/Copy Editor

The NFL’s 103rd season is coming to an end as it enters the Conference Championship Round. With only four teams remaining, the NFC and AFC are up for grabs but will not be taken too easily.

After beating the New York Giants by a score of 38-7, the No. 1 seeded Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) will host the NFC Championship at Lincoln Financial Field, their home stadium. Their opponent, the No. 2 seeded San Francisco 49ers (13-4) are coming off of a low scoring 19-12 victory at home against the Dallas Cowboys.

Jalen Hurts, quarterback for the Eagles, will face the biggest challenge yet in his young NFL career.

“We have a task, a really big challenge in front of us. As always, we want to go out there and execute and be efficient,” Hurts said.

Hurts, finalist for the 2023 NFL’s MVP Award, has had a remarkable season averaging 66.5% of his passes being completed along with a 101.5 quarterback rating.

On the opposing side, the 49ers’  third-string quarterback Brock Purdy has helped lead his team to a 12-game win streak. Purdy, the No. 262 overall and final draft pick in 2022, was given a chance after both Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo went down with injuries and has shown his greatness.

Alongside Purdy, the 49ers No.1 ranked defense will look to upset the Eagles on the road at 12 p.m. Sunday to claim the NFC as their own.

Heading over to the AFC side of the playoffs, the Kansas City Chiefs (14-3) will host the Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) 3:30 p.m. Sunday after the NFC Championship Game.

Joe Burrow, quarterback of the Bengals, is undefeated against Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes. The last time the two teams played was Dec. 4, 2022, in Cincinnati, where the Bengals won 27-24.

The Burrow-led Bengals defeated Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round of the Playoffs 27-10 Sunday in snowy Buffalo, New York.

The last time the Bengals lost was to the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 31, 2022. They have not looked back since, with over two months of winning football.

The Chiefs are looking for revenge against this Cincinnati team, as they were defeated by them in the 2022 AFC Championship Game by an Evan McPherson game-winning field goal.

They are coming off of a 7-point win against the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday. During the game, Jaguars defensive end Arden Key rolled on Mahomes’ ankle — spraining it — causing fans to briefly hold their breath.

Mahomes was able to participate in the Chiefs’ practice Wednesday and should be good to go for the AFC Championship Game, according to a USA Today article.

“It’s just about being a competitor. You want to be out there, especially in these games,” Mahomes said. “So, all you can do is just mentally prepare yourself, your body throughout the week and when you get to game day, you just have to focus on the game.”

The Conference Championship Games will be held Sunday. The winners of the two games will face off in Super Bowl LVII Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona. The game will be broadcast on FOX.