This past Sunday, the NFL playoffs moved one step closer towards the almighty Super Bowl. The eight remaining teams were cut down to a final four and the NFC & AFC Championship games were set.
After a competitive low scoring affair, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 19-12 to advance to the NFC championship. The 49ers struggled on offense throughout but were able to limit the Cowboys to only 12 points on offense. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw two crucial interceptions which eventually led to two 49ers field goals. The second interception proved significant as the Cowboys had been driving down the field in dominant fashion and seemed poised to score. 49ers all-pro linebacker Fred Warner, arguably the NFL’s best, stepped in front of intended receiver CeeDee Lamb and intercepted Prescott with a little over one minute left in the first half. The 49ers went forty yards downfield in one minute and hit a 50-yard Robbie Gould field goal to end the first half. In the second half, the 49ers jumped in the end zone with a Christian McCaffrey rushing touchdown and held the Cowboys to only two field goals. In a game that proved a tougher challenge for the 49ers than many expected, the defense held up and the offense did just enough to capture the win and advance to the next round. They will seek to win the NFC and capture their sixth Super Bowl trophy and their first since 1995. The 49ers will head to Philadelphia for a pivotal NFC championship matchup against the dangerous Eagles with a trip to the Superbowl on the line.
The Philadelphia Eagles had no trouble in their divisional matchup as they went on to stomp the New York Giants by a score of 38-7. Thanks to a prolific offensive attack, the Eagles ran for over 265 yards with three scores on the ground and two through the air. The Eagles defense was on par with the offensive domination as they held Giants quarterback Daniel Jones to a mere 135 passing yards, no touchdowns, and an interception. Saquon Barkley was shut down and Wild Card round hero Isaiah Hodgins was held to just one catch. The Eagles will host the 49ers for Sunday’s NFC championship matchup and currently stand as 2.5-point favorites. They are seeking to capture their second Super Bowl after they defeated Tom Brady’s Patriots in 2018 to capture their first Super Bowl trophy. The NFC Championship game will take place this coming Sunday, January 29th, at 12pm PT at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In the AFC, the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Buffalo Bills in a snow-packed game in Orchard Park, New York. The Bengals entered the game as underdogs but seemingly overwhelmed a Bills team that struggled on both offense and defense from the very beginning of the game. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow had a solid game with two touchdown passes and no interceptions. Running back Joe Mixon ran for over 100 yards and scored a rushing touchdown. Cornerback Mike Hilton helped shut down the Bills offense as he went off with 8 total tackles, 2 passes defended, and two quarterback hits. The Bengals will head to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs, who they’ll hope to upset for the second year running and punch their ticket to back-to-back Super Bowls.
The Kansas Chiefs defeated an exciting and young Jacksonville Jaguars team in a relatively close game that finished 27-20. Prolific superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes went down in the first half with an ankle injury but returned to the game in the second half. Reports are Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain but will be good to go for Sunday’s game against Cincinnati. The Chiefs haven’t missed the playoffs since 2014 and will seek to capture their third Super Bowl in franchise history. The Chiefs who opened as favorites against Cincinnati currently stand as 1.5-point underdogs. The AFC championship game will take place this coming Sunday, January 29th, at 3:30 pm PT at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Enjoy the action and feel free to tune in for some high-level entertaining playoff football.