Could we get a third 49ers-Bengals Super Bowl?

Championship games give fans the undisputed four best teams in the NFL


Courtesy of Adrian Curiel

The championship game feature the undisputed four best teams in the NFL with spots in the Super Bowl on the line.

Where we currently stand in the championship round, it is a consensus that the teams left are the four best, and I have to agree. These teams deserve to be here. The star power left at all positions is insane, highlighted by some special quarterbacks with the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts, and rookie surprise Brock Purdy.

Expect to see 2 spectacular games on Sunday, with both games having even matches on each sideline.

49ers at Eagles, Sunday at noon on FOX

This matchup is a match made in heaven. These teams are virtually the same with a dominant defense and a talented, star studded offense. Coming into this, the Niners have won 12 straight games. They are the hottest team in football and it came at a great time. The Eagles finished the regular season 14-3, tied for the best record with the Chiefs.

The Niners defense is all world. They have the best linebacking core with Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, and Azeez Al Shaair. Their front is led by Defensive Player of the Year candidate Nick Bosa, who has a great supporting cast around him consisting of Arik Armstead, Samson Ebukam, Charles Omenihu, Javon Kinlaw, and Kevin Givens. They all make an impact and the depth at that position always gives the Niners the upper hand.

But on the other side of the ball, the Eagles have one of the best offensive lines in the league. Led by all generation center Jason Kelce and tackle Lane Johnson, they create more than enough protection for their superstar MVP candidate quarterback Hurts. Hurts is in the MVP conversation after passing for 3,701 yards with 22 touchdowns, while using his legs to rush for 760 yards and 13 touchdowns.

His leading targets AJ Brown and Devonta Smith both had great years. Brown had 1,496 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns, and Smith had 1,196 yards and 7 touchdowns. Another dynamic player for the Eagles is Quez Watkins, who lines up out wide sometimes, and then in the backfield. Brown, Smith and Watkins together are “Swole Batman”, “Skinny Batman”, and “Fast Batman”.

Now for the Niners on offense, they have the best collection of weapons around. Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk. The mid-season acquisition of Christian McCaffrey was the cherry on top. They are very dynamic and can run lots of different variations of formations, using McCaffrey and Samuel in the “Wide Back Role”, created by head coach Kyle Shanahan and Deebo Samuel last year.

But the Cinderella story of Brock Purdy continues and he has to play a clean game this Sunday if the Niners want to compete. He just needs to do his job and try not to do too much. The Eagles have a good secondary with Darius Slay and James Bradberry, but their line can really compete with San Francisco. They have the two long-time Eagles Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox, and new coming stud Haason Reddick. This game will be tight, but in the end I think the red hot Niners who haven’t lost a game since Oct. 23 will prevail.

Bengals at Chiefs on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on CBS

This game comes down to if an ownage ends. The Bengals have won three straight games against the Chiefs and are looking for their fourth at Arrowhead. The Bengals did it last year in the AFC Championship Game, but can they do it again?

The big storyline of this game is Mahomes’s ankle. Last week, Mahomes got rolled up on and suffered a high ankle sprain. This injury creates a big disadvantage for Mahomes’s playing style. He scrambles in and out of the pocket and creates plays for his team. That ability makes him unparalleled to any other quarterback in the league and it makes him spectacular to watch. After he suffered his injury, it seemed that any weight at all on his right foot caused pain, which can cause some problems.

To help Mahomes out, the Chiefs should try to run more sets that help protect Mahomes like having Kelce block or having multiple tight ends out there. They should also put the ball in Isiah Pacheco and Jerick Mckinnon’s hands. This will take the load off of Mahomes. The two backs have been a great duo for Kansas City this year. Pacheco is an electric, fast, powerful, runner with good vision, while Mckinnon is a great pass catcher and addition to the already mighty Chiefs air raid offense. If they do decide to stick with the passing game, put the ball in Kelce’s hand. He is the best tight end in the game. The routes he runs and the hands he has makes it look like he’s a huge receiver. The Mahomes-Kelce connection has led them to a lot of wins over these years and they shouldn’t shy away from going to him.

Kansas City’s defense is healthy, allowing the 11th fewest yards this season. The two guys to highlight on defense are the two big men: Chris Jones and Frank Clark. The two are just fantastic football players. Jones can stop the run and rush the passer with dominance, while Clark is an absolute run stuffer.

For the Bengals, Burrow has emerged as one of the elite of the elite quarterbacks. He has really stepped up his game this year putting his name into the best AFC quarterback conversation. This year he threw for 4,475 yards and 35 touchdowns, with only 12 interceptions. His receiving core is absolutely elite with Jamarr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. That trio is hard to stop for any team and will definitely cause the Chiefs problems. The Bengals defense doesn’t have any superstars, but they work well as a unit allowing the 6th least points this year. I think that Joe Cool pulls this one out in a dominant fashion with Mahomes hurt, and we our third version of a Bengals-Niners Super Bowl.