Two division rivals face off tonight for the right to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LVI. It's the San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams, Kyle Shanahan vs. Sean McVay. Shanahan's 49ers swept the Rams in the regular season, and have won six straight against McVay. Matthew Stafford and Co. are coming off of a win over the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, however, and are looking for revenge against a rival.
The Comeback Kids send Bengals to the Super Bowl. Down 21-3 midway through the second quarter, the Bengals didn't blink. Joe Burrow began to hit his stride, the defense clamped down on Patrick Mahomes, and Cincinnati came flying back to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. Once K.C. forced overtime, Burrow continued to show ice water in his veins, finding Tee Higgins for a big first down to move into field goal range. Five runs later, rookie kicker Evan McPherson sent the Bengals to their first Super Bowl since the 1988 season where they'll face the Los Angeles Rams. Burrow was poised all day, taking just one sack and wiggling out of several others to scramble for big first downs. The second-year QB made the plays late that Mahomes didn't. When K.C. took away his deep shot, Burrow calmly hit crossers and screens for chunk gains. Between Burrow making pinpoint passes and running back Joe Mixon churning out yards, the Bengals' offense was the one moving the ball in the second half with the game on the line. Burrow became just the third QB in NFL history to have multiple game-winning drives in a single postseason in one of his first two career seasons. The other two: Tom Brady in 2001 and Kurt Warner in 1999. Both won the Super Bowl.
The NFL's conference championship round for the 2021 season is stacked, and we've got you covered with what you need to know for Sunday's NFC and AFC championships. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the biggest keys to both games, a bold prediction for each matchup and, of course, final score picks.
Never miss a story: Follow your favorite topics and authors to get a personalized email with the journalism that matters most to you. Let’s be honest. No matter how good this week’s conference championship games are, they’re going to have a hard time living up to the divisional games.
Peyton Manning KILLED on 'SNL' Saturday with an absolutely hilarious breakdown of the NFL's season playoffs, and how it paled by comparison to "Emily in Paris." Manning joined Colin Jost at the Weekend Update desk ... presumably to talk in part about the incredible season playoff games last weekend and the reported retirement of Tom Brady.
It all comes down to this. Super Bowl LVI is right around the corner, and Championship Sunday will determine which of the final four NFL teams will advance for a chance at this year's Lombardi Trophy. But who should you be backing in the AFC and NFC Championships? Can the Bengals actually upset the reigning AFC champion Chiefs in Kansas City? Can the Rams finally beat the 49ers to prove they are the class of the NFC? Either way, we've got must-see TV in the NFL on Sunday, and in celebration of the big games, we've got all the best bets, odds, picks and game props you could want and need:
NFL fans are begging for the AFC and NFC championship games to be as exciting as the four divisional-round contests that preceded them. After a wild-card weekend that was anything but wild, the NFL's four divisional-round games combined to create what was, arguably, the best weekend in NFL playoff history. Each matchup was decided by a game-winning score on the field play, with the Bengals, 49ers and Rams all notching walk-off field goals and the Chiefs capping off a miraculous comeback with an overtime touchdown.
NFL playoff overtime rules are somewhat similar to those in the regular season. A three-minute intermission after the end of regulation leads to a mid-field coin toss just like the one at the start of the game, with the winning team deciding to receive or kick the ball, opting to defend a certain goal post or defer.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Got anything on your plate today? Anything at all? Or are you going to spend it watching a couple of NFL playoff games that will either be blowouts or the most spectacular athletic events since 490 B.C.?. •••••••. •...
Only three games remain in the 2021 NFL playoffs. The Cincinnati Bengals were the first team to advance to play in the AFC title game after they beat the Tennessee Titans on Saturday in the divisional round. The San Francisco 49ers were next, as they ousted the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers will play at the Los Angeles Rams, who downed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The Bengals will play at the Kansas City Chiefs, who won at home on Sunday over the Buffalo Bills.
The road to the Super Bowl still runs through Kansas City, but it took a herculean effort by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs' offense to get past the Bills in Sunday's AFC divisional round playoff game. The Chiefs' 42-36 overtime win capped off a memorable weekend that saw all four games come down to the wire. The weekend's first three games were decided on last-second field goals, while the Chiefs needed a 49-yard field goal by Harrison Butker at the end of regulation before winning it in overtime.
The only weekday playoff game this post season is on Monday, Jan. 17, which will showcase the Rams vs. Cardinals game on ABC and ESPN. This is the first time a wild-card game will take place on a weekday; typically, there are three games on Saturday and Sunday. However, this year, there will be two games on Saturday, three on Sunday and one on Monday.
Welcome to the Monday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!. If today's newsletter is completely incoherent, it's because my brain is still trying to process everything that happened in the NFL over the weekend. After attending the Bengals-Titans game on Saturday, I was pretty sure there was no way that any of the other divisional games would top it in terms of excitement, but then THEY ALL topped it. Somehow, each game was progressively better than the one before it and by the time the Bills-Chiefs game got to overtime on Sunday night, I think I had spit out my coffee three different times, which was crazy, because I wasn't even drinking coffee.
The NFL’s “Super Wild Card Weekend” was a dud in just about every way. Four of the six games were complete blowouts. Not a single game was tied or had a lead change in the second half. And eight former Gators had their seasons end. By contract,...