AFC & NFC championship review with Super Bowl preview


Brady McGuire and Sam Himrod

No one expected the Eagles to beat the 49ers 31-7 in the NFC title game. Then again, no one expected Chrisitan McCaffrey to have to change helmets mid game so he could hear the play calls. I don’t think anyone expected both of the 49ers QBs to exit the game injured.

Rookie Brock Purdy got strip sacked by Hassan Reddick early on, and left the game injured. Backup QB and 15 year veteran QB Josh Johnson came into the game in relief, but he was unable to jolt the offense. Then he got hit similarly to how Tua Tagovailoa was often hit this year, hitting his head off the grass. He was pulled and taken into concussion protocol and ruled out for the game.

Then there was a ton of confusion. No one knew who the 49ers would play at QB. It was between CMC, Kyle Juszczyk, and Brock Purdy. Purdy ended up coming in, but he only attempted two passes – no wonder, as he was playing with a torn UCL. Their offense became one-dimensional, and even offensive mastermind Kyle Shannahan could only do so much.

By the end of the game, McCaffrey attempted a pass, and the closest player might have been 30 yards away. You have to feel bad for San Francisco. They never really had a shot at winning the game with the cards they were dealt.

Their defense played well, only allowing 269 total yards. It was the field position the Eagles had due to turnovers and the predictable 49ers offense that allowed them to put 31 points on the board.

I’m not trying to take away from the Eagles. Making the Super Bowl is really impressive in its own right. But from a fan’s perspective, I was hoping for a more competitive game between the number 1 and 2 seeds in the NFC. But hey, I’m expecting a really good game between the Chiefs and the Eagles in Super Bowl 57.

The Kansas City Chiefs took down the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 at ARROWHEAD Stadium. There was a ton of hype going into this game because of Joe Burrow’s recent successes against the Chiefs. Many Cincinnati players and fans referred to the venue of the game as “Burrowhead” and this did not sit well with the Chiefs.

The Chiefs started out strong. They opened up with two field goals and a touchdown to get out to a 13-3 lead. The Bengals punched back with a late 1st half field goal and a 3rd quarter touchdown to Tee Higgins to make it 13-13.

Back and forth touchdowns made it a 20-20 game and led to a last minute drive by the Chiefs. The Chiefs started with good field position with the ball close to mid field because of a good return by rookie Skyy Moore, a Shady Side Academy graduate. With less than 15 seconds left, QB Patrick Mahomes scrambled for a first down and got pushed down out of bounds for a 15 yard penalty. This set the Chiefs up for a field goal to win the Conference Championship.

There were a ton of controversial calls throughout the game that went towards the Chiefs. One of them gave Kansas City another chance on 3rd down because an official blew the play dead due to a game clock issue, but because of the noise, no one could hear the whistle. At the end of the day, the game was not changed because of a couple bad calls nor one play during that game. Kansas City made the plays they needed to win the game and Cincinnati didn’t.

Now, for our Super Bowl 57 predictions.

Sam: On paper, the Eagles should beat the Chiefs by a touchdown or more. They have the better defense, better skill positions on offense, and the best offensive line in football. That’s a recipe for winning. However, they don’t have Andy Reid. And they don’t have Patrick Mahomes. Those 2 will be the difference in this game. I think Reid will be able to develop a game plan that confuses Philadelphia and puts Kansas City over the top.

I don’t think it’s going to be easy. The Eagles have been excellent all year long and are fundamentally sound. I think it will be a back and forth game, but I think the Chiefs offense will make a few more plays than the Eagles do and it will be the difference in the game. I’m going Kansas City by a score of 27-23.

Brady: I think that this game is going to be won by the Chiefs. The Chiefs are going in l as the more experienced team as they have been to two of the past three Super Bowls.  The Chiefs made it here with injuries all around. They should be in better health by next Sunday and I think a healthy Chiefs roster and Patrick Mahomes will outlast the Eagles.

I think this game will be high scoring with two creative offenses and game plans. This game is going to come down to red zone efficiency. Both teams are going to get to the red zone and if a team fails to capitalize for 7 there, it could leave the door open considering the potential of both offenses. With that being said, I have the Chiefs winning 34-27 on a last minute defensive stop.