Championship Sunday is upon us. The NFL’s first 18-week season has reached its penultimate round, and we’re down to four teams in the road to Super Bowl LVI. The upstart Bengals, who knocked off the AFC’s No. 1-seeded Titans, will visit the reigning conference champion Chiefs in Kansas City. And the Rams, chock-full of acquired superstars and fresh off an upset of the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, will host their greatest foe of recent years: the rival 49ers.
With four squads left, we’re also down to four possible matchups for Super Bowl Sunday. Here’s how we’d rank them:
4. Bengals vs. 49ers
This isn’t a bad matchup per se. No doubt it’d be fun to watch Joe Burrow try to weather the 49ers’ ferocious defensive front and introduce Ja’Marr Chase to the world stage. You’ve also got the historical components — the Bengals seeking their first Lombardi Trophy, and Kyle Shanahan doing the same. But this pairing lacks one of the two best, most explosive teams on the menu, so it just doesn’t carry quite as much juice as the top three.
3. Chiefs vs. 49ers
This one’s rich just for the drama. Besides being a rematch of Super Bowl LIV, which was somehow just two seasons ago, it could force an impossible quarterback dilemma upon San Francisco, considering Jimmy Garoppolo — the guy the 49ers paid heavily to replace — would be making his second Super Bowl start in three years. (In reality, it’d ultimately probably just delay the Trey Lance era by a half-season or so.) Would the 49ers pass rush be licking its chops after seeing what the Bucs did to the Chiefs last year? Does Shanahan have the tools to avenge his previous Super Bowl loss to Andy Reid? Either way, the stakes would be high, with San Francisco looking to log its sixth all-time Super Bowl win to match the record-holding Patriots and Steelers, and the Chiefs looking to confirm a potential dynasty with their second win in…