Given what transpired this past weekend, don’t be surprised to see “I survived divisional round weekend” shirts made for the four remaining teams in the NFL playoffs. In each of the first three games, the road team converted a game-winning field goal as time expired. Then the fourth game needed overtime to be decided, as Patrick Mahomes connected with Travis Kelce on the opening drive of the extra period to lift Kansas City to a wild win over Buffalo.
A trio of road survivors — the Bengals, 49ers and Los Angeles Rams — join the Chiefs in the conference championship round, with each team trying to carve out its own legacy with a win next weekend. Cincinnati is two wins away from the franchise’s first Super Bowl win. San Francisco is trying to win a sixth Lombardi Trophy, which has eluded the club for 27 years. And Los Angeles is looking to avenge its 13-3 loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. As for Kansas City, Andy Reid and company are vying to become just the third team to appear in three straight Super Bowls.
Here is a breakdown of both championship matchups, along with predictions for each contest.
AFC Championship Game
Bengals at Chiefs
When: Sunday, 3 p.m. ET
TV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)
Line: Chiefs -7, O/U 53.5
Cincinnati overcame a 14-0 deficit to defeat the visiting Chiefs 34-31 in Week 17. In a foreshadowing of their divisional round win over the Titans, rookie kicker Evan McPherson lifted the Bengals to victory on a 20-yard field goal as time expired.
Joe Burrow outdueled Mahomes by throwing for 446 yards and four touchdowns on 30 of 39 passing. He had a field day getting the ball to rookie phenom Ja’Marr Chase, who tallied 266 yards and three touchdowns on 11 receptions. Burrow was sacked four times by the Chiefs, who will surely look to apply more pressure on the signal-caller after the Titans sacked him nine times this past…