After the final two Divisional Round games, the conference championship games are set, as the NFL gets closer to Super Bowl 58. Is there a surprising team who is set to play next weekend? In the NFC, the Detroit Lions travel to San Francisco to face the No. 1 49ers, and the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Baltimore to face off against the No. 1 seeded Ravens.
Both games feature the No. 3 seed vs. the No. 1 seed. So, how did we get here? Well, the Detroit Lions had to win two games to get to this point, both coming at home. They took down the surging LA Rams in the well-covered Matthew Stafford/Jared Goff faceoff. And then in the Divisional Round, the Lions faced Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Detroit's home-field advantage in both games surely put them over the edge. The Lions need virtually all 60 minutes in both games to eek out victories. Lions QB Jared Goff has been insanely efficient this postseason, completing 74.3% of his passes for 564 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions.
His 111.5 passer rating is the best of his playoff career, which has now spanned seven games. Goff's teams are 4-3 in the postseason. I think Goff having a ton of postseason experience is really playing a huge part in the upstart Lions making this run. I am slightly concerned about them in the next round, though, as both of their games were at home, but were very close.
Traveling to San Fran to face that defense in a hostile environment is going to be a massive test, and I just do not think the Lions are going to have enough to get it done against the 49ers, who also played a close game in the Divisional Round versus the Green Bay Packers. A missed field goal by Packers kicker Anders Carlson left the door open for the 49ers to take the lead, and a late interception ended it for the Packers.
The AFC has seen another No. 3 seed make a run to the conference championship game. The Kansas City Chiefs took care of the Miami Dolphins in the Divisional Round, and yet again got the best of the Buffalo Bills. They edged out a three-point win, as Bills kicker Tyler Bass missed a game-tying field goal for the Bills, who are now facing way more questions than answers.
A new face in the conference championship game, at least in recent years, is the Ravens, who held the Houston Texans' offense without a touchdown in their Divisional Round victory. Lamar Jackson was Lamar-velous in the win, and the Ravens just don't seem like a team that is going to lose anymore games. The defense was dominant and the offense outgained the Texans just with their rushing yards.
I think the clear Super Bowl 58 matchup is going to be the 49ers vs. Ravens. A potential Lions-Chiefs matchup would be a rematch of Week 1 of this season. The 49ers facing off against the Chiefs would be a rematch of the Super Bowl back in the 2019 NFL Season.
What is your prediction for this weekend's games?