Celebrations and Crushing Defeats: A Breakdown of the AFC and NFC Championship games


Joe Glorioso | All-Pro Reels

All-Pro Reels | Wikimedia Commons

Victoria Lisi, Sports Editor

The greatly anticipated AFC and NFC conference championship games arrived, with the four teams ready to battle for a place in the Super Bowl game in two weeks.

The Philadelphia Eagles continued their dominance in the NFC this week with a 31-7 rout of the San Francisco 49ers.

The Eagles started strong on their first drive, converting on a fourth down in San Francisco territory. The conversion set the stage for Eagles’ running back Miles Sanders to complete a touchdown run, allowing the Eagles to build a 7-0 lead. Sanders finished the game with 11 carries for 42 yards and two rushing touchdowns, after which, the Eagles defense took over.

The 49ers suffered two blows as the Eagles knocked out both starting quarterback Brock Purdy and his backup Josh Johnson with injuries. In part to these injuries, the 49ers’ offense became completely one dimensional and only managed 164 total yards in the game.

On the contrary, the Eagles’ offense was led by the rushing attack. The offense rushed for 148 yards and averaged 3.4 yards per carry.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts completed 15 of 25 passes for 121 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Hurts also rushed for 39 yards.

Different year, different result. In a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game, the Kansas City Chiefs avenged their loss and won this year’s matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 29 of 43 passes for 326 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Despite the injured ankle he suffered in last week’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mahomes was able to lead the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl.

Mahomes led the team on another miraculous fourth quarter drive, breaking free on a run to place his team into the field goal range. Mahomes broke free on a third downplay and ran down to the Bengals 42-yard line. After the 15-yard penalty, Chiefs’ kicker Harrison Buckner nailed a 45-yard field goal, giving the Chiefs the 23-20 win.

Chiefs’ wide receiver Marquez Valdez-Scantling led the Chiefs with six receptions for 116 yards with one touchdown.

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow played well, and had a chance to pull the game out with two minutes left. However, Burrow was stifled by the Chiefs defense, which allowed the Chiefs to secure a three-point lead.

Burrow completed 26 of 41 passes for 270 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

The Kansas City Chiefs will now play the Philadelphia Eagles in two weeks in the Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona.

While the Super Bowl remains a high stakes game, the Eagles could potentially have an advantage early on due to their offensive balance – running and passing the football with their quarterback Jalen Hurts. Both teams have the potential to win the title, so the Super Bowl will be a question of which team is able to execute their game plan.

Only 14 days stand between the Eagles and the Chiefs for the title.