Staff predictions for Seahawks-less NFL Conference Championship games
By Lee Vowell
The NFL season is coming to a close. There are just three games left with two of them being on Sunday in the conference championship contests. All four teams left are really good, though, and the Seahawks still seem a ways from catching up to any of them.
While the Seahawks won’t playing on Sunday, this should be a really fun weekend for football. Both the 49ers and Eagles have terrific defenses, while San Francisco has a special story going with third-string quarterback, and last pick in the 2022 NFL draft, Brock Purdy. Kansas City versus Cincinnati features two great offenses.
And no matter who makes it to the Super Bowl, we will have tons of storylines. It could be Chiefs coach Andy Reid against his former team, the Eagles. If the 49ers and Bengals play, it will mark the fourth time ever Cincinnati made it to the Super Bowl but the third time they will have faced the 49ers. Weird. Here’s what our staff thinks will happen on Sunday.
Staff predictions for every NFL conference championship game, sadly without the Seahawks
Lee Vowell: 10-0
Matt Holm: 9-1
Michael Thompson: 7-3
Max Downard: 7-3
Jake Luppino: 6-4
Andrew Bailie: 6-4
Karley Sibert: 6-4
Todd Vandenberg: 6-4
49ers at Eagles, 12 pm PT on Sunday
This is a tough game to choose. The 49ers haven’t lost in what feels like 30 years and the Eagles have struggled a bit more over the last third of the season. Much of Philadelphia’s issues can likely be attributed to quarterback Jalen Hurts missing time, though. Hurts returned last week and Philly pounded the Giants in the divisional round.
Todd Vandenberg: 49ers 19 Eagles 9
Jake Luppino: 49ers 27 Eagles 23
Andrew Bailie: 49ers 22 Eagles 19
Michael Thompson: 49ers 24 Eagles 21 in overtime
Max Downard: Eagles 24 49ers 21
Karley Sibert: Eagles 35 39ers 31
Matt Holm: 49ers 20 Eagles 17
Lee Vowell: 49ers 21 Eagles 20
Bengals at Chiefs, 3:30 pm PT on Sunday
The Bengals are an interesting team because they are still young at important spots and beginning to play with more swagger every week. Cincinnati should also be good for a number of seasons, just like the Bills and Chiefs. But Patrick Mahomes is a bit banged up for the Chiefs and that could be enough to push Cincinnati over the top in this game.
Todd Vandenberg: Bengals 37 Chiefs 30
Jake Luppino: Bengals 31 Chiefs 27
Andrew Bailie: Bengals 27 Chiefs 20
Michael Thompson: Bengals 31 Chiefs 23
Max Downard: Bengals 28 Chiefs 24
Karley Sibert: Bengals 30 Chiefs 27
Matt Holm: Chiefs 30 Bengals 27
Lee Vowell: Bengals 28 Chiefs 24