The Chiefs are in the AFC championship game for the fifth consecutive year after defeating the Jaguars 27-20 in the divisional round.
There’s some concern ahead of kickoff after Patrick Mahomes suffered a high-ankle sprain in the win and had to undergo an MRI.
The Bengals have embraced their own us against the world mentality and dominated Buffalo 27-10 in the divisional round and are one win away from its second consecutive trip to the Super Bowl.
San Francisco is appearing in the NFC championship game for the third time in the last four seasons after defeating the Cowboys 19-12.
The Niners have now won 12 consecutive games, and head to Philadelphia confident.
For the Eagles, they’ll look to advance to their second Super Bowl in the past five seasons after a 38-7 win over the Giants at Lincoln Financial Field.
With all four teams starting preparation, here’s one critical reason why each team can advance to Glendale, Arizona for the Super Bowl.
Philadelphia Eagles' -- Pass Rush
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Pressure burst pipes and the Eagles have the pass rush that can finally hang a loss on the rookie quarterback for San Francisco.
In 2022, the Eagles registered 70 sacks.
Four players (Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, Javon Hargrave, and Brandon Graham) hit the 10-sack mark and it was the first time in NFL history a team has accomplished that feat.
Reddick, who finished second in the league with 16.5 sacks had 1.5 sacks in the Eagles’ win over the Giants.
Brock Purdy has yet to be harassed during an NFL, but that’s all going to change.
San Francisco 49ers -- Suffocating front seven
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The Niners’ secondary is a weakness, but that front seven makes everything seem better on a weekly basis.
To stop Jaleen Hurts the Niners will need o make him uncomfortable and that’ll come from intense pressure up front.
All-Pro edge-rusher Nick Bosa led the league in sacks and is a leading contender for Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, and Azeez Al-Shaair form the NFL’s top trio of linebackers and offer San Francisco the best shot at the upset.
Kansas City Chiefs'-- Travis Kelce
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There are matchup nightmares, and then there’s the younger brother of Eagles All-Pro center Jason Kelce.
Even without Tyreek Hill, Kansas City ranked first in the NFL in both total offense and scoring offense in 2022.
All-Pro quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the league in passing yards and touchdown passes and is the favorite to win the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Even with Mahomes, this only works because of veteran tight end Travis Kelce.
In Saturday’s win over the Jaguars, Kelce hauled in 14 catches for 98 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The 14 receptions broke the record for catches in a playoff game by a tight end—set by Kelce in the 2021 AFC Championship Game.
Kelce’s 110 receptions ranked third in the league, his 1,338 receiving yards were eighth in the league and his 12 touchdowns were second in the league and tops among tight ends.
Cincinnati Bengals' -- Weapons of mass potential
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Joe Burrow gets all the name recognition, but the Bengals are a shock-and-awe unit offensively.
The Bengals are one win away from representing the AFC in the Super Bowl for the second straight year and have beaten Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in their last three meetings (including last year’s AFC Championship Game).
Their biggest strength centers around all the weapons around quarterback Joe Burrow. Tee Higgins has eclipsed 1,000 yards each of the last two years and would be the No. 1 receiver for a lot of NFL teams.
Tyler Boyd can be a matchup nightmare in the slot, while tight end Hayden Hurst caught five passes for 59 yards and a score against Buffalo. Running back Joe Mixon can do it all as a dual-threat, and Chase is a top-three wide receiver.