As much as I hate to admit this, I think the NFL has struck gold this year with the final four teams. Top to bottom, I believe these are the four best rosters in the league.
Here are my picks for today’s NFL conference title games. Lines brought to you by DraftKings Sportsbook.
NFC championship game
San Francisco 49ers (15-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (15-3), 3:00 p.m. EST, FOX
These two teams might actually have the best rosters in the league. There’s still a lot to be said about Brock Purdy and how he has been performing so well in this offense. If I’m honest, he looks better in this offense than Trey Lance did. They play the game differently, but you can’t ignore how the offense has been more dynamic since Purdy has taken over. I get that the trade for Christian McCaffrey was probably the biggest factor behind the offense improving, but most people around the NFL have been impressed with how Purdy has grown into a starting quarterback so quickly.
The Eagles have looked like a team on a mission all season, and now there are just two more games to win, and they are there. Aside from when Jalen Hurts was out with an injury, the Eagles have looked almost invincible. The trade for A.J. Brown might be the trade of the year, and overall the talent on this roster is tough to match.
Everything in me wants to take the 49ers and see this magic, storybook ending for a franchise I’ve grown to love. But it’s just hard for me to pick Purdy over Hurts. I’m going with the Eagles winning this one at home, while covering the spread.
AFC championship game
Cincinnati Bengals (14-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (15-3), 6:30 p.m. EST, CBS
Who Dey? The Bengals players and fanbase made it clear they felt slighted in the league’s handling of the playoff seeding after their Week 17 matchup against the Buffalo Bills was suspended. This past Sunday, they showed the league exactly why they felt that way. After dismantling the Bills in Orchard Park, NY, they now head to Arrowhead Stadium for a rematch of last year’s AFC championship game.
Joe Burrow and the Bengals have had the Chiefs’ number over the last two seasons. Patrick Mahomes will have a chance to redeem overtime mistakes from last season that prevented the Chiefs from making another trip to the Super Bowl. This season has been different for Mahomes. He has improved in every metric, aside from the number of big plays down the field — which is scary, considering he appeared to be so much better than everyone else over the last few years.
I think this game comes down to which defense can learn and make adjustments the quickest. Which team can take a knockout punch and keep swinging? Just because of experience, I’m going to say the Chiefs will come out on top here. The Bengals are a tough team to beat, but Mahomes is playing at a level that will likely win him league MVP. The Chiefs win and cover at home for another trip to the big game.