The NFL season is officially down to its final four teams and we’re going to see some very familiar faces.
For the second year in a row, the 49ers, Chiefs and Bengals are all in the conference title round. The only newcomer this year is the Philadelphia Eagles, playing in the NFC Championship for the first time since 2017.
The Eagles will host a 49ers team that eliminated the Cowboys on Sunday, continuing Dallas’ 27-year drought without an appearance in the conference title game.
This Eagles-49ers game will give us a clash of two of the most successful NFC teams of the 21st century. Including this year, the Eagles have now reached seven NFC title games, which is the most of any NFC team since 2000. The 49ers are tied for second with six. Although they have both made several appearances in the NFC tileset over the past two decades, they have never faced each other.
In the AFC, we will have a rare rematch. The Bengals-Chiefs game will mark only the third time in the past 35 years that the AFC Championship has been a rematch. The last time that happened was in 2011-12 (Ravens-Patriots), and before that it hadn’t happened since 1986-87 (Browns-Broncos).
The AFC Championship is also a rematch of a game played in Week 13, which was won by the Bengals, 27-24. Cincinnati has faced the Chiefs three times since Jan. 1, 2022, and the Bengals have won all three games.
With that in mind, here’s an overview of the entire playoff schedule and bracket.
Super Wild Card Weekend
Saturday January 14
- (2) 49ers 41-23 over (7) Seahawks. The 49ers got a brief scare from the Seahawks one day when Seattle took a 17-16 halftime lead. But in the second half, San Francisco opened the game with a dominating performance. Brock Purdy threw for 332 yards while also becoming the first rookie in NFL history to total four touchdowns in a playoff game. (Purdy finished with three passing touchdowns and one rushing score).
- (4) 31-30 Jaguars on (5) loaders. The Jaguars won that game with one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history. The Jags fell behind, 27-0, early in the game largely due to four interceptions from Trevor Lawrence, but they bounced back to claim the stunning victory, thanks in large part to Lawrence, who threw four assists from hit.
Sunday January 15
- (2) Bills 34-31 on (7) Dolphins. The Dolphins entered this game as the biggest underdog in wild-round (+14) history and despite those odds, they still managed to scare the Bills. In the end, the Bills managed to avoid an upset thanks to Josh Allen (352 passing yards, three touchdowns) and a defense that offered several big plays, including two turnovers, four sacks and a fourth save that froze the game with only 2:30 to play.
- (6) Giants 31-24 against (3) Vikings. New York managed to upset Minnesota with a historic performance from Daniel Jones, who became the FIRST QB in NFL playoff history to throw at least 300 and two touchdowns while adding at least 70 rushing yards . Not only did Jones throw for 301 yards, but he was also the game’s leading rusher with 78 yards on 17 carries. The win over Minnesota marked the Giants’ first playoff win since beating the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012.
- (3) Bengals 24-17 vs. (6) Ravens. The Ravens had Cincinnati on the ropes for most of this game, but the Bengals were able to escape with a victory thanks to their defense, which made one of the biggest plays in the history of the playoffs of the NFL. With the Ravens at the Cincinnati yard line, Tyler Huntley fumbled and Sam Hubbard returned that 98-yard fumble for what ended up being the game-winning touchdown.
Monday January 16
- (5) Cowboys 31-14 against (4) Buccaneers. The Cowboys dominated that game from start to finish, and a big reason that happened was because of Dak Prescott, who had a historic big night. The Cowboys QB set a franchise record with five total touchdowns (four assists, one rush) while throwing for 305 yards. The only Cowboys player who struggled in that game was kicker Brett Maher, who missed an NFL record four extra runs. The Cowboys will now have to decide if they want to keep him for Sunday’s game in San Francisco.
Saturday January 21
- (1) Chiefs 27-20 over (4) Jaguars. After leaving the game in the second quarter with a serious ankle injury, Patrick Mahomes returned in the second half to lead the Chiefs to victory. Playing on one foot didn’t seem to slow him down as he completed 10 of 15 passes for 107 yards after suffering the injury. The Chiefs defense also pulled off two key turnovers in the fourth quarter to help propel Kansas City to its fifth straight AFC title game.
- (1) Eagles 38-7 against (6) Giants. The Eagles took a 28-0 halftime lead and then took the win from there. The Eagles pulled off the dominating victory with a defense that racked up five sacks and a rushing offense that totaled 268 rushing yards. Jalen Hurts also had a big night, and more importantly, his shoulder looked perfectly healthy as he tallied three touchdowns (two passing and one rushing).
Sunday January 22
- (3) Bengals 27-10 over (2) Bills. The Bengals offense put up big numbers, but it was the defense that stole the show in this game. The Bengals limited the Bills to just 10 points, which was Buffalo’s lowest total of the season. Cincinnati’s offense also culminated in a big game that included 242 yards and two touchdowns from Joe Burrow as well as 105 rushing yards from Joe Mixon.
- (2) 49ers 19-12 more (5) Cowboys. The 49ers earned their second straight trip to the NFC Championship by winning a defensive battle with the Cowboys. The 49ers knocked out Dak Prescott twice and got six points on those turnovers, and that turned out to be the difference in the game. Robbie Gould proved to be a huge weapon for the 49ers, scoring 13 of their 19 points with four field goals and an extra point.
- (2) 49ers at (1) Eagles, 3 p.m. ET (Fox, broadcast on fuboTV). The NFC’s top two seeds will meet in Philadelphia in what should be a showdown of epic proportions. The Eagles will come in with the NFL’s third-highest offense of the 2022 season and the 49ers will look to slow it down with a defense that has given up the fewest points in the NFL.
- (3) Bengals vs. (1) Chiefs 6:30 p.m. ET (CBS, broadcast on Paramount+). The Chiefs will have another shot at defeating a Bengals team they just couldn’t beat. Since January 2022, the Chiefs have gone 0-3 against the Bengals, including a loss in last year’s AFC title game. This game will mark the first AFC Championship rematch since the Ravens-Patriots in 2011 and 2012.
Super Bowl LVII
AFC Champion vs. NFC Champion at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, 6:30 p.m. ET (Fox, stream on fuboTV)