Collapse in Kansas City? The end of an era in San Francisco? These are the conclusions after the Championship Games of the AFC and NFC
The NFL wrapped up its penultimate weekend of competitive football with the Conference Finalsin which there were surprises again with the visitors as favorites.
In the first game, the Cincinnati Bengals bounced back from trailing 21-3 in the second quarter to beat the favorites in overtime Kansas City Chiefs and advance to superbowl for the third time in its history.
In the afternoon, the San Francisco 49ers they came as underprivileged Los Angeles Ramsdespite their six-game winning streak in the series, but in the end they failed to maintain their lead and ended up suffering a painful loss that sends them home and to the rams allows them to stay in their stadium to receive the superbowl.
These are the conclusions of the NFL Conference Finals:
GAME FOR THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP
What you should know: San Francisco just couldn’t hold on to their lead in the fourth quarter, the defense dropped a game-winning interception and they gave Matthew Stafford and the Rams extra life, paying a heavy price for it. The 49ers had one last chance to come back with 1:46 left and timeouts at their disposal, but Jimmy Garoppolo was simply ineffective on the ball, succumbed to the pressure and ended up throwing an interception that could doom his future with the franchise.
Ciro Procuna responds regarding the possibility that the QB leaves San Francisco.
Was this it for Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco? I don’t think the quarterback is the only one to blame for this loss, after all, Garoppolo put the Niners in position to win, but neither can the defense be blamed for not holding the lead in the final minutes. The problem for Garoppolo is that he had the ball in his hands on the last drive and missed, throwing an incredible interception that ended the 49ers’ hopes and that is the image that many will remember of him in the coming months. But honestly, did Trey Lance show enough for San Francisco to put its fate in his hands? Perhaps the lack of certainty at the position will end up being the factor for us to see him back in the bay in 2022.
What you should know: Matthew Stafford put the Rams back in position to win and Matt Gay answered again with a field goal under pressure to end up winning, but Los Angeles can not rest easy, they have many problems to solve heading into a Super Bowl against a rival as explosive as the Bengals. The brightest spot, without a doubt, is Stafford’s connection to wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr., which guarantees, in theory, that we could see an air show on Feb. 13.
The team led by Sean McVay will seek to take over Vince Lombardi on February 13, when they face Cincinnati at home.
Do they deserve the Super Bowl favorites tag? Beyond home court, there’s one factor that could end up tipping the scales in the Rams’ favor: quarterback pressure. Although Aaron Donald and Von Miller failed to bring down Jimmy Garoppolo, they will face a quarterback who has been sacked 12 times in three playoff games. Cincinnati must make many adjustments to the offensive line to avoid constant attacks from Los Angeles pass-rushers or they could pay a heavy price if they fail to protect Burrow.
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
What you should know: Cincinnati is back in the Super Bowl after 33 years and they did it in a big way. The Bengals rallied from an 18-point deficit to eliminate favorite Kansas City in overtime thanks to a masterful performance from quarterback Joe Burrow. Before Burrow the Bengals had never won a playoff game on the road, now they not only have two wins on the road in the postseason, but they eliminated in consecutive weeks the No. 1 seed (Tennessee Titans) and No. 2 (Chiefs ) without leaving any doubt.
Our expert’s analysis after Cincinnati beat Kansas City in a tight match to define the AFC champion.
Is it unfair that they are not considered favorites in the Super Bowl? The home team usually receives a three-point cushion, and although administratively Cincinnati is local, the game is played at the Rams’ stadium, so the difference is minimal. But, after what we’ve seen from Cincy in the last two weeks, does it really matter if they’re favorites or not? The Bengals are comfortable playing the underdog role and after spoiling the party for Tennessee and Kansas City, respectively, their main motivation now most likely is to become the first team in history to win the Super Bowl at the stadium. of his rival.
What you should know: There’s no other way to put it, the Chiefs collapsed. Kansas City had an 18-point lead and blew it to lose at home and forget about its third consecutive visit to the Super Bowl. It’s the first time in quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ career that the Chiefs have lost a game in which they led by more than 15 points.
Kansas City’s meltdown began late in the second quarter, when they ran 70 yards in just over 1 minute, but facing second-and-goal from the Bengals 1-yard line with 5 seconds left they refused to attempt a field goal. that it was practically safe at that distance. Instead, Mahomes threw a pass to Tyreek Hill, who was stopped by Eli Apple, for the Chiefs to walk away empty-handed. Those 3 points would have made the difference at the end of the match.
Is the magic of Patrick Mahomes over? No, Mahomes is still one of the best talents in the NFL, but he also has to understand that he doesn’t have to be the hero on every play. He forced passes that ended in interceptions, missed other passes to unmarked players for holding the ball too long, fumbled a fumble at the end of regulation that was miraculously recovered by an offensive lineman to give Kansas City a chance to tie it.