Three games remain. Four teams, with two in each conference. The remaining two in the AFC are the division winners in the North Cincinnati Bengals and the AFC West division winning and conference leading Kansas City Chiefs. Both teams have potent offenses, star quarterbacks, solid defenses, and intelligent coaches. Time to determine who will advance to the Super Bowl.
#3 Cincinnati Bengals v. #1 Kansas City Chiefs
This rivalry is the NFL’s new version of Tom Brady v. Peyton Manning. Both quarterbacks will do everything in their power to win and reach the Super Bowl. A serious headline before the conference championship are the injuries (some of them serious) both starting passers suffered. While Patrick Mahomes II has a high ankle sprain, many forgot Joe Burrow almost suffered a serious lower leg injury late in the third quarter of last Sunday’s decisive win in Buffalo.
Keeping in mind both quarterbacks might be playing less than 100%, the remaining 52 players become the focus. Both Kansas City and Cincinnati have excellent runningbacks who keep opposing defenses on edge and both offensive lines (even with injuries) get strong push-offs and clean blocks for the running game to succeed.
The Bengals do have the better overall defense even if Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones is the best player to clog the line of scrimmage and generate a lot of pressure. Cincinnati’s secondary doesn’t have to deal with Tyreek Hill in a conference finals game. This creates better one-on-one opportunities while quarterback Patrick Mahomes II doesn’t have the usual mobility.
Prediction: Bengals win conference and advance to the Super Bowl 34-28
AFC 2023 playoff picks record: 4-1