Must Watch AFC and NFC Championship Games


Jack Butts, Sports Editor

This past weekend was an eventful and very action-packed weekend of NFL games. On Saturday the Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals played the AFC semi-final game. Then following that close matchup, the Packers and the 49ers played in the NFC semi-final. On Sunday Tom Brady and the Buccaneers faced off against the Los Angeles Rams and all four of these games came down to the kicker.

The Titans-Bengals game was back and forth the whole game. The Titans have had a tough season filled with injuries and many players out due to COVID protocol but have arguably the best running back in the league, Derrick Henry. The Bengals on the other hand have a very young offensive core but have one of the best wide receiver cores in the league with quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. The game was tied until the final moments in the fourth quarter when Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw a late-game interception on his own 40-yard line which gave the Bengals a chance to win, and they took advantage of this and made a field goal as time expired.

The following game on Saturday was the Packers vs. the 49ers and was basically a game of the kickers. Neither team could get a powerful offensive game plan due to the weather. During the start of the game, it was three degrees with 10mph winds. This caused neither team to be able to get a passing advantage and both teams struggled. At the start of the second half, it began snowing adding more difficulties. In the fourth quarter 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo led his team to score ten points and make a final effort down the field and kicker Robbie Gould to kick a 45-yard game winner field goal.

The next two games on Sunday both had major comebacks in the second half. The first game was the great Tom Brady and the Bucs versus the elite defense of the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC semi-finals. The Rams had a demanding lead throughout the whole first half and at halftime the score was 20-3. But you can never count out Tom Brady when it comes to the playoffs. Brady led his team to a touchdown and field goal with less than three minutes to play in the third quarter, but the Rams were not going to back down; they scored a touchdown of their own in the third quarter to keep the lead at 27-13. Then came clutch Brady who led his team to score two touchdowns to tie the game back with 45 seconds left. In these 45 seconds Matthew Stafford led his team down the field and their kicker made a 30-yard field goal to win the game as time expired.

After this crazy game was the matchup between AFC division rivals and two of the best young NFL quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs against Josh Allen and the Bills. The game was back and forth constantly with a defense and offensive chess game. At the half the score was tied and viewers knew this was going to be a great game. At the end of the third quarter the Chiefs had a two-point lead, and the Bills did not want to be disappointed again. The fourth quarter was an offensive show down and the Bills were able to make a comeback and score 15 points compared to the Chiefs 13. The craziest part of the game was the final three minutes where Allen lead his team to score a touchdown with 13 seconds left and the Bills thought they were going to win, but Mahomes had other plans. Mahomes lead his team down the in 13 seconds with two plays thanks to wide receiver Tyreek Hill. With four seconds left the Chiefs had a 49-yard field goal opportunity to send the game to overtime, and they made it. The Chiefs won the game in overtime with their first drive with a pass connection from Mahomes to tight-end Travis Kelce. Many fans are calling to a rule change to the NFL overtime rules where first touchdown wins since the winning percentage of the team that gets the ball first is over 60% and doesn’t seem fair to many.

The division championship will take place Sunday, Jan. 30, and both games will be a must-watch. The AFC championship will be played first against the Bengals and the Chiefs and will be played in Kansas City. Following will be the NFC championship in Los Angeles between the Rams and 49ers and will be a defensive matchup. The winner of both games will advance to the Super Bowl on Feb. 6.