Championship Sunday Open Discussion

San Francisco 49ers DB Jimmie Ward
San Francisco 49ers DB Jimmie Ward
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Conference Championship - Cincinnati (12-7) visits Kansas City (14-5), then San Francisco (12-7) visits the Los Angeles Rams (14-5). Winners move on to the Super Bowl. Use this thread to discuss them both.


268 comments, Last at 31 Jan 2022, 12:04pm

2 Predictions! CIN-KC: 28-38…


CIN-KC: 28-38

SF-LAR: 28-24

Giving us a Super Bowl LIV rematch. Not my first choice, but I'm guessing it's in the cards.

6 Hill a real uphill challenge to cover. Wow.

7 I remember in mid season…

I remember in mid season that using two deep safeties stymied the Chiefs offense.  I remember early in the season that the Chiefs defense was awful.   Those days are over with regards to both of these statements.

9 Makeup calls...

...aren't gonna be happening. Long day for Burrow if multiple holding whistles are swallowed all game.

12 I almost think the Bengals…

I almost think the Bengals HAVE to score on this drive — and preferably a TD. It’s easy to imagine them punting and KC going right down the field and scoring a touchdown. Up 21-3, they can just send the dogs after Burrow. Could actually break the postseason sack record lol.


The Bills should have been halfway to the Super Bowl by now. Also, the refs’ refusal to throw obvious flags against Kansas City is just disgusting. 

26 As a neutral observer, it…

In reply to by Tutenkharnage

As a neutral observer, it sure seems like the refs are generally reluctant to throw flags in this game. Multiple plays by both teams that probably should've been flagged that weren't.

19 Chiefs wasted timeout cost…

Chiefs wasted timeout cost them a TD most likely, that timeout was used before the challenge on the first drive.  

28 I concur

Bad decision by Mahomes on the pass too.

I guess he's still technically on his rookie contract? lol oh well

41 Absolutely, I have no…

Absolutely, I have no problem with them taking a shot at a touchdown from the 1 with 5 seconds left and no timeouts. But it needed to be a throw into the end zone.

55 Some

may have been cowardly and kneeled into the half.

But good thing that wasn't what they did though (and no one was injured!)

20 Great idea CBS

Put your guys right by the speakers for the halftime entertainment so that you can not hear them

25 It looked for a minute like…

It looked for a minute like they might be turning things around - TD, two stops, long pass - but not so much now. They still need 2 unanswered stops+scores. Seems a tall order the way things have gone.

29 Melvin Ingram!

What a brilliant trade because it was so simple! I can't state it enough. 6th rounder? Who cares!

32 Ruh-roh!

Tie game after Mahomes gets intercepted by a DL on an RPO that wasn’t there and the the Bengals score on third-and-goa and make the 2PAT look easy. 

35 What on earth was that…

What on earth was that Burrow throw? Should've been picked - the nerves seem to be getting to him a bit.

36 Discussion this week

About defensive plays not made.  The non-INT and non-sack gives CIN continued possession

37 Not impressed with the…

Not impressed with the Bengals play calling, but Burrow has suddenly turned into Josh Allen to keep them alive.

44 Now do you run and kick last…

Now do you run and kick last second FG if no 9 yard run?  

EDIT:  The -17 yard sack was not the run I was talking about.

51 Prediction:  with no second…

Prediction:  with no second half TD’s KC wins toss and scores 1st possession TD

EDIT:  with 50/50 odds I predicted the toss correctly

57 After KC declined an easy FG…

After KC declined an easy FG attempt at the end of the 1st half I hoped it would come back to haunt them. Almost, but now it comes down to OT. Please not a repeat of last week 

59 OMG!!

the pick was there  jeez

64 Two points

First, Mahomes choked on the last drive of regulation, just like Brady did in 2006 against the Chargers. Taking a sack was bad enough, but turfing it was absolutely inexcusable.

Second, if the Chiefs had scored a touchdown on the first drive of overtime and won, I would have guaranteed a change to The NFL’s overtime rules.

71 goddam that was great

this is why you play the games  fabulous  and so deserved... Mahomes was horrific in second half

72 wow

So much for last week's Bills versus Chiefs. I imagine the NFC will be giving points in the Super Bowl. New faces in the big game is good for the NFL. 

73 McPherson

3 scant wins, 4-4 FG per game amazing

74 Yup. The Walrus should’ve…

Yup. The Walrus should’ve gone for that field goal to end the 1st half. Glad he didn’t!!!

Bengals to the Super Bowl!!!

109 I ll go back to that wasted…

I ll go back to that wasted timeout before the challenge.  With a timeout remaining the play book is wide open.  A subtle thing like a wasted timeout, which one of our fan contributors often talks about, may have cost KC the game.

75 Wow. Bengals did it.    Talk…

Wow. Bengals did it. 

Talk about a choke by the Chiefs, though credit to Cincinnati for getting it done.


Bengals were +15000 to win the Super Bowl before the season. 

76 Rodgers stays in GB

he doesnt want to compete against that troika (and Herbert.. and Jackson) of young QBs  Won't go to Denver

84 They were flawed like every team this year

Everyone got fooled   The "inferior" team beat them twice-- at their building.  Inferior my ass.  All these teams are close  Hell DVOA thought Buffalo, Dallas, NE and TB were the best at various points.

The experts are the ones with their heads up their ass. Play the game... Great for the sport.  And Rodgers' failure looks even worse.

141 Oh sure - I'll be curious to…

Oh sure - I'll be curious to see the PGWE and DVOA for the game but I don't think anybody's saying the Bengals didn't deserve to win this game. I certainly don't think it's taking anything away from them to say that they beat a better team today.

91 well...

I sure as hell dont think KC is the better team-- they had two games at Arrowhead to prove it...  Epic fail.. That matters. Just dont like I dont think GB is better than SF    games matter... when it mattered-- with everything on the line, CIN was way better than KC

94 Kansas City

at its best is better than every team in the league. But when they aren't at their best, they can be mediocre. Cincy seems more balanced (lows aren't as low).

Also KC abandoned their run game when things got tight. I counted 7 runs in the 2nd half and OT (not including scrambles by Mahomes). They had a lot of success with that in the 1st half, particularly with McKinnon. Not sure why they just became a dropback team in the 2nd half.

140 I'm sure there are plenty of…

In reply to by DoubleB

I'm sure there are plenty of things to point at for KC, but I'm not sure "they put the ball in Mahomes' hands too much" is really one of them

224 "Cincy seems more balanced …

In reply to by DoubleB

"Cincy seems more balanced (lows aren't as low)." They probably seem that way to you because, like most of us, you've only been watching them the last three weeks.

The Bengals got shredded by the Mike White-lead Jets. They also got butchered by the Browns 41-16. Those are some pretty low lows.

100 WOT, anyone?

In reply to by Joey-Harringto…

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again."

80 Chase vs Sewell


Also big KC investment into their OL, what do they do with UFA OBJ?

81 Remember how everyone said…

Remember how everyone said last week that Bills-Chiefs was the de facto AFC championship game?  How the Bills and Chiefs clearly looked better than everyone else?

132 Not disagreeing that the…

Not disagreeing that the Chiefs and Bills were better teams over the season than anybody left, just that some commenters were basically implying that we need not play the rest of the games.  Upsets happen all the time in 1 game elimination tournaments, and some people seemed to forget that.

137 Excellent

What an excellent point you are making !! Every team knows how the League is set up and knows which game they must win in order to be called the best team in a given year. Some accomplish that ultimate goal and some do not.

Ref: the Giants in 2007.

85 Seeing Tyreek Hill out of…

Seeing Tyreek Hill out of the playoffs and those tomahawk chopping rubes having to see the Hunt trophy handed to the opponent yet again - tres magnifique!

Now just go out there and win the Lombardi, Cincy!

86 As a neutral viewer, very…

As a neutral viewer, very thankful to have had this gamw as competitive as it was. Especially, yes Tutenage,  to proove people wrong about the premature BUF@KC  Superbowl

122 If you’re a Bengals fan …

… you have a lot to smile about today. But if you think today proves that your team is on par with the Chiefs and Bills in anything other than the “any given Sunday” sense, you’re as delusional as the average Patriots fan. Sorry, but I won’t be backed off that stance. I mean, you’re on the FO site. Check the stats. The Bengals got a lucky playoff draw, did a GREAT job hanging in there today, and had KC choke away free points at the end of the first half … and won in overtime. I give them full marks for being their own biggest believers, and I’d be pleased as punch if I were a Bengals fan. But they have a lot of work to do. Facts are facts.

Also, I’m pretty sure I didn’t call last week’s game the real AFCCG. But I’m sure the best two teams in the conference played last week. One of them went home, and neither one was the Bengals. 

130 I definitely called Bengals-Titans the undercard last week

And if you didn’t come away with the same impression, you’re either a homer or you just don’t understand football. The Titans and Bengals were terrible; the Chiefs and Bills were amazing. For the season, the Titans and Bengals were average; the Chiefs and Bills were great. I mean, come on. If you’re going to die on a particular hill, do yourself a favor and pick a defendable one :)

93 Ugh

A team the Packers beat in the SB. Imma be sick if the 49ers win it all. Ugh but then the Stafford discourse if he wins. But still ugh if corny Burrow if he wins. 

96 Stafford winning the Super…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Stafford winning the Super Bowl the year after he leaves Detroit would be fun. And, all due respect to Lions fans, also very funny.

239 Stafford to the Hall if he…

Stafford to the Hall if he wins a ring in a couple weeks and then retires the next day? No way, not enough on the resume, even considering the Lions. Stafford to the Hall if he wins a ring in a couple weeks and then keeps up this level of production for awhile? Then it might be yes - and he'll deserve it.

It'll be interesting if he ends up with exactly one Pro Bowl, exactly one Ring, and the all-time passing yards record. I'm inclined to say that would do it, because he might hold that record for awhile - no one else is really in striking distance, it'll take awhile for the hot young QBs of today to run their totals into the 80k range.

But that's probably the minimum of what he'd need to get into the Hall, unless he were to start racking up awards (and ringzzzzz) now that he's on a better, more famous team.

251 Man

We forgetting Brady and Rodgers got all the all pro votes this year? Kyler got the Pro Bowl (and DVOA) nod? Man, getting in on raw totalz. The QB with the least amount of PBs in the HOF is Bradshaw with 3. Also had an All Pro (and a couple other 2nds other years), MVP, Bert Bell year and 4 ringzz (and 2 SB MVPz). Man idk

262 Even as a Stafford defender,…

Even as a Stafford defender, I think HOF is crazy talk.  So far he's had a lesser version of Ken Anderson's career, and only the most irrational Bengals homer thinks Anderson belongs anywhere near the Hall.

121 I’m already aware the Lions…

I’m already aware the Lions have been one of the worst run franchises in North American professional sports…no new information or humiliation would be added.  I would be happy for him.  

I really wish they had acceded to Megatron’s request to trade him in 2015.  Would have been nice to see him get a ring (even if it was with the Patriots!).

145 I happened to be looking up…

I happened to be looking up something else and went down the rabbit hole of Lions seasons. In the 56 Super Bowl seasons, the Lions have been to the playoffs 12 times with ONE victory. There have been some tire fire franchises in my lifetime. The Saints in the 70s and 80s. The Bucs in 80s and 90s. Jax right now. But for sheer length of incompetence, the Lions are the worst franchise in the NFL, and I don't think it's that close.

162 The Lions were good just…

In reply to by DoubleB

The Lions were good just prior to and just into the SB era. They were arguably the team of the 50s.

the Cardinals basically don’t have a title that doesn’t have an asterisk. Their entire franchise is basically a good two year run just after WWII.

233 A while back on this site I…

A while back on this site I was blown away at how utterly mediocre the Cardinals have always been. It’s like that entire franchise exists to go 7-9 every season. Not 1-15, not 2-14, but not 14-2 with a Super Bowl either. 

154 That is both correct and…

That is both correct and unsurprising.

Also Jim Caldwell has the highest winning pct among Lions coaches in the modern era (if you set minimum at full season…only two guys from the 1930s and 40s beat him).

156 Sanders

DoubleB----and the worst part about what you are saying is this: they (the Lions) had arguably the best running back in the game. But I have always said that having a great running back doesn't guarantee a team any amount of success in the playoffs. You must have a good QB also.