And just like that, the final four are set.
The AFC and NFC Championships kick off this weekend with three predicted faces taking the field and one wild card emerging out of Music City.
Here are the official Conference Championship previews from HOF Experiences.
AFC Championship — Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tennessee Titans
Where: Arrowhead Stadium
When: January 19 — 3:05 p.m. ET
Kansas City Chiefs
The AFC looked to be turned fully on its head when the Ravens lost to the Titans on Saturday and Kansas City fell 24-0 early against the Houston Texans.
But unlike Baltimore, the Chiefs were able to recover from a slow start and put together one of the greatest offensive performances in playoff history. After trailing by three scores, Kansas City's offense scored on its next seven (7!) drives to amass a seemingly impossible blowout win.
Patrick Mahomes did it all in the comeback win, throwing for 321 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Chiefs back from the early deficit.
The win earned the Chiefs another game in front of the Arrowhead crowd and second shot at the Super Bowl after coming up short in the AFC Championship last season.
The unlikely Titans enter the AFC Championship following two straight wins over the AFC's best from the past and present. Derrick Henry's 182-yard performance in New England led Tennessee to a stunning 14-13 victory against the defending Super Bowl champions and a 195-yard game in Baltimore helped the Titans throttle Baltimore out of the playoffs.
While Henry has been the national revelation this postseason, even though he claimed the regular season rushing title, the Titans defense has been just as instrumental to their success. After holding Tom Brady and the Patriots to 13 points two weeks ago, Tennessee's defense became the first in over three months to answer the riddle of Lamar Jackson. The Titans picked off Jackson twice and held the offensive threat to only 12 points at home.
Matchup to Watch
This matchup is simple and could be what decides the game. Not only does Derrick Henry being successful on the ground help propel the Titans offense, but it also keeps Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense off the field.
The Chiefs had one of the worst rushing defenses in the league over the regular season, giving up an average of 126.2 yards per game on the ground — ranked seventh worst in the NFL.
NFC Championship — San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers
Where: Levi's Stadium
When: January 19 — 6:40 p.m. ET
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers simply handled their business in their 27-10 Divisional Round win against the Minnesota Vikings.
San Francisco's first playoff win in six years played out like most of their regular season victories, with the defense suffocating their opponent while the offense trusted the running game to get the job done.
Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert took the pressure off Jimmy Garoppolo in his first career playoff start, as the duo rushed for 163 yards in the win with Coleman adding two touchdowns. Garoppolo only threw the ball 19 times, but it was more than enough for the 49ers offense to cement its cushion.
The best thing San Francisco's offense did was keep Kirk Cousins and the Vikings off the field. The 49ers amassed 38:27 of possession, nearly doubling the 21-minute total for Minnesota.
With the limited time on the field, the Vikings offense couldn’t create anything against San Francisco's stout defense, creating only 193 yards of offense.
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers is headed home to California to face off against his childhood team, and the team that opted against him in the 2005 NFL Draft, for a shot at the 2020 Super Bowl.
Talk about a good story.
The Packers survived a late push from the Seattle Seahawks to escape their Divisional Round matchup with a 28-23 win on Sunday night. Rodgers threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns on only 16 completions, while Aaron Jones kept the clock rolling with 21 carries on the night.
Green Bay's defense also did its job in containing Russell Wilson (in the best way that a team can). The Packers stifled Seattle's duel-threat early, giving him a bigger mountain to climb when he started to get hot in the second half.
Matchup to Watch
Jimmy Garoppolo was able to shed his “game manager” moniker with an electric performance against the Packers two months ago. The 49ers quarterback threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns on just 14 completions to lead San Francisco to a dominant 37-8 win over Green Bay.
Now he must do it again.
While Green Bay’s defense didn’t show up in the first meeting, they have shown signs of improvement in the past weeks. Holding Russell Wilson in the first half of their Divisional Round matchup gives reason to believe that the Packers are more prepared for Garoppolo in this go around.
And with Green Bay’s stout defensive front, the ball may just end up in Garoppolo’s hands with the game, and a shot at the 2020 Super Bowl, on the line.
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