While the East Coast digs out of a brutal winter storm, the National Football League will host their two championship games in ideal conditions. At Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, the temperature at kickoff will be 43 degrees under partly cloudy skies and no significant wind for the Cincinnati Bengals battle with the Chiefs. At SoFi Stadium, where the Los Angeles Rams host the San Francisco 49ers, the afternoon temperature will be 67 degrees with no other conditions to hamper the play on the field.
Both championship games today are rematches from earlier regular season meetings. The Bengals got one of their franchise’s biggest wins ever when they downed the visiting Chiefs in Week 17 to clinch the AFC North Division title. Today, Kansas City is hosting their fourth straight AFC Championship Game.
Three years ago, in Patrick Mahomes’ first year as a starter and second professional season, the brilliant Chiefs signal caller battled veteran Tom Brady pass for pass in a titanic battle that ended with the visiting New England Patriots earning an overtime victory. In the past two years, the Chiefs have won the AFC title with Championship Game victories over the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills.
The Chiefs are the first team in NFL history to host four consecutive conference championship games.
The Rams and 49ers have met more often than a popular prison inmate gets conjugal visits. Playing out of the same division since 1950, these two longtime rivals have met at least twice a year for the past 72 seasons, but before today’s game, only once in their histories have these two teams met in the postseason. In the 1989 playoffs, the 49ers beat the Rams 30-3 in the NFC Championship Game before downing the Denver Broncos, 55-10, in Super Bowl XXIV.
San Francisco beat the Rams in both their regular season matchups this season to extend their win streak against their NFC West rivals to six games. The 49ers have been point spread underdogs in five of their most recent six wins over the Rams, as they are today in this Championship Game tilt.
If the 49ers always win … why are the Rams consistently favored?
The Rams have come into recent games against the 49ers with seemingly more talent, just as they are today when the two teams will determine who wins the NFC and represents their conference in Super Bowl LVI. No team had played a Super Bowl in their home stadium until the Tampa Bay Buccaneers met the Kansas City Chiefs last year at Raymond James Stadium. Now, the Rams are looking to become the second consecutive team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. The game in two weeks is scheduled for SoFi Stadium.
Can the 49ers stop them?
I think so.
If they do, it will set up a Super Bowl rematch. The 49ers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs two years ago in the Super Bowl and if they win and the Chiefs win they will battle again for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
If the Bengals upset the Chiefs today, and the 49ers win at SoFi, the Bengals will be making their third franchise trip to the Super Bowl and find their opponent in all three games to be the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers notched their first and third Super Bowl victories over the Bengals to complete the 1981 and 1988 seasons.
If the favorites prevail today, then the Rams will host the Chiefs in two weeks and, as previously stated, be the second straight team to host the title game in their home stadium.
Our point spread choices for the NFL Championship Games are now posted on this site.