This past weekend, the American Football Conference (AFC) championship was held between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Earlier in the day, the National Football Conference championship took place between the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field. 

There was high anticipation for both games, and while the AFC game lived up to the hype, the NFC game was rather disappointing. Rookie quarterback sensation Brock Purdy, who is also a finalist for Offensive Rookie of the Year, injured his right elbow early in the game. San Francisco was forced to play Josh Johnson, a 15 NFL journeyman who has bounced around the league.  Johnson struggled to find his footing as the lead quarterback as he fumbled the ball early when he took the field. In addition to Purdy’s exit, All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner also left the field in the first quarter due to an injury. The Eagles were able to take advantage of the 49ers’ injury struggles and took a commanding lead by the second quarter of the game. Jalen Hurts, the quarterback for the Eagles, and a finalist for Most Valuable Player, played decently, but it was the Eagles’ backfield that secured the win for Philadelphia. Pro-Bowl running back, Miles Sanders, and his backfield partner, Boston Scott, put up three touchdowns between the partnership. The Eagles showed the entire NFC why they were ranked number one in the division with their 31-7 victory over a strong San Francisco team. This result also marked the first loss Purdy sustained since taking over the reins on Dec. 4. While the game will be a tough pill to swallow for any 49ers fan, they can look forward to a bright future with some star talent at the helm. 

The AFC game was far more entertaining from a spectator's perspective. A majority of the match-up was a back-and-forth shootout with each team able to answer the call when needed.  With time winding down in the fourth quarter, the score was tied at 20-20. Joe Burrow, the quarterback for the Bengals, threw a costly interception that put the Chiefs back on the field with a scoring opportunity. The Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes charged his troops down the field to try and get within field goal range. Yet, with less than minutes left on the clock, the Chiefs were still 15 yards from field goal range. Things took a turn for the worst for Cincinnati when Bengals linebacker Joseph Ossai was flagged for an unnecessary roughness hit on Mahomes. This devastating penalty moved the Chiefs into field goal range, and there was just enough time for Harrison Butker to run on the field and kick the game winning field goal to seal the win. Media swarmed Ossai after the devastating loss, but teammates shielded their comrade from the hurling question. This win sends Mahomes to his third Super Bowl appearance with a chance to secure his second Lombardi Trophy. Mahomes has been one of the most consistent and exceptional talents the NFL has ever seen. At only 27 years of age, it will be interesting to see if Mahomes can continue this success into the later years of his career. But for now, Mahomes and the Chiefs are only worried about the next game; The biggest game of the year. 

All in all, you could feel for both teams that lost, but the attention is pointed to the big game which is set to take place on Sunday Feb. 12. Among the top and more heartwarming storylines, Philadelphia All-Pro center Jason Kelce is set to play his brother and All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce in Arizona. This will be the first time that brothers will square off in the Super Bowl; talk about ultimate bragging rights! From a spectators view, all you can do is hope for a good game, as this Super Bowl is featuring the number one ranked teams from both conferences.