The NFL has moved to its versions of a Final Four as the two Conference Championship games will be contested this weekend for the right to go to the Super Bowl. In the AFC, we have the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Kansas City Chiefs. Over in the NFC, the San Francisco 49ers will be at home versus the Detroit Lions.
Let’s see what the BTB staff had to say about each game.
Chiefs at Ravens
Dave Halprin: The Ravens will host the Chiefs in the AFC, with the Ravens a 4-point favorite. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense have gotten better in recent weeks, but they finally run out of gas in Baltimore. Lamar Jackson will use his legs and arm to keep the Ravens scoring points, and the Chiefs will fade late. Take the Ravens in a 7-point win.
Tom Ryle: Man, this is another one that could go to the visiting team. I hate to bet against Patrick Mahomes, but the Ravens have a defense that should be able to keep him from going Superman and beating them. Just for jollies, I’ll pick Baltimore to win by a touchdown after a back and forth contest.
Matt Holleran: Kansas City was my preseason Super Bowl pick and I’m going to keep riding with them here. Baltimore’s ability to run the football worries me a bit, but I trust Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense to make more critical plays than Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. In an instant-classic, Mahomes leads the Chiefs on a game-winning drive and sends them back to the Super Bowl. Give me KC, 24-23.
David Howman: The Ravens have been the best team in football all year long, with explosive offense and stifling defense every step of the way. The Chiefs have drastically overachieved to get to this point. I think they’ll be competitive, but Baltimore should be able to handle this one. I’ll take a 34-24 Ravens win
Brian Martin: The Kansas City Chiefs needed a little luck last week to beat the Buffalo Bills and will probably need a little divine intervention to upset a really talented Baltimore Ravens team. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think Lamar Jackson and Company are just too good and win this AFC Championship game by at least two touchdowns.
RJ Ochoa: Obviously the Chiefs have a reputation for being the best team in the NFL and I recognize that betting against them is a rather unwise decision; however, I really, really, really like this Ravens team. Baltimore has been dominant in just about every single sense and Lamar Jackson is the most dangerous offensive player in the NFL. I’ll take them to win a close one and get back to another Super Bowl.
Lions at 49ers
Dave Halprin: In the NFC, the 49ers host the Lions with San Francisco as 7.5-point favorites. The 49ers are used to playoff football and will be at home, while the Lions are the fresh-faced kid of the playoffs. Experience and a stronger overall roster win out, with the 49ers getting the victory, but the Lions keep it close and lose by 4 points.
Tom Ryle: I want to see the Lions get to their first Super Bowl, but the 49ers are a tough challenge. This could be an upset coming, but I’m going to go with San Fran in a close one, like a field goal margin.
Matt Holleran: It’s been an amazing season for the Lions and I’d love to see them reach their first Super Bowl, but it’s hard to see them beating this 49ers team. Even if Deebo Samuel does not play, the 49ers are just too talented on both sides of the ball. The Lions keep it close for a bit but San Francisco pulls away in the second half. Give me the 49ers, 26-17.
David Howman: This should be a great game. Two physical teams that are built in the trenches, feature a strong assortment of skill players, and quarterbacks who may not be stars but know how to operate within their scheme. I’m a believer in the grit this Lions team has, and I think Dan Campbell is a more savvy coach than Kyle Shanahan when it comes to clock management, so I’m taking the Lions to win 28-27 in a thriller.
Brian Martin: The hype the Detroit Lions were receiving at the start of the season happened to be real after all. I’d love nothing more to see them go all the way and win the Super Bowl this season, but unfortunately I just don’t like how they matchup with the 49ers. I’ve got San Fran winning this one, but it won’t be by more than a touchdown.
RJ Ochoa: While it feels like a lot of people are starting to recognize that Kyle Shanahan has some fearful tendencies, it still does not seem like enough of a deal gets made about them. If there is a proper foil to him in this sense it is Detroit’s Dan Campbell who coaches like every day is his last. The Lions are the more trustworthy team to me as a result of all of this so I am picking them to win the NFC. What a world!
Some of the Blogging The Boys staff are making picks this season using Tallysight. Here is what we have for all of the Conference Championship games.