A trip to the Super Bowl is on the line this weekend when the last four remaining teams battle for a conference championship. There are great storylines in each matchup but none better than what the Detroit Lions have been able to do thus far. Can the Lions continue their epic turnaround and make it to the Super Bowl? Find out below as we predict each Championship round playoff game.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens -3.5 (3:00PM EST on CBS)
Our first matchup on championship Sunday will be in Baltimore where Lamar Jackson and the Ravens will take on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Kansas City is once again in position to head to the Super Bowl thanks to a thrilling win in Buffalo last weekend. You can’t count out Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs despite what many are calling a down year in Kansas City. He is already one of the greats and has shown time and again he thrives in big games.
Meanwhile, in Baltimore there is a lot to like with this Ravens team. The stout Ravens defense once again shut down a high-powered offense last week against the Texans. For the first time this year quarterback C.J. Stroud looked like a rookie as he struggled to dissect the Ravens defense. DC Mike Macdonald has done this numerous times this year and it’s a reason he is being looked at as a head coach. Mahomes though will be the ultimate test for this Ravens defense and they will need to be flawless with their game plan.
This game has the makings of a classic AFC battle. The current line is -3.5 which is right where I expected giving a slight edge to the Ravens at home. I see this game coming down to the wire with a late Justin Tucker field goal securing the win for Baltimore.
Game Pick: Ravens 20 – Chiefs 17
Detroit Lions @ San Francisco 49ers -7 (6:30 PM EST on FOX)
Over on the NFC side, the underdog Lions will look to shock the 49ers who are poised for another Super Bowl appearance. San Francisco looked rusty last week against the Packers, particularly Brock Purdy. Purdy missed open receivers and was lucky to not have a pick-six early in the game. The hope for San Francisco will be that Purdy bounces back and they will need him on top of his game to beat Detroit.
The x-factor in this matchup is clearly Deebo Samuel who is nursing a shoulder injury. Samuel has been limited in practice this week and his status for Sunday is still uncertain. The 49ers offense struggled without Samuel on the field as he is a big piece of their game plan. If Samuel can’t go you can expect this game to go right down to the wire.
For Detroit, it’s much more simple. They really have nothing to lose as they weren’t expected to be here. Jared Goff and the Lions were able to hold off the Bucs last weekend thanks to the winning formula that they have used all year. Play turnover-free football and get the ball quickly to their playmakers. The Lions will once again need to be flawless on offense vs. the dominant 49ers defense to have a chance.
To me, this game comes down to the health of Samuel. San Francisco is just 8-9 without Samuel since he was drafted in 2019. If Samuel sits this out there will be a lot of nervous 49ers fans come the 4th quarter.
Game Pick: 49ers 28 – Lions 24