The NFL has two prime matchups for the conference championship round. The Cincinnati Bengals have a 10-game winning streak, plus three consecutive wins over the Chiefs. Kansas City's only losses over their last 12 matchups came at the hands of the Bengals at home. San Francisco has not lost since Kansas City dusted them in Week 7 (44-23). Their win streak sits at 12 games. Philadelphia only lost once all season, with Jalen Hurts behind center.
Here’s a look at any injury news heading into this weekend’s games:
The Bengals don’t have any offensive injuries to their skill players, but they played last week without three starting offensive linemen. The snow in Buffalo led to the Bills’ pass rush having less traction to attack Joe Burrow. The Chiefs must pressure Burrow if they want to go to the Super Bowl.
Kansas City Chiefs
All eyes in the fantasy and betting world will be following the progress of Patrick Mahomes' right high ankle sprain. His lack of mobility will limit his creative plays on the move, forcing the Chiefs to use a quicker passing game in this matchup. Kansas City's offense takes a hit across the board if he can't play. Mecole Hardman hasn't made any progress with his pelvis issue, and I have him listed as out this week. The Chiefs' defense comes into this week with healthy players.
A.J. Brown came out of last week's game with a hip issue, but Philadelphia expects him to play on Sunday. Their offense line and defense should have all players ready against San Francisco. The key to their success against the 49ers will be running the ball and their defense, shortening the passing window for Brock Purdy. The Eagles led the NFL with 75 sacks this season.
San Francisco 49ers
Christian McCaffrey was on the sidelines late in the game against Dallas due to a lingering calf issue. The 49ers expect him to play vs. Philadelphia, possibly giving Elijah Mitchell more snaps if his groin issue is minor. San Francisco has no other starting player on the injury report heading into Wednesday.
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP PROJECTIONS & RANKINGS
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(Note: There are multiple tabs inside the spreadsheet below. Scroll through them for each position.)
Updated: January 25, 2023