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Bold Predictions For NFL Championship Weekend

travis kelce

NFL Bold Predictions

Wow, what a whiff. Making bold predictions is always tricky, but last week was just rough. To recap, I only hit on two of the six predictions. The first was that Philadelphia would dominate New York, and the second was that Travis Kelce would torch Jacksonville. As for the misses, the Jaguars made it a fairly close game against the Chiefs, Buffalo lost by 17 rather than winning by 10, Jalen Hurts, and Miles Sanders did not combine for 200-plus rushing yards, and unfortunately, the Dallas Cowboys were not able to advance to the conference championship for the first time since 1995. As a Cowboys fan, this one was heartbreaking but not surprising. I’m used to this. Life moves on, but the Cowboys don’t. Let me distract myself by making bold predictions for the conference championship games before the 2022 NFL season winds down.

Hard to believe, but there are only three football games left in the season. I’m expecting a lot of gambling this weekend, however, I’d be smart with your betting and place bet size accordingly. Don’t spread yourself thin with a million player props. Bet big on the games you like to give yourself a bankroll for the Super Bowl.

Jalen Hurts will be forced to throw 35 times or more

Last week, Jalen Hurts wasn’t asked to do a whole lot. As I predicted, Philadelphia got up early against New York and never looked back. They scored the first 28 points of the game and coasted the rest of the way. Because of this, Hurts threw the ball a season-low 24 times for 154 yards and two touchdowns. However, things should look a lot different this week in the conference championship. Facing off against San Francisco has been a tough ask for opposing quarterbacks this year. Just ask Dak Prescott, who threw for a mere 206 yards and a touchdown, to go along with two interceptions last week against the 49ers, immediately following one of the best performances of his career in the wild-card round a week before. I’m not telling you anything you don’t know already. San Francisco will stuff the run and make your QB work, and that’s precisely what will happen this weekend against Jalen Hurts and the Eagles. The 49ers held the Cowboys to just 76 rushing yards on 3.5 yards per carry last week. This team entered the game averaging 135 yards on the ground per game on 4.3 yards per attempt. Philadelphia might be a better running team than Dallas, but not by much. Coming off a cakewalk against the Giants, the Eagles will have their work cut out for them this week, and they’re going to need Hurts to use his arm a lot more than he usually does. In 15 games played this season, the third-year quarterback threw at least 35 passes just five times. This is, in large part, due to the big leads Philadelphia would build up. Even as good as they’ve been this year, I really don’t see them building a big enough lead in this one to where they can throw out the passing attack altogether like they did so many times in the regular season. The 49ers and their stifling defense will give it everything they have, and Jalen Hurts will have to bring the same energy. Look for Hurts to throw 35-plus passes in this game.

Patrick Mahomes throws four touchdowns against Cincinnati

Kansas City had a scare in the divisional round against Jacksonville last week as Patrick Mahomes tweaked his ankle and was forced to miss a series before halftime. He later returned and looked almost better than he did before the injury. Of course, he’s a better player when he’s fully healthy but there’s something to say for his ability to bounce back and look as good as ever after being sidelined for a whole possession. This week, he should be ready to go against a Cincinnati defense that has fared pretty well against Mahomes and the Chiefs in recent memory. In last years conference championship, the Bengals held the five-time Pro Bowler to just 275 yards and three touchdowns while forcing two interceptions. Sure, at first glance this might seem like a good stat line, but this is Patrick Mahomes we’re talking about. The same Patrick Mahomes that has averaged 298 yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game in his postseason career while throwing just seven interceptions in 12 total playoff games. So yes, he might look relatively good in last season’s matchup, but this doesn’t mean Cincinnati didn’t bother him a little. Nevertheless, Mahomes looks different this season. Over his last five games, he’s thrown for 10 touchdowns with a 72.8% completion rate while throwing just one interception. The Super Bowl LIV MVP has been sharpening his iron in preparation for this matchup. He looks more driven and has to be looking for revenge against the team that bounced him from the playoffs last year. In a game full of fireworks, look for Patrick Mahomes to put on a show in front of the home crowd and throw for four or more touchdowns in a legendary postseason performance from the best quarterback in the NFL.

Brock Purdy will finally look like the last pick in the draft

If I’m being quite honest, Brock Purdy hasn’t looked like the world-beater that everyone has been making him out to be. In my opinion, he’s a middling quarterback that got placed into a great situation with a great supporting cast and has been serviceable since his debut. I mean, he’s been a great story but he’s not the second coming of Tom Brady. Sure, he’s put up some nice stats and deserves some credit for not turning the ball over very much, but let’s take a look at the defenses he’s played against since making his first start in the NFL. He’s played against Miami, Tampa Bay, Seattle, Washington, Las Vegas, Arizona, and Dallas. Of the seven teams he’s faced, only one of them has a truly good defense and that would be the Dallas Cowboys who he matched up with last week. How did he fare against this defense? He threw for 214 yards and failed to reach the endzone for the first time in his eight-game career. Again, he was serviceable and did just enough to get the win but at some point, “just enough”, isn’t going to be enough. That could come next season when teams have more film on him or that could come as soon as this weekend. Like Dallas, Philadelphia has a really good defense and is littered with playmakers that should make the rookie QB sweat a little bit. I’m predicting that the Eagles force two or more turnovers from Brock Purdy and hold him to under 200 yards passing for just the third time this season.

Travis Kelce eclipses 100 receiving yards against the Bengals

Last week, the eight-time Pro Bowler did me right by making sure I had at least one correct prediction with a dominating performance against Jacksonville. This week, just like Patrick Mahomes, I will once again be leaning on Travis Kelce. He’s a sure thing every time he steps onto the field and this week should be no different. In a game in which he has to show up for his quarterback, Kelce is in a great spot to shine. While Cincinnati has been pretty decent against opposing quarterbacks this season, they haven’t been so great against tight ends. Since Week 10, the Bengals have given up the third-most receptions per game to the position and the sixth-most yards. Moreover, in each of their last three games, the opposing team’s leading receiver has been a tight end. Given the clear weakness in their defense, Kelce should have another field day. In his last matchup with the Bengals this season, he managed to gain just 56 yards on four catches. However, as I previously mentioned, this position has been feasting on Cincinnati recently and there is no reason why that won’t continue. The All-Pro tight end just went for 98 yards and two touchdowns on 14 receptions against Jacksonville last week. With another nice matchup this week in a game that adds a little extra motivation, look for Travis Kelce to continue his dominance and eclipse the 100-yard mark in this one.

Philadelphia grinds out a victory over San Francisco on their way to the Super Bowl

This is going to be a really ugly game. With both teams thriving through the run game while being held down by really good defenses, it’s going to come down to the quarterbacks. And when I look at the two signal callers, the choice is easy. Jalen Hurts is far and away the better QB and this is what will ultimately put Philadelphia over the edge. Brock Purdy has been a good placeholder for San Francisco but doesn’t pose as much of a threat as Hurts does. Jalen Hurts can run the football, has a really strong arm, and has the ability to improvise in the pocket. With a tough matchup against the San Francisco defense, this is going to come in handy. As for Purdy, I’m not sure he’s going to be able to handle the pressure that the Eagles will no doubt apply. It’s been a good run for Mr. Irrelevant and the San Francisco 49ers, but this will be the last chapter of their season. Philadelphia will advance to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in franchise history.

Kansas City beats Cincinnati and reaches their third Super Bowl since 2019

Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals look great. They might even be better than they were last season when they made it to the Super Bowl. So, when they lose to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, it won’t be because they weren’t good enough. It will be because the Chiefs are just better and they’ll be backed by one of the best home crowds in all of sports. Yes, last season I could have made the same argument and been proved wrong. And while I’m a big believer in history repeating itself (trust me, I’m a Cowboys fan), I’m also a big believer in the sheer will that Patrick Mahomes possesses. This is a revenge game for Mahomes and the Chiefs and that means something to me. In front of the same crowd that got sent home disappointed by this team in last season’s conference championship, the energy will be intense this weekend. Kansas City will find a way to outperform a red-hot Cincinnati team on the heels of a huge victory over Buffalo at Orchard Park in the divisional round. I’m predicting that Patrick Mahomes leads his offense to the point that Joe Burrow and the Bengals won’t be able to reach, leading to the third Super Bowl appearance for Kansas City since the 2019 season.

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