The Bengals’ defense had the antidote for Patrick Mahomes’s late-game magic, and the Rams did just enough to keep San Francisco’s offense in check.
The Super Bowl, set for Feb. 13 near Los Angeles, will feature two quarterbacks who were No. 1 draft picks, Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow and Matthew Stafford of the Rams.
With a calm that belied their underdog status, the Bengals intercepted Patrick Mahomes and completed a field-goal drive in overtime to end Kansas City’s streak of Super Bowl appearances.
Joe Burrow and the Bengals are all that stand in the way of Kansas City’s return to a third consecutive Super Bowl.
The evolution at the N.F.L.’s most important position has been clear even with familiar names frequently making deep playoff runs. Today’s emerging stars are taking on more of their team’s offensive load.
The upstart Bengals head to daunting Arrowhead Stadium to face Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, and the Rams’ all-in plan to make the Super Bowl runs into a 49ers team that has won six straight meetings.
In an odd game in which a tie could have sent both teams to the playoffs, the Raiders outlasted the Chargers in overtime, eliminating their division rival.
Matthew Stafford’s late-game miscues sank the Rams against the 49ers, and the Colts laid an egg against the Jaguars, leaving the door open for the Steelers to sneak into the playoffs.
Division rivalries should decide playoff seeding as the Eagles host the Cowboys, the 49ers try to extend their win streak to six against the Rams, and the Chargers and Raiders play the weekend’s only true elimination game.
The N.F.L.’s final-week schedule usually builds to a Sunday night crescendo. But with only one true elimination game, Week 18’s bloat should feel anticlimactic.
Burrow-to-Chase can do damage in the playoffs, and Tom Brady and the Buccaneers aren’t exactly where they want to be at this point in the season.
Teams get two tools to deal with the coronavirus surge: shorter quarantines for players who test positive and no Thursday night games.
Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers will trade deep shots, Covid-19-depleted teams will do battle for playoff spots and the Patriots and Colts’ throwback matchup should deliver.
Kansas City’s defense could give Patrick Mahomes the breathing room to grab home-field advantage, and Micah Parsons made good on the Cowboys’ promise to beat Washington.
The Buccaneers will presumably throw the ball against the Bills, and Dallas and Washington will jangle the N.F.C. East order.
Thanks to the New England Patriots’ six-game win streak and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ light schedule, the pair seem to be on a collision course.
Mac Jones is leading the Patriots back into the A.F.C.’s elite and Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are winless so far this November.
The gulf between the two conferences will show when Kansas City and the Las Vegas Raiders vie in the jammed A.F.C. West, and the Cleveland Browns try to derail the Patriots, while the Rams roll.
King Henry’s court helped Tennessee take down Kansas City, Chicago’s aimlessness was on display again, and middling quarterback plans caught up to Denver and Washington.
The Kansas City Chiefs fortified their offensive line in pursuit of another championship, but the Bills, Browns and a bevy of first-year starters should shake up the order.
With a running attack known as Martyball, his teams won 200 regular season games and reached the playoffs 13 times but never made it to the Super Bowl.
Sure, Kansas City (12-1) is flawed, but its closest challengers have a long way to go to usurp a Super Bowl berth.
Titans running back Derrick Henry’s 29-yard touchdown run sealed a contentious overtime win over the Ravens, who have now lost three of their last four games.