It is Championship Sunday. All podcasts, all predictions, all links inside...
A trip to the Super Bowl in Phoenix is on the line. Get yourself ready for the AFC and NFC Championship Games right here at GoLongTD.com.
Out of all the Cincinnati Bengal defensive players we chatted with for this week’s feature — “The Villains” — safety Jessie Bates summed it up best.
His eyes glanced over toward a certain locker and a certain player you’ve heard from this week.
“If you don’t beat us,” Bates promised, “you’re going to hear more of Eli.”
That is a guarantee.
If the Kansas City Chiefs do lose to Cincinnati at Arrowhead, Burrowhead, whatever you want to call their stadium tonight, lightning-rod cornerback Eli Apple will have a lot to say. He crossed the point of no return long ago and these Bengals are as loose, as confident as any team I can remember heading into a conference championship game. The Legion of Boom comes to mind, and that’s about it.
To get you primed for two phenomenal matchups, here’s a double dose of podcasts with all of our predictions.
We haven’t discussed the Chiefs nearly enough, so I connect with Joshua Brisco, the co-host of “The Zone” in Kansas City who also co-hosts the Chiefs’ postgame show on Sports Radio 810 and writes for Arrowhead Report. This was a fun one. We discussed everything from Chris Jones’ snarl to Patrick Mahomes’ ankle to wayward footballs flung at Steve Spagnuolo’s head.
For some 49ers-Eagles conversation, we welcome on Kyle Madson, who also has a podcast on the Blue Wire network — Candlestick Chronicles — and writes at The Niners Wire. Madson is one of the smartest analysts covering the 49ers and makes some excellent points on Brock Purdy and Fred Warner.
You can watch or listen to both episodes at the links and embeds below.
As for the Bengals? “We’re the bad guys in this movie,” cornerback Tre Flowers said. “You might like the ending, you might not. … The bad guys might win.” Here’s our story on how true disrespect forged this trash-talking, hard-hitting monster. On our visit, I also caught up with the cornerbacks coach in the middle of the mayhem: Charles Burks. He explains his coaching style with the mercurial Apple with more insight into Cam Taylor-Britt’s game, Mike Hilton and why this position room is not for the weak.
Very hard for me to see this swaggering bunch in Cincinnati losing. Joe Burrow avoids Jones’ best shot in the pocket and the Bengals’ defense is able to make Mahomes pay once or twice. Bengals 27, Chiefs 20. In the NFC, the Eagles’ defensive line is a beast Purdy hasn’t faced yet this rookie season but he’ll avoid turnovers in this spot and the battle-tested 49ers will find a way to dictate the physicality at the line of scrimmage. 49ers 16, Eagles 9.
Here’s how McGinn and Monos see it.
Eagles 13, 49ers 10: This game is almost too close to call. The difference is that nasty Philly crowd and slightly better play at quarterback.
Bengals 38, Chiefs 30: Joe Burrow takes a giant step toward becoming the face of the National Football League. If the Bengals prevent Chris Jones from wrecking the game, they will prevail.
Eagles 24, 49ers 14: This is Jalen Hurts’ chance to officially let the NFC know Philly is built for sustained success.
Chiefs 34, Bengals 24: Before the ankle injury to Mahoms, he was playing at an MVP level. This will not stop him and neither will Cincy.
Enjoy the podcasts. Enjoy the games.
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