NFL Conference Championship Review And NFL Draft Latest

By Ian John
January 30, 2023

Last week I gave you a detailed preview of how the AFC and NFC Conference Championship games would turn out, as well as a look at how things panned out in the Divisional Weekend.

Well, it turns out that nobody could have predicted what would have happened in both games, which certainly rank as the strangest Conference Championship games I have seen played.

It isn’t simply me that is wondering what they witnessed yesterday. 49ers fans must be befuddled at how their quarterbacks can keep getting injured, whereas for the other game, the hashtag #NFLRIGGED was trending on Twitter this morning.

However, at the end of it all, we know that two teams are going to the Super Bowl in Arizona in a couple of weeks time and bet365 Sport are already on the ball with a number of pre-game betting markets already open for the big game.

And don’t forget there will be plenty of great betting action to enjoy on the day, with significant In Play betting on the game too.



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NFL Playoffs Conference Championship Weekend Main Stories

  • San Francisco 49ers 7-31 Philadelphia Eagles

In what was a nightmare day for the 49ers from start to finish, the Niners were never in this game as a contest following the midway point of the first quarter.

By then, the dominant player on either team, Haason Reddick, had made his mark, rushing and sacking quarterback Brock Purdy and causing a fumble, which the Eagles recovered, but which also left Purdy injured and unable to throw the ball any distance.

That left the 49ers down to their 4th choice quarterback, journeyman Josh Johnson and from then on, San Francisco struggled on offense landing just 97 yards passing and 90 yards rushing in total.

The 49ers defense battled manfully, but despite having the best rush defense in the league, the Eagles rushed for four touchdowns, two for Miles Sanders and one apiece for Jalen Hurts and Boston Scott, as they chewed up the clock on the ground against a 49ers team that lacked any tangible form of offense.

Penalties and a lack of discipline also helped the Eagles as the 49ers repeatedly shot themselves in the foot, allowing the Eagles to maintain drives. That boiled over late in the game when two players  49ers Trent Williams and Eagles K’Von Wallace, were ejected after an on-field scuffle.

By the end of the game, Josh Johnson too was ruled out through concussion protocol, leaving the 49ers with a 20% fit Brock Purdy under center and Christian McCaffrey and company trying their best to come up with some form of offense.

In truth, it was a somewhat anticlimactic game because the Eagles won so easily due to those injuries, but there was no doubting the right team will go on to compete in the Super Bowl.

  • Cincinnati Bengals 20-23 Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to their first win over a Joe Burrows led Bengals, but the game ended in huge controversy due to the officiating, which many fans felt was clearly biased in favour of the Chiefs.

In what was yet another close contest between the two, it was fine margins that decided the game in the Chiefs favour, with the gimpy Patrick Mahomes throwing for 326 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Chiefs won the turnover battle, but the Bengals and their fans are incensed at a number of calls in the game, all of which went the Chiefs way and the final one of which, led to the Chiefs reaching the Super Bowl thanks to Harrison Butker’s field goal as time expired.

After dominating the first half, the Chiefs led 13-6, but the Bengals had started to turn the momentum, the teams traded scores in the third and when the Bengals scored their second TD in the fourth quarter, the game was tied at 20-20.

Neither offense could get much going until the Chiefs final drive when a Mahomes rush saw the QB pushed when out of bounds, leading to an additional 15 yard penalty, which moved Butker into field goal range and with time expiring, he added the points to send the Chiefs to Arizona.

However, on that controversial Mahomes play, the Bengals saw two clear holds on their players go unpunished, which would have negated the roughing the QB call, while there were several other instances where officials penalised the Bengals, or did not penalise the Chiefs.

All of which has led to a huge amount of outcry on social media this morning.

NFL Conference Championship Weekend Performers Of The Week

  • RB Miles Sanders (Eagles) – 11 rushes for 42 yards 2 TD.
  • EDGE Haason Reddick (Eagles) – 2 tackles, 1 assist, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble (recovered)
  • RB Kenneth Gainwell (Eagles) – 14 rushes for 42 yards 2 receptions for 26 yards.
  • RB Christian McCaffrey (49ers) – 15 carries for 84 yards & TD, 4 receptions for 22 yards.
  • QB Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) – 29/43 for 326 yards and 2 touchdowns.
  • WR Marquez ValdesScantling (Chiefs) – 6 receptions for 116 yards and a TD
  • TE Travis Kelce (Chiefs) – 7 receptions for 78 yards and a TD
  • SS Jaylen Watson (Chiefs) – 4 tackles, 1 interception
  • WR Tee Higgins (Bengals) – 6 receptions for 83 yards and a TD

NFL Divisional Weekend Injury Latest

  • QB Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) – Mahomes played through the pain barrier with a high ankle sprain against the Bengals and will start the Super Bowl for the Chiefs.
  • TE Travis Kelce (Chiefs) – Kelce missed training ahead of the Conference Championship game with back spasms, but played in the game and will likely be fine for the Super Bowl.
  • LG Landon Dickerson (Eagles) – Dickerson picked up a left elbow injury and had it in a brace following the win over the 49ers. His injury status is day to day at present. Andre Dillard will deputise if Dickerson cannot play in the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl LVII Weekend – Fixtures & Details

Kansas City Chiefs (1) V Philadelphia Eagles (1)

  • Venue – State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
  • Capacity – 63,400
  • Date – Sunday 12th February
  • Kick Off Time – 11.30pm (UK Time)
  • Referee – Carl Cheffers (3rd Super Bowl)
  • Half Time Show – Rihanna

The NFL has the prime-time #1 seed showdown that will likely be a money-spinner with two teams with large and vociferous fan-bases will collide in Super Bowl LVII.

Both teams head into the game as the top seed from their respective conference and also with the same 16-3 record on the regular season and post season.

NFL 2023 Draft Positions (Confirmed After Conference Championship Round)

  1. Chicago Bears
  2. Houston Texans
  3. Arizona Cardinals
  4. Indianapolis Colts
  5. Denver Broncos – Traded to Seattle Seahawks
  6. Los Angeles Rams – Traded to Detroit Lions
  7. Las Vegas Raiders
  8. Atlanta Falcons
  9. Carolina Panthers
  10. New Orleans Saints – Traded to Philadelphia Eagles
  11. Tennessee Titans
  12. Cleveland Browns – Traded to Houston Texans
  13. New York Jets
  14. New England Patriots
  15. Green Bay Packers
  16. Washington Commanders
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers
  18. Detroit Lions
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  20. Seattle Seahawks
  21. Los Angeles Chargers*
  22. Baltimore Ravens
  23. Minnesota Vikings
  24. Jacksonville Jaguars
  25. New York Giants
  26. Dallas Cowboys
  27. Buffalo Bills
  28. Cincinnati Bengals
  29. San Francisco 49ers – Traded toDenver Broncos
  30. TBD
  31. TBD

The final two positions will be decided by the result of Super Bowl LVII.

Teams that have traded away their pick for 2023 are highlighted in italics.

The Miami Dolphins have forfeited their right to the 21st pick in this years draft due to being punished for violations. As such, the first round will have 31 picks with the teams below them moving up one space in the draft.

NFL – Playoff Power Rankings (post Divisional Round)

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (16-3) (2,1,1)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (16-3) (1,4.2)
  3. Cincinnati Bengals (14-5) (eliminated) (4,2,3)
  4. San Francisco 49ers (15-5) (eliminated) (3,3,4)
  5. Buffalo Bills (14-4) (eliminated) (5,5)
  6. Dallas Cowboys (13-6) (eliminated) (6,6)
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars (10-9) (eliminated) (8,7)
  8. New York Giants (10-8-1) (eliminated) (7,8)
  9. Minnesota Vikings (13-5) (eliminated) (9)
  10. Baltimore Ravens (10-8) (eliminated) (10)
  11. Los Angeles Chargers (10-8) (eliminated) (11)
  12. Miami Dolphins (9-9) (eliminated) (12)
  13. Seattle Seahawks (9-9) (eliminated) (13)
  14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-9) (eliminated) (14)

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