Por Luis Miguel Guerrero
THE ANTEROOM OF THE SUPER BOWL – This Sunday, the NFL Conference finals promise to be of a high level, with four teams that have all the attributes to access the Super Bowl.
At the National Conference, the Californian duel between the San Francisco 49ers (10-7) and the Los Angeles Rams (12-5) promises to set off sparks. The Los Angeles squad, which starts as favorites (-3.5 in the odds), tries to return to the Super Bowl for the second time under the direction of coach Sean McVay. And while the spotlight is on quarterback Matthew Stafford (4,886 YDS, 41 TD), the season’s additions of Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr., have been very important in this part of the tournament for the Marón team.
However, it won’t be easy for the Rams. The 49ers gave the bell by beating Green Bay 13-10 in the NFC divisional round, and also swept the regular season series with the Angelenosincluding a thrilling overtime finish in Week 18. The big question is if Jimmy Garopppolo can make an offense that includes Deebo Samuel (1405 YDS, 6 TD) and George Kittle shine in Los Angeles. Undoubtedly, the gambusina squad led by Kyle Shanahan, is going through a great moment.
In the American Conference duel, Kansas City (12-5) hosts the Bengals (10-7) in a rematch of their Week 17 matchup at Paul Brown Stadium. The Cats won 34-31, but things are sure to be different at the Arrowhead.
The Chiefs, who have a total home record of 9-2, are the punters’ favorite at -7, and after beating Buffalo 42-36 in a big game, they are in pursuit of a third straight AFC championship under Andy Reid. Patrick Mahomes (4,839 YDS, 37 TD) intends to continue being the great figure of the postseason, supported by Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill.
The big surprise of the playoffs are the Bengals. Cincinnati, which is back in the AFC championship for the first time since 1988, in addition to having a solid defense, has an interesting duo on offense with quarterback Joe Burrow and rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase (81 REC, 13 TD ). Coach Zac Taylor’s team arrives motivated at this stage after having kicked the favorite Tennessee 19-16. Will it be enough to get to the big game? We’ll find out this weekend.
Picks: Rams 24, 49ers 17
Chiefs 31, Bengals 20
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NOT EVERYTHING IS FOOTBALL 01/26/22