Looking at the Conference title games

by Gary Shelton on January 28, 2023

in general

Saturday, 4 a.m.

The Super Bowl has the hype. The Super Bowl has the half glitz. The Super Bowl comes with confetti.

The Conference Championship games?

That's where you find the football.

It has always been that way, The whole world takes Monday off after the Super Bowl. But if you care about

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football, conference championship weekend is better. You have twice the games. You often have twice the drama. The trophy isn't as big, but the touchdowns count as much.

The Super Bowl has been a better game in recent years, but a large marjority of the games have been duds.

The conference title games? That's where you get The Drive. That's where you had The Fumble. That's where you had Peyton Manning against Tom Brady. That's where you had Bert Emmanuel. That's where you had the Ice Bowl. That's where you had the Falcons over the Vikings.,

And this year?

Who knows.

We've got a fairly compelling Final Four, don't we? In the AFC, you have Patrick Mahomes vs. Joe Burrow, the showdown of this era. In the other one, you have potential MVP candidate Jalen Hurts against the kid from nowhere in Brock Purdy.

I'm not sure the Super Bowl can live up to those matchups.

Still, let's debate the rankings of the positions as they enter the game.


  1. Andy Reid, Kansas City
  2. Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco
  3. Zac Taylor, Cincinnati
  4. Nick Siriani, Philadelphia

-- Let's face it: Any of the four could be the NFL Coach of the Year without embarrassment. Reid gets the nod because he's actually won a Super Bowl,


  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. Joe Burrow
  3. Jalen Hurts
  4. Brock Purdy

-- Mohomes leads the league in creative plays. If he's slowed by his ankle, it could affect the rankings.

Running Backs

  1. Christian McCaffery, San Fancisco
  2. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia
  3. Isaih Pacheco, Kansas City
  4. Joe Nixon, Cincinnati

Offensive line

``1. San Francisco

2. Kansas City

3. Philadelphia

4. Cincinnati

-- A lot of the reason for Purdy's success is that he's so well protected.


  1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City
  2. Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati
  3. A.J. Greene, Philadelphia
  4. Brian Aiyuk, San Francisco

-- Injuries kept Deebo Samuels of the 49ers off of this list. He could still find his way back on.


  1. San Francisco
  2. Kansas City
  3. Philadelphia
  4. Cincinnati

Pass rusher

  1. Nick Bosa, San Francisco
  2. Hassan Reddick, Philadelphia
  3. Chris Jones, Kansas City
  4. Trey Hendrickson, Cincinnati

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