The time has come for Championship Sunday and how about it? They are all division winners this year. If the NFL is scripted then the league should be nominated for many categories including Best Comeback Story, Best Quarterbacky Performance, and obviously Best Picture. This year had all the ups and downs fans crave and we are finally nearing the end of the journey. Let’s discuss both matchups awaiting our eyeballs!
NFL Championship Sunday Preview
Lions at 49ers
Despite a small mid-season skid, there is no doubt the San Francisco 49ers have been atop the NFC most of the 2023 season. Now with a chance to play at home after escaping a close one against Green Bay, the Detroit Lions will try and dismantle their dreams of packing for Vegas. The belief and grit that Dan Campbell has instilled in this team is felt by all-including the most casual of fans. I have to eat crow on my early 2022 ___ that MCDC was on the hot seat. He has proven to make smart in-game decisions while simultaneously eating kneecaps (just kidding, but whatever he says to this group seems to work)!
Let’s look at DVOA matchups per SB Nation:
Offensively, the Lions need to execute their one-two punch on the ground between Montgomery and Gibbs to take a little pressure off of Jared Goff. If he can settle in and the O-line does its thing, OC Ben Johnson can continue showing off. Expect to see some fun plays from ARSB, LaPorta, and…Zach Ertz?
Detroit’s passing defense isn’t spectacular so this unit will have their hands full determining which weapons to cover from San Francisco. Aidan Hutchinson has been a force for several weeks so I’d expect he will try and give Purdy some trouble.
Speaking of Purdy, who induced polarizing quarterback conversation around the league all year, how calm can he stay? Whether or not Deebo is 100% or not, they have had all week to prep for the possibility of his absence. Obviously, Christian McCaffrey will be effective. Involving veteran Tight End George Kittle will be fun to watch
I will go with San Francisco 33, Detroit 26. I think SF pulls away in the second half after wearing down the Lions’ passing D.
Chiefs at Ravens
This one will be a battle of the heavyweights: Lamar Jackson, the current MVP frontrunner, who is playing his best ball in a six-year career. Meanwhile, the quarterback in red is dangerous at any given moment. You can truly never count out Patrick Mahomes. Here are the general DVOA matchups heading into the game via SB Nation:
On the other side of the ball, both defenses have had an outstanding year. Keep in mind that Mahomes and his targets were going up against a depleted Buffalo Linebacker group. They could be in for a bit of a wake-up call. Patrick Queen, Roquan Smith, and company will try and set the physical tone for a Kansas City offense that has looked a bit lackluster this year. All-Pro Safety Kyle Hamilton may be sniffing out Travis Kelce as well.
Make no mistake, though. Chris Jones will be ready to attack up front and a scary duo of L’Jarius Sneed/Trent McDuffie will be flying around in an attempt to stifle Todd Monken’s multi-threat offense.
Both Baltimore and Kansas City are extremely well-coached teams in John Harbaugh and Andy Reid. This one simply comes down to execution, penalties, and mistakes. I’d like to think that Baltimore can pull this one off with little doubt, but we have found the league’s new Brady/Belichick duo in Mahomes/Reid whether you like it or not. They continue to find ways to win even when things look bleak.
Give me Baltimore 28, Kansas City 24. In what will come down to a late-game mistake by the Chiefs.