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NFL Playoff Predictions for AFC, NFC Championship

The DBN staff predicts the 2023 NFL Conference Championship Weekend games.

Kansas City Chiefs v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Welcome to NFL Championship Weekend! We are down to the best-of-the-best in the AFC and NFC, with all four teams very much deserving to be there. Our staff picks are at the bottom of this post, but let’s go game-by-game to assess who I think will emerge victorious, and also don’t forget to check out all the latest odds according to DraftKings Sportsbook:

Sunday - January 29, 2023

San Francisco 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles - 3:00 PM (FOX)

The Philadelphia Eagles had the most dominant win of this year’s playoffs, defeating the New York Giants 38-7 last week. Jalen Hurts may not have been 100% as far as his running goes, but the bye week served he and the Eagles well, as they were perfectly in sync and still didn’t shy away from utilizing Hurts’ legs. However, this week, we’re talking about a whole different beast in the defense of the San Francisco 49ers. I am riding the 49ers through the entire playoffs, all the way to the Super Bowl.

Just like I said last week, the one thing that I think could change those plans is if Brock Purdy becomes a liability. He hasn’t laid an egg yet, but those types of games happen to the best of quarterbacks. The Eagles’ defense is pretty top-notch in their own right too. I am picking this to be a close game in which the 49ers come out on top, but I could easily see the tide turning if Purdy makes a big mistake. 49ers 20, Eagles 17.

Sunday - January 29, 2023

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs - 6:30 PM (CBS)

Do the Bengals permanently have Patrick Mahomes’ number? It is still crazy that the Browns, in back-to-back seasons, have destroyed Cincinnati, and yet other teams can quite figure out the formula to stopping Joe Burrow and company. I massively underestimated the Bengals last week, assuming that missing three starters on their offensive line would be their downfall. Instead, Cincinnati’s offense was in sync and in control, hardly letting it bother him.

For the Chiefs, how well is Patrick Mahomes with that ankle injury? We’ll know early on. Going back to last year, the Chiefs led the Bengals 21-3 in the AFC Championship, and led them 28-14 in the 2021 regular season, before collapsing late. This year’s regular season game was more of a back-and-forth affair, but the Bengals ultimately out-scored the Chiefs 10-0 in the final quarter to win it. I’m certainly not rooting against our fellow Ohio team, but I just feel like the Chiefs are the slightly better team in all of these encounters. Will this be the one time that I’m right in picking the Chiefs? Chiefs 31, Bengals 24.

Below are our Conference Championship Weekend NFL staff picks: