The AFC and NFC Championship Games Entrance Survey | The Ringer
Kelly: Probably for Mahomes to inevitably pull something crazy out of his ass despite playing on one leg.
Kapadia: Could we get Mahomes’s version of the Flu Game? We all saw how limited he was in the second half last week, but he gets a week to rest and recover going into this game. Perhaps more importantly, Reid got a full week to figure out what kind of game plan to employ, knowing Mahomes’s mobility will be limited. There’s a chance that 20 years from now, when we’re talking about Mahomes as an all-time great, this becomes one of the first performances we point to.
5 Questions with the Enemy: Tom Childs of SB Nation’s Arrowhead Pride – Cincy Jungle
5.) AC: Be it because of the Chiefs’ high-flying offense and/or his time with the Steelers, JuJu Smith-Schuster will be in focus in this one. He gushed publicly about this week’s game plan, but what kind of effect and how important is he this week?
TC: “JuJu has performed well this year. He has presented another set of reliable hands who isn’t afraid to get involved in the rough stuff where the scary linebackers play. He isn’t a like-for-like replacement for Tyreek but nor was he ever expected to be so.
I am intrigued to see how the Chiefs deploy him on Sunday. I’ve got a sneaky feeling that the Chiefs could commit heavily to the run and that JuJu’s sheer mass on the outside could be a part of it.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that JuJu isn’t on your Christmas card list every year. While there will obviously be some added motivation for JuJu to beat this particular team, I want to believe that the motivation of reaching his first Super Bowl will be enough Beating the Bengals will simply be the cherry on top.”
Bold predictions for 2023 NFL conference title games: Eagles torch No. 1 ‘D;’ Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase go off | CBS Sports
Burrow throws the winning TD with under 13 seconds left, doesn’t give Mahomes enough time
Last postseason, Patrick Mahomes did what seemed impossible, marching Kansas City down the field to tie the AFC divisional round matchup against the Buffalo Bills after a Josh Allen touchdown pass gave the Bills a 36-33 lead with 13 seconds to go. Lightning usually doesn’t strike twice, and it won’t do so this postseason. The game will be tied late in the fourth quarter, just as it has been in each of the last three Bengals-Chiefs games, and Joe Burrow will throw a touchdown pass with 11 seconds left in the game to break the tie, giving the Bengals a seven-point edge. Mahomes was able to get Kansas City into field goal range in 13 seconds against Buffalo, but he won’t be able to go the entire length of the field in nearly that same amount of time. Thanks to Joe Cool, the Bengals will be hoisting the Lamar Hunt Trophy in Arrowhead Stadium for the second straight season.
2023 NFL Mock Draft: Panthers orchestrate three-team trade, take Bryce Young at No. 1; Seahawks move up for QB CBS Sports
Jordan Addison WR
Kansas City is collecting a lot of names at wide receiver, but do the prospects of any excite the fan base? Jordan Addison is probably not going to become a top-10 wide receiver but should be very productive with Patrick Mahomes.
Around the NFL
49ers DC DeMeco Ryans emerging as top candidate for Texans’ head coaching job | NFL.com
Steve Wilks on Friday said he was “disappointed but not defeated” after being passed over for the Carolina Panthers’ head-coaching job, which went to former Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich.
There was no mention of a potential discrimination lawsuit like the one Wilks filed against the NFL after being fired by the Arizona Cardinals after one season (2018), although the law firm that represents Wilks responded Thursday to Reich’s hiring by saying that “there is a legitimate race problem in the NFL” and that it would have “more to say in the coming days.”
Wilks, who is Black, also did not mention Panthers owner David Tepper by name in his message posted to Twitter in which he thanked players, coaches and staff members for their support as the interim coach. It was Tepper who gave Wilks the opportunity to lead his hometown team after firing Matt Rhule following a 1-4 start.
Falcons name Ryan Nielsen as new defensive coordinator NFL.com
The Falcons named Ryan Nielsen as the team’s new defensive coordinator on Friday, the team announced.
Nielsen spent the past six seasons with the New Orleans Saints as a defensive line coach and held a co-defensive coordinator title for the 2022 season under Saints head coach Dennis Allen.
New Orleans’ defensive front has been one of the league’s best units the past few years under Nielsen’s direction. In 2022, the Saints finished with a top-five defense in yards allowed per game (314.8), passing yards allowed per game (184.4) and sacks (48).
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Bengals-Chiefs AFC Championship game: Chris Jones referenced ‘Burrowhead’ 3 times on Friday
The most egregious chatter out of the Bengals’ locker room came via NFL Films and cornerback Mike Hilton, who described GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium as “Burrowhead.”
And to be fair to Cincinnati, that is where the Bengals won last year’s AFC Championship game in a 27-24 win over the Chiefs. On Friday — although he refrained from firing back — defensive tackle Chris Jones made sure the Bengals knew their message had reached him.
“God is good. It’s like a full 360, right?” started Jones, citing the opportunity for a Bengals’ rematch with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line “Same thing. Same circumstances under Burrowhead Stadium. So, feeling good about it.”
“Did you say ‘Burrowhead?'” asked a reporter.
“Burrowhead Stadium, right?” replied Jones. “Yeah.
Jones’ fellow defensive lineman, Frank Clark — who has been known to say a thing or two to the opposing team in a game’s leadup — also weighed in.