Two NFL experts from the Prime Time Sports Talk staff came together to share their picks for the 2021 championship games.
These two writers will make their picks for the entire season. (Failure to accurately predict a tie will be treated as a loss.) A record will be listed at the bottom of every article. An archive of all 18 regular-season and four playoff editions can be found here.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Sam: Bengals 34, Chiefs 31
That’s right, we are going with the exact same score from when these teams matched up in Week 17. Cincinnati has proven over and over again that they can win defensive battles or offensive shootouts. Perhaps most impressive is their knack for not folding in the face of pressure-packed games, which is particularly amazing for such a young (fourth-youngest in the NFL) team. Joe Burrow is now 6-0 in postseason games dating back to college, and is 3-0 when facing a team for the second time after winning the first. He’s thrown for over 1,000 yards and five touchdowns in those three rematch games. The Bengals have arrived earlier than expected, and they are not ready to go home. Tee Higgins is going to abuse Charvarius Ward on the edge in this one, as Cincy struts into the Super Bowl.
Andersen: Chiefs 34, Bengals 28
As good as the Bengals have been over the last two months, we have seen how challenging it is to beat the Chiefs. Josh Allen had a nearly perfect game last week, yet Buffalo lost to Kansas City. The Bengals will need to force several turnovers if they have any shot at beating the Chiefs, and I simply don’t see that happening.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams
Sam: 49ers 23, Rams 17
Jimmy Garoppolo is getting a lot of abuse for his average play at quarterback for San Francisco, somewhat rightfully so. However, this week he puts that talk to rest. The 49ers are not likely to find a whole lot of running room for Elijah Mitchell and company, but they’d be wise to keep selling the threat of the run. That’s exactly what they’ll do, and with Jalen Ramsey blanketing Deebo Samuel, Garoppolo is going to use every other receiver on the field including tight end George Kittle, who is in for one heck of a day. Cam Akers is a liability with the football and the Rams will bail on the run early, paving the way for errors in the passing game from Matt Stafford.
Andersen: 49ers 24, Rams 22
With Trey Lance waiting in the wings, Jimmy Garoppolo continues to improve his value in the NFL as he punches his second ticket to the Super Bowl. It won’t be easy, but he’ll play enough mistake-free football while the San Francisco defense does the dirty work to fluster Matthew Stafford and Cam Akers.
Sam: 158-108 (59.4%)
Joe: 101-79 (56.1%)
Andersen: 171-111 (60.6%)
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