NFL Conference Championships: Preview + Schedule

Logos for the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers and the NFC Championship game

Following a Divisional Round that saw an emphasis on the “foot” in football (sorry, Bills fans) the NFL Conference Championship games are set. In the NFC, the Detroit Lions will travel to the Bay Area to take on the San Francisco 49ers and potentially earn their first-ever trip to the Super Bowl. In the AFC, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will try to put a bow on his second MVP season by knocking off Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Here’s a preview of both NFL Conference Championship games, and how to watch with DISH. Not a DISH subscriber? Follow this link to find the best offer and subscribe to DISH today!


AFC Championship

Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, Jan. 28 at 3:00pm ET on CBS

Even Chiefs fans have to feel a little bad for the Bills this morning. Despite a stellar performance from Josh Allen, a game-tying field goal sailed wide right late in the 4th quarter to once again end Buffalo’s season in heartbreaking fashion. It’s the same sad script we’ve read over and over, and as we all know, sequels have diminishing returns.

So let’s focus on the positive: Lamar Jackson vs. Patrick Mahomes. The NFL’s two most electrifying players going head-to-head with a trip to the Super Bowl as the stakes? There’s a reason why the secret cabal of NFL scriptwriters are so well compensated. Baltimore is loaded on both sides of the ball; as ESPN points out, “The Ravens [are] just the fourth team since the 1970 merger to have a first-team All-Pro quarterback and the No. 1 scoring defense in the NFL. The three previous teams to do so — the 1972 Dolphins, 1978 Steelers and 1996 Packers — all went on to win the Super Bowl.” The Chiefs have an amazing defense as well, plus a quarterback who has played in this game six years in a row. With the opening line at Ravens -3, oddsmakers think this game is basically a toss-up. It will be hard to top the drama of this week’s games, but when it comes to “hold my beer” moments, even Jason Kelce can’t compete with the NFL.


NFC Championship

Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers

Sunday, Jan. 28 at 6:30pm ET on FOX

Although San Francisco hasn’t won a Super Bowl in almost 30 years, they’ve practically got a mortgage out on the NFC Championship game: This will be San Francisco’s seventh appearance in the next-to-last game of the season since 2011 (they’re 2-4). Detroit is on the opposite end, as this will be only their second NFC title game appearance in the Super Bowl era. But much like the Cincinnati Bengals’ Conference Championship upset over the Chiefs at Arrowhead two years ago, the Lions are hoping they can reverse the narrative that’s plagued them since their most recent championship 66 years ago.

Detroit’s chances aren’t as bad as one might assume from the early +7-point line (if this spread holds, we will be taking the points). First, the Lions are one of the best teams at running the ball behind the thunder and lighting combo of David Montgomery and Jamyr Gibbs, which so happens to be one of the weaknesses of an otherwise stellar Niners defense. Secondly, as we’ve seen in their first two playoff wins, the Lions excel at long, clock-vacuuming drives, which could limit the number of possessions from the Niners’ explosive offense. Lastly, head coach Dan Campbell has repeatedly shown he’s not afraid to take risks, and to overcome San Francisco’s deep bench of skill players, bold tactics will be needed.