Three of the four teams in the conference title games last year are returning this year.
The Kansas City-Cincinnati game is a rematch of Cincinnati’s 27-24 victory over the Chiefs last year. San Francisco lost t the Rams 20-17, but Rams didn’t make the playoffs this year and the Eagles have the top seed.
These two games will be critical for the reputations of the two coaches and quarterbacks who advance to the Super Bowl.
Patrick Mahomes has made it to the AFC title game five consecutive years. And made it to the Super Bowl twice, winning one and losing one. He didn’t play his rookie year so he has made it every year as a starter. He has already lost three times to Joe Burrow in the last 13 months so he would probably be the underdog even if he didn’t have a high ankle sprain.
Andy Reid has a 20-16 record in the playoffs with three Super Bowl appearances and one win.
Burrow is in his third season and made the Super Bowl in his second year last season but lost to the Rams.
Zac Taylor is in his fourth season as the Bengals coach and is 5-1 in playoffs with one Super Bowl loss.
Jalen Hurts is in his third season and his second as a starter and is in his first conference title game with a shot at his first Super Bowl.
Nick Sirianni is in just his second year as the Eagles and is aiming for his first Super Bowl appearance.
Mike Shanahan is in his sixth year as 49ers coach with a 6-2 playoff record and this is his third appearance in a conference title game in the last four years. He has one Super bowl appearance and lost. He also was the offensive coordinator in Atlanta in the 28-3 Super Bowl game against the Patriots.
Brock Purdy is only the fifth rookie to start a conference title game. The other four lost so he is trying to become the first rookie to make it to the Super Bowl as a starter.