Voz media US Voz.us

On the road to the Super Bowl: the Eagles crushed the 49ers and the Chiefs got their revenge on the Bengals

The Kansas City team has the chance to make history if they win their second trophy in four years on February 12.

(Cordon Press)

San Francisco 49ers, 7 - Philadelphia Eagles, 31

As expected, the duel between the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles was dominated by the defenses, and the offenses' stamina was also decisive. But it was also expected to be a match of maximum equality and, unfortunately, it was not.

The 49ers couldn't keep up with the Eagles, who dominated from their first offensive possession, gaining 66 yards in five minutes for Miles Sanders' first touchdown of the night.

The drama for San Francisco would come on their first offensive drive, when Haason Reddick, who was an absolute nightmare for the 49ers offensive line, caught Brock Purdy, injuring him in the shoulder and causing a fumble that would be recovered by the Eagles defense. Purdy's place was taken by Josh Johnson, an NFL journeyman who has been a part of no fewer than 14 rosters.

Despite this, the californians held their own. With eight minutes remaining, their defense stopped Philadelphia's next three attacks and with 8 minutes to go, their offense, totally reliant on the running game of Christin MaCaffrey, managed to tie the game with a touchdown, this following an impressive run by McCaffrey himself.

But that was the end of the game. From then on the Eagles showed such superior play and physicality that the 49ers simply couldn't do anything. Before halftime, Sanders would get another touchdown and Reddick would recover a fumble by the San Francisco quarterback on his 30-yard line that would end on the next drive with another rushing touchdown for Philadelphia, making the score 7-21 at halftime, with the game pretty much decided.

In the second half, the only thing of note was that Purdy was forced to return to the field in the third quarter when Reddick hit Johnson, knocking him out of the game. The season couldn't have ended any worse for the young QB, who will be out for six months after it was confirmed that he has a torn lateral ligament in his right elbow: he will arrive back just in time for the start of next season.

Purdy's injury was important, but not decisive: the Eagles showed superiority on both sides of the ball that completely overwhelmed the 49ers. On defense, their aggressive, gritty play stifled the 49ers OL, which will still have nightmares about Reddick. Only the great play of McCaffrey, who has proven to be a great acquisition, managed to keep their offense alive for a few more minutes. For its part, the Eagles offense moved the chains and, backed by one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, managed to score four rushing TDs and dominate the clock against what is considered the best defense in the NFL.

Cincinnati Bengals, 23 - Kansas City Chiefs, 20

After three consecutive losses to Joe Barrow's Cincinnati Bengals, Patrick Mahomes' Kansas City Chiefs got their revenge and won in a game marked by equality, great play by both teams and a few refereeing controversies.

This is the third time that the Chiefs led by Mahomes, have reached the Super Bowl final in the five seasons that the QB has been the starter.

The start was marked by the pressure that the Cincinnati defense, led by Chris Jones, put on Joe Barrow. Cincinnati's offensive line, severely depleted by the losses, allowed 4 sacks during the first half, causing Burrow to be uncomfortable in the pocket at any time.

The big question was how Mahomes' right ankle would fare after his injury against Jacksonville a week ago. But the quarterback Kansas didn't appear to show any discomfort during the first half, kicking two field goals in the first first two offensive possessions and a touchdown on the third, when on a fourth-down drive he managed to connect on a 14-yard TD pass to Travis Kelce.

In spite of this, the Bengals offense would get two field goals during the first half, which allowed the Cincinnati offense to stay in the game at halftime (6-13).

The Bengals' offensive line adjustments paid off and Burrow would connect with a spectacular pass to Tee Higgins for a TD early in the third quarter. Higgins, who was Burrow's primary target, finished the game with 6 receptions for 83 yards and a TD.

Kansas' response was not long in coming: with another big play in the face of Bengals pressure, Mahomes was able to connect with Valdes-Scantling in the end zone to put another one TD lead on the scoreboard. Valdes-Scantling stepped up before the multiple turnovers Kansas had in its receiving corps, finishing the game with 116 yards and a touchdown.

But again the ghosts returned to Arrowhead Stadium when Mahomes began to limp after a hit by the Cincinnati defense following a childish hand-off, which slipped through his hands. The Bengals did not miss this opportunity to tie the game on a drive in which the Burrow-Chase connection appeared to do its thing.

With the game tied at 20 at the start of the final period, the defenses again came out on top, with Kansas getting their second interception of the night after some great defensive work.

But the biggest punishment for Cincinnati came from the match officials, who made a number of questionable decisions that made life difficult for them.

Mahomes' offense had the last possession, and everything seemed headed for overtime when, with 8 seconds left, Joseph Ossai, who had played a great game up to that point, committed a boneheaded foul on Mahomes that cost the Bengals the game.

These mistakes, at this stage of the season, are unforgivable, and kicker Harrison Butker then kicked a 45-yard field goal that would take the Chiefs to the final and cap Kansas' revenge on the team that sent them home last season.

Undoubtedly, the duels between Bengals and Kansas are already classic and reminiscent of the great clashes of the last decades between Brady and Manning. The Kansas City Chiefs have it in their hands to make history if they win their second trophy in four years on February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Arizona.