Last teams standing headed to the Super Bowl: Eagles vs. Chiefs

Two teams down. Only two remain. Where dreams live on to become a reality, others are crushed, knowing they were so near to achieving greatness this season. 

For the two teams who claimed the conference crown on Jan. 29, however, the dream of a Lombardi remains intact, and their gaze turns to the glorious stage that is Super Bowl LVII. 

Philadelphia vs. San Francisco

Coming off a low-scoring affair against the Dallas Cowboys, 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy entered Lincoln Financial Field with an unblemished 7-0 record as a starter. With this in mind, San Francisco looked to make its second Super Bowl appearance in four years. 

After finishing off their divisional foe, the New York Giants, in the previous round, the Philadelphia Eagles were looking to make it to the Super Bowl for the third time since the turn of the century. This time, it would be NFL MVP candidate Jalen Hurts captaining the offense for the team that finished 14-3 overall in the regular season. 

Tragedy, however, would strike the 49ers from the beginning. Merely six snaps into San Francisco’s first offensive drive, quarterback Brock Purdy took a hit to the elbow from Eagles defensive end Haasan Reddick. While the impact caused Purdy to fumble the football, it appeared that much more was wrong for the young quarterback. The 23-year-old rookie had suffered an elbow injury on the play, hindering his ability to throw the football and forcing him to exit the field. 

 Coming in for the Niners at quarterback would be NFL journeyman Josh Johnson, who has been a part of 14 NFL teams in his 15-year career. In Purdy’s absence, Johnson would finish with 74 passing yards before he would go down with a concussion, leaving San Francisco with no choice but to put an injured Purdy back into the game. 

Purdy finished the game with only 23 passing yards. Philadelphia had a great game, especially on the defensive side of the football. Reddick finished the night with two sacks while forcing one fumble and recovering another. The Eagles defense made seven hits on the opposing quarterbacks, between Purdy and Johnson. 

Offensively, Jalen Hurts played well, earning himself 121 passing yards with a rushing touchdown to add to his performance, one that was enough to send the Eagles to the Super Bowl with a final score of 31-7. 

Kansas City vs. Cincinnati 

After a snowy divisional round victory, the next stop for the Cincinnati Bengals was Arrowhead Stadium, as they eyed a Super Bowl appearance in back-to-back seasons. For the majority of this game, it was neck and neck. 

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow finished the game with 270 passing yards and a touchdown but had two interceptions that were difficult to overcome. Wide receivers Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase combined for 12 catches for 158 yards, with Higgins getting the only receiving touchdown the Bengals had the whole night. 

The Bengals struggled in the penalty department, allowing nine flags that resulted in 71 yards against Cincinnati. 

There were many concerns going into the AFC title game for the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes had suffered an ankle injury just eight days prior, and he had made it known that he was far from 100% heading into the Conference Championship. While the injury appeared to affect Mahomes significantly against the Bengals, it ultimately didn’t stop the Super Bowl Champion from getting 326 yards and two touchdowns. 

The 27-year-old put on a clinic in ball distribution, as 10 of his receivers caught at least one pass. Marquez Valdes-Scantling was the leading receiver with six catches for 116 yards with a touchdown, while tight end Travis Kelce caught seven passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. 

The Chiefs defense did everything they could to make Burrow as uncomfortable as possible, hitting him 12 times throughout the night. Chris Jones led the charge on defense, getting to Burrow five times, sacking him twice and notching three tackles for losses. Kicking would play a major factor in the matchup, as Kansas City kicker Harrison Butker knocked down three field goals, including a 45-yard field goal that would give Kansas City the lead with :03 seconds left in regulation. This would be the deciding factor, as the Chiefs went on to win 23-20. 

Now, just one matchup remains in the 2022-23 NFL season storybook. Philadelphia will take on Kansas City in Super Bowl LVII (57) at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. EST on FOX. 

Hughes is a sports reporter for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on Twitter

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