Jan 31, 2022 - Sports

Another thrilling NFL playoff weekend

Joe Burrow surrounded by reporters after Sunday's game.

Joe Burrow. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The NFL scriptwriters outdid themselves again on Sunday, crafting two more thrilling episodes of America's favorite TV show.

The big picture: From unprecedented parity during the regular season, to unparalleled drama in the playoffs, the question must be asked: Has the NFL ever been better?

Bengals 27, Chiefs 24 (OT) The Bengals erased an 18-point deficit (tied for the largest comeback in AFC title game history) to beat the heavily-favored Chiefs and clinch their first Super Bowl appearance in 33 years.

  • Wild stat: Teams that trailed by 18 points this season were 1-115 entering Sunday. They're now 2-115.
  • Still perfect: The Bengals (3-0) and Giants (5-0) are the only teams in the Super Bowl era to never lose a conference title game.
  • Joe 3.0: Joe Burrow could join Joe Montana and Joe Namath as the only QBs to win an NCAA national championship and a Super Bowl.

The big picture: The Bengals are one of 12 franchises that have never won a Super Bowl. They fell short in their two previous appearances, both against the 49ers (1982 and 1989).

Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford. Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Rams 20, 49ers 17 The Rams had lost six straight games to the 49ers, and looked poised to make it seven. But a fourth-quarter rally snapped the streak, setting up a date with destiny on the same turf in two weeks.

  • Wild stat: Prior to Sunday, Matthew Stafford had lost 26 straight starts when trailing by 10+ points entering the fourth quarter, and the Rams had lost 14 straight under Sean McVay.
  • Un-retired: Eric Weddle, who came out of retirement three weeks ago, led the Rams with nine tackles on Sunday. What an incredible story.
  • Nailed it: One FanDuel bettor turned a $20 bet into a $579,020 payout by correctly predicting the score of both games.

Looking ahead: The Rams opened as 3.5-point favorites in the Super Bowl. Before last season, a team had never played a Super Bowl at home. It has now happened twice in a row (Bucs last year, now Rams).

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