LockedIN On The NFL-Conference Championships

WHAT TO LOOK FOR – CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

On Championship Sunday, the Super Bowl LIII participants will be decided. In the NFC, the LOS ANGELES RAMS take on the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (3:05 PM ET, FOX) while the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS(6:40 PM ET, CBS) in the AFC. The Conference Championships feature thefour highest-scoring teams from the regular season for the first time in the Super Bowl era.

 

In other NFL News today:

The Detroit Lions have hired the former Seahawks offensive coordinator for the same role, the team announced. Bevell was fired at the end of the 2017 season after seven years in Seattle. He was a steady fixture under coach Pete Carroll and helped the Seahawks to victory in Super Bowl XLVIII. He deserves credit for helping to grow quarterback Russell Wilson and a flock of playmakers — Doug BaldwinGolden TateTyler Lockett and Paul Richardson — for an offense that was at its best when Marshawn Lynchslashed his way through defenses.

The ex-Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator is expected to become the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ new OC, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday, per sources informed of the situation. The team later confirmed the acquisition.

The Buffalo Bills will keep a defensive leader off the free-agent market. The team announced Wednesday it signed linebacker Lorenzo Alexander to a one-year contract extension. The 35-year-old was set to be a free agent. Alexander joined the Bills in 2016 as a journeyman, spending most of his first 10 seasons as a special teamer and depth defender. In Buffalo, he became a staple of the defense and special teams.

With victories by the Rams and Chiefs on Sunday, the Super Bowl would feature the two highest-scoring teams from the regular season for the fifth time since 1970 and the first time since 1997.​​

The Super Bowls featuring the two highest-scoring teams from the regular season since 1970:​

SEASON NO. 1 OFFENSE NO. 2 OFFENSE SUPER BOWL
1997 Denver Broncos Green Bay Packers XXXII
1996 Green Bay Packers New England Patriots XXXI
1991 Washington Redskins Buffalo Bills XXVI
1984 Miami Dolphins San Francisco 49ers XIX

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

THE PATRIOT WAY: The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS have reached the Super Bowl in each of the past two seasons. With a win against Kansas City on Sunday, the Patriots would join the BUFFALO BILLS (1990-93) andMIAMI DOLPHINS (1971-73) as the only teams in the Super Bowl era to appear in three consecutive Super Bowls.

The teams to appear in at least three consecutive Super Bowls in the Super Bowl era:

TEAM SEASONS CONSECUTIVE SUPER BOWLS SUPER BOWLS
Buffalo Bills 1990-93 4 XXV-XXVIII
Miami Dolphins 1971-73 3 VI-VIII
       
New England Patriots 2016-17 2* LI-LII
*Active streak

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

HIGH SEED ADVANTAGE: With victories by the No. 1 seeded KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (AFC) and No. 1 seeded NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (NFC) on Sunday, it would mark the 14th time since the NFL began seeding teams in 1975 that both top seeds faced off in the Super Bowl and the fifth time in the past six seasons (2013-15, 2017).

With wins on Sunday by both the Chiefs and Saints, it would mark the fifth time since 1975 that consecutive seasons have featured a Super Bowl matchup of the No. 1 seeds.

The Super Bowls featuring both No. 1 seeds in consecutive seasons since the NFL began seeding teams in 1975:

SEASONS SUPER BOWLS
2013-15 XLVIII-50
1983-84 XVIII-XIX
1976-77 XI-XII​

With a win, the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS can become the sixth consecutive No. 1 seed to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, surpassing five consecutive Super Bowls featuring the AFC’s No. 1 seed (1987-1991) for the longest streak by the conference since 1975.

A victory by Kansas City would also mark the second time that either conference has had a streak of six consecutive seasons with a Super Bowl featuring their No. 1 seed since 1975 (NFC – six consecutive seasons from 1981-86).

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

MAGICAL MAHOMES: Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMESpassed for 278 yards in his postseason debut last weekend and ranked second in passing yards (5,097) during the regular season.

With a Chiefs victory against New England, Mahomes would become thefourth quarterback to pass for at least 5,000 yards and reach the Super Bowl in the same season.

The quarterbacks to pass for at least 5,000 yards and reach the Super Bowl in the same season:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON PASSING YARDS SUPER BOWL
Peyton Manning Denver 2013 5,477 XLVIII
Tom Brady New England 2011 5,235 XLVI
Dan Marino^ Miami 1984 5,084 XIX
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

EASY BREESY: New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES passed for 301 yards with two touchdowns in the Saints’ Divisional Playoffs win against Philadelphia.

With 300 passing yards on Sunday, Brees would tie PEYTON MANNING(nine games) for the second-most playoff games with at least 300 passing yards.

The players with the most postseason games with at least 300 passing yards:

PLAYER TEAM(S) POSTSEASON GAMES WITH 300+ PASS YARDS  
Tom Brady New England 15*  
Peyton Manning Indianapolis, Denver 9  
Drew Brees San Diego, New Orleans 8*  
*Active in Conference Championships

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

GREAT GURLEY: Los Angeles Rams running back TODD GURLEY rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown in the Rams’ Divisional round victory against Dallas.

Gurley, who has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his first two postseason appearances, can join ARIAN FOSTER as the only players in postseason history to rush for at least 100 yards in each of their first three playoff games.

The players with at least 100 rushing yards in each of their first three postseason games:

PLAYER TEAM DATES GAMES
Arian Foster Houston 1/7/12-1/5/13 3
       
Todd Gurley Los Angeles Rams 1/6/18-1/12/19 2*
*Active streak

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

CATCH & RUN: New England running back JAMES WHITE had 15 receptions in the Divisional Playoffs, tied with DARREN SPROLES (January 14, 2012 with New Orleans) for the most receptions by a player in a single postseason game in the Super Bowl era.

With at least 10 receptions on Sunday at Kansas City, White would become the fourth player in the Super Bowl era to record consecutive postseason games with at least 10 catches.

The players with consecutive postseason games with at least 10 receptions in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER TEAM DATES CONSECUTIVE GAMES
Tony Nathan Miami 1/20/85-1/4/86 2
Jerry Rice^ San Francisco 1/29/95-1/6/96 2
Steve Smith, Sr. Carolina 1/8/06-1/15/06 2
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Patriots running back SONY MICHEL rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns in the team’s Divisional Playoffs victory. With one rushing touchdown on Sunday, Michel can tie the postseason record for the most rushing touchdowns by a rookie.

The rookies with the most rushing touchdowns in a single postseason:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON RUSH TDS  
Leonard Fournette Jacksonville 2017 4  
Jamal Lewis Baltimore 2000 4  
William Floyd San Francisco 1994 4  
Tony Dorsett^ Dallas 1977 4  
Norm Standlee Chicago 1941 4  
         
Sony Michel New England 2018 3*  
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

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