Conference Championships: Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, Jimmy Garoppolo, Matthew Stafford – a look at the ‘final four’ QBs

Watch the NFL Playoffs Conference Championship Sunday, with both games – Cincinnati Bengals @ Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams – live on Sky Sports NFL from 7pm

The fantasy football season may be over, but Sky SportExpert Hannah Wilkes is still here to showcase the very best talent you can expect in the NFL playoffs, and ahead of the conference championship, she’s looking at the last four quarterbacks in the show…

It’s quite remarkable that there are only three games left until the 2021 NFL season, and that by early Monday morning (very early at noon, make coffee now and tell your boss you’re not available until at least 3:00 pm) we’ll finally know who will fight for Lombardi and a place in history at SoFi on February 13th (unfortunate for some, but for whom!?). Like all playoff games, but with increased pressure, the season essentially starts and ends this weekend for the Chiefs, Bengals, Rams and 49ers.

One fact really made me sit up and take notice this week (and I see a lot of NFL factoids on a daily basis); This is the first time since 2009 that Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady won’t be in the Conference Championship weekend.

Is this the long-awaited “changing of the guard” when it comes to NFL quarterbacks? Who knows, but when it comes to this weekend, it really is the most critical position in the entire sport.

He led the Bengals to their first AFC Championship game since 1988. He won 9 sacks against the Titans and was out anyway. He has more style and luxury than most of us will have in a lifetime, and just two years ago he won the national college football championship game with LSU.

Watch the stunning final stages of the AFC and NFC Divisional Round matches on one of the greatest weekends in NFL history.

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Watch the stunning final stages of the AFC and NFC Divisional Round matches on one of the greatest weekends in NFL history.

In essence, in his first full year as a starter (his 2020 season was cut short by injury), Joe Burrow did what the first overall pick in the draft should have done but rarely did; brought back his long-maligned franchise in a major controversy.

He’s obviously cool and obviously smart. He admitted this week that he called his own games when his headset went haywire against the Titans and “they all worked, it was fun.” The questions before the Chiefs game have less to do with Barrow’s talent than with his offensive line and their ability to counter the Chiefs’ defensive front.

Yes, Barrow took a bunch of bags and they still won on Saturday. Some might argue that he often chooses to sack rather than risk losing the ball, but letting your QB hit that hard against an explosive team like the Chiefs is a risky strategy. Once he’s on the court, no matter who your QB is, he won’t get anything from the game.

The Bengals played the Chiefs in Week 17 and won by 3, with Burrow passing for over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns. Ja’Maar Chase set an NFL single-game rookie record in that game with 266 receiving yards and caught three of the aforementioned touchdowns.

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