Updated Playoff Predictions Past Divisional Round

Story posted January 27, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by CommRadio Sports Staff

After one of the most entertaining weekends of football in recent memory, CommRadio’s NFL experts give their predictions for this weekend's outcomes and who could hoist the Lombardi trophy in just three weeks.

Dylan Price

The Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills produced one of the most entertaining football games that saw the Chiefs come out on top after a 13-second comeback and an overtime score.

The Chiefs demonstrated the ability to go blow for blow with the Bills and now they get set to face Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. Earlier this season the Chiefs had no answer for Ja’Marr Chase allowing him to post 11 receptions for 266 yards and three touchdowns.

The Bengals hit a game-winning field goal and clinched the AFC North with that win. Despite the impressiveness of that win, last week showed with any semblance of a pass rush the Bengals struggled mightily. The Chiefs win another dramatic offensive duel and advance to the Super Bowl.

The Rams and 49ers are both riding high right now after upsetting their opponents. The 49ers' defense was giving Aaron Rodgers fits throughout Saturday’s win. For the Rams, Matthew Stafford has started to get comfortable, but at points, this season he has been rattled, will the moment be too big? I think it will and the 49ers walk away with their second NFC championship in three years.

As for the Super Bowl, the Chiefs win the rematch of two years ago as the offense will do exactly what they did two years ago and just do enough to outplay the 49ers' offense. In the end, my prediction ends with Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid hoisting their second Lombardi trophy in Sofi Stadium as the confetti falls.

Mac Young

The Kansas City Chiefs just played in one of the most competitive and exciting games of football seen in quite some time.

Some even claimed that their overtime matchup against the Buffalo Bills was the “AFC Championship” and the game against the Cincinnati Bengals is just a formality.

While I would not go that far, the Chiefs are certainly the favorite of the four teams remaining and are going up against a quarterback in his first NFL playoffs.

In the NFC, the Rams and 49ers are having a rematch from their thrilling overtime affair in the last week of the regular season.

While the Niners took home that matchup in Week 18 and just knocked off the No. 1 seeded Green Bay Packers, the Rams turned up the heat lately. Matthew Stafford has loosened up and is playing with confidence while Jimmy Garoppolo has looked anything but.

Ultimately, I believe the Chiefs and Rams will battle it out in the big game with the Chiefs coming out on top. Patrick Mahomes is the most talented quarterback left in the pool and the only one with a ring.

I think that experience and skill will put Kansas City on top.

Neil Conley

The Super Bowl picture has become clearer but remains blurry after the divisional round of the 2022 NFL playoffs. The San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals were all underdogs in their divisional round affairs. The Kansas City Chiefs won at home.

The AFC championship features the Chiefs hosting the Bengals. The victor would be easy to choose based on each team’s overall track record the past few years, but the Bengals are significantly better this season. The Bengals have beaten the Chiefs this season, which should make for an interesting contest.

The Chiefs lost 34-31 to the Bengals on the road, but now they have home-field advantage. The Chiefs have lost less overall and their losses are closer games than the Bengals’ losses. Kansas City will win the AFC championship due to home-field advantage and a stronger overall record.

The 49ers and Rams, two NFC West foes, will battle for the title, of NFC champions. The 49ers have a chance to play in SoFi stadium twice before the season concludes. San Francisco should defeat Los Angeles, despite having a worse overall record. The Rams lost to the 49ers twice this season.

The 49ers played host and beat the Rams 31-10 and later defeated the Rams 27-24 on the road in overtime. If Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp continue their dominance, then the Rams will be in a greater position. The Rams’ biggest enemy is history and the facts are not in their favor.

Super Bowl LVI will be a Super Bowl LIV rematch between the Chiefs and 49ers. The Chiefs beat the 49ers 19-16 during the preseason, but the teams did not meet during the regular season. The Chiefs have a better overall record and do not seem to have an issue beating the 49ers when needed.

The game will be close, but the Chiefs will use their last-ditch effort to secure their second Super Bowl title in three years. 

Christian Smith

Beginning with the AFC, I think the Bengals and Chiefs will be a closer game than most people think. After all, the Bengals just recently defeated the Chiefs, 34-31, at home back on Jan. 2. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was lights out in that game, completing 30 of 39 passes for 446 yards and four touchdown passes.

However, I believe it will be a different story this time around because the Chiefs are playing at home and they are coming off a huge overtime win over the Buffalo Bills in one of the best NFL Playoff games of all time.

I think Joe Burrow and company will keep this one close, but it will come down to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense with the ball with less than two minutes to go. The Chiefs win this one 30-27 on a game-winning touchdown in the game’s final seconds.

Over to the NFC, the 49ers and Rams will do battle for the third time this season. San Francisco dominated the first game, and the second one they came back to win in overtime. 

Coming off an upset win over the top-seeded Green Bay Packers, the 49ers have all the momentum in the world. Their defense has been stellar here in the playoffs, only allowing 13.5 points per game. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hasn’t been great by any means, but he will be good enough to lead the Niners past the Rams for a third time this season.

In Super Bowl LVI, the 49ers and Chiefs will meet for the second time in three years, and the result will be the same: Patrick Mahomes and company will prevail. Patrick Mahomes is simply the better quarterback, and the Chiefs are the better team all around. Make it two Super Bowls for Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes.

Dylan Price is a first-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email dvp5625@psu.edu.
Maclain Young is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email macyoung21@gmail.com.
Christian Smith is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email cfs5591@psu.edu
Neil Conley is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email nzc5252@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

Neil Conley's photo

Neil Conley

Senior, fourth-year / Broadcast Journalism

Neil Conley is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. He calls play-by-play for various sports and is also a beat writer and board operator for CommRadio. He hosts a talk show, Current Events with Conley, for Commradio. He writes articles and contributes to podcasts for Commradio as well. Also, he writes scripts, records shots and edits video for After the Whistle, a student-run high school football production and broadcast. Football is his favorite sport, specifically at the collegiate level. He is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. To contact him, his email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Mac Young's photo

Mac Young

Second Year / Broadcast Journalism

Maclain Young is a second-year student from Ocean City, New Jersey majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He writes articles weekly for CommRadio’s sports department ranging across all five major sports. Maclain also contributes with play-by-play coverage, beat writes, board ops, and has even helped new members by producing State High Calls. Maclain usually goes by “Mac” and enjoys writing about the Philadelphia sports teams, which he follows vigorously. To contact him, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Dylan Price's photo

Dylan Price

First Year / Broadcast Journalism

Dylan Price is a first year student at Pennsylvania State University studying Journalism in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. 
Dylan currently serves as a member of CommRadio at Penn State where he works with other students to cover Penn State and national sports. Outside of sports media, Dylan is an Eagle Scout and serves as a board member for FOTO, a special interest organization benefiting THON. Dylan also hosts his own podcast called, “Ambitious with Dylan Price” where he interviews NFL players, College Football coaches, NASCAR Champions, NHL Legends, Mental Health Advocates, ESPY Award Winners and Former U.S. Senators. Dylan also works as a staff writer for Empire Sports Media and Turn On The Jets covering the New York Jets, New York Yankees, Baseball, Boxing and NASCAR. Dylan intends to graduate and pursue a career in media or coaching as his biggest passion is entertaining and helping others.