After the greatest playoff weekend in NFL history, just four teams remain on the road to Super Bowl 56. And with three lower-ranked road teams winning in the divisional round, there is considerable change. The bottom three teams in my rankings last week are still alive, prompting the question: "What do I know?" Undeterred, I will motor on and rank the final four.
The Chiefs have that look of a dynastic champion that always finds a way to win. I would say more than 90 percent of the NFL would have been dead and buried with 13 seconds left on the clock. But, of course, Andy Reid and, more importantly, Patrick Mahomes had a plan. Great teams are like dragons… they are hard to slay. That’s how I feel about Kansas City. They are imperfect (who isn’t in today’s NFL), but they know how to win and they nearly always find a way. Kansas City will be hard to topple.
When they play like they did against the Arizona Cardinals in the Wild Card round and the San Francisco 49ers (Week 18) and Tampa Bay (Divisional Round), the Rams have everything you would want from a Super Bowl champion. They have an elite-level quarterback in Matthew Stafford, playmakers around him and a fearsome pass rush that can take over games. But the worry is the leads they let slip against the 49ers and Bucs. Does this team have that killer instinct?
The 49ers might have one of the best teams in the entire NFL. That, along with excellent play-calling from Kyle Shanahan, is the reason San Francisco is among the final four teams competing for Super Bowl glory. The running game is strong and brilliantly creative, Deebo Samuel is the ultimate football weapon and George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk are dangerous. The pass rush is dynamic and the linebackers are stout. But Jimmy Garoppolo has a QB rating of 80 or below in four of his five playoff games. That is a big worry.