4. The Bengals Are For Real
Several people felt the Cincinnati Bengals’ run to the Super Bowl last season was a bit of a fluke. But, this season they have proven that is not the case as they are once again a powerhouse in the AFC.
They dismantled the Buffalo Bills during the Divisional Round, dominating every facet of the game. Despite multiple starters not being in the lineup along the offensive line, Joe Burrow completed 23-of-36 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns during a snow-filled game.
Defensively, they held Josh Allen and company in check, which is no easy feat to do. This is a well-rounded team that is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. Going into Arrowhead isn’t something that will phase them, either, as the Bengals have won three games in a row against the Chiefs including last season’s AFC Championship Game on the road.
3. Jalen Hurts Looks Healthy
Coming into the Divisional Round there were some concerns about how healthy Eagles’ quarterback Jalen Hurts actually was. It was only going to be his second appearance in five weeks as he suffered a sprained shoulder against the Chicago Bears in Week 15.
He was on the field in Week 18 as the Eagles needed a win over the Giants to secure the No. 1 seed and he didn’t look great. Philadelphia won 22-16 against the Giants’ backups. But, any questions about his health were put to bed with his performance this past weekend.
Hurts dominated the Giants, completing 16-of-24 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns. He added nine rushes for 34 yards and another score as New York’s defense had no answers for him or the Eagles’ offense in general. That had to be an encouraging performance heading into a matchup with the vaunted 49ers’ defense.