Sure, we were hoping for maybe a little more drama in the divisional round of the playoffs, but in the end, we all got what we wanted: the four best teams in place, Every team has a strong case for winning the Lombardi Trophy, and all teams make a damn trip to the Super Bowl on a Sunday.
This is good stuff.
Meanwhile, the NFL Power Rankings have shrunk to just eight spots, with the top four reserved for the finalists in this burly game of chairs. After Joe Burrow and his colleagues clinically dissected the Bills in Buffalo, pushing the Bengals to the top of the standings felt like a necessity, even if it meant half the Bay Area would go down because I let The team was outraged at being eliminated from the top spot on a 12-game winning streak.
Listen, there’s no right or wrong way to rank the remaining teams at this point. It’s Juggernaut vs. Behemoth vs. Monster vs. Steamroller. Your guess is as good as mine.
(Just kidding. I got the order right. Ugh.)
Don’t forget to check out Dan Hanzus and Colleen Wolfe’s NFL Power Rankings podcast. Updated every Tuesday.
Previous rank: No. 1
Sunday’s story wasn’t Brock Purdy and the unstoppable offense. Instead, a stifling defense carried most of the load in a 19-12 win over the Cowboys, earning San Francisco its third trip to the NFC Championship Game in four years. It’s a hallmark of all truly great teams: You need to be a shapeshifter, especially in the rigors of the NFL playoffs. The Niners averaged 38.3 points per game over the past four weeks, but they beat the Cowboys’ defense by bewildering Dak Prescott and allowing Dallas one touchdown and 282 total yards. The challenge will be greater in Philadelphia on Sunday, but the Niners are battle-tested, undefeated since October and versatile enough to handle whatever comes their way.
Previous rank: No. 6
The final game of the season last year against the 49ers was frustrating. This time, it just feels sad. A doomed gizmo featuring Ezekiel Elliott as “Pancake Center One” and KaVontae Turpin as “There Is No Prayer Taker in the World” ’, summed up the Cowboys’ lost Sunday pretty neatly, with a huge success in their defensive effort, Dak Prescott’s maddening no-show and a 19-12 loss at Levi’s Stadium. attack. The game will stick with Prescott, a team quarterback who looked as lost on Sunday as he was in Tampa six days ago. “If I had the answers, then we’d win tonight. Too early. Too early,” Prescott said. “However, I promise you we will. We will for this organization while I’m playing for this team.” These years, Dak they need to lie