The matchup for the 2024 Super Bowl is set, with the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs taking on the San Francisco 49ers.
Super Bowl LVIII will be broadcast live from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, on CBS and Nickelodeon and streaming on Paramount+.
AFC Championship: Kansas City Chiefs defeat Baltimore Ravens
Kansas City will head to its second straight Super Bowl, the franchise’s fourth appearance in the NFL’s title game in the last five seasons, after prevailing over the Baltimore Ravens 17-10 in the.
Sunday’s matchup at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore featured two of the NFL’s most dynamic quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, and, following a three-and-out from the Ravens on their opening drive, the game looked like it could turn into a barn burner.
Both teams exchanged touchdown drives on the next two possessions. The Chiefs put together a 10-play, 86-yard drive capped by a touchdown reception by star tight end Travis Kelce (and yes,). The Ravens responded with a quick 6-play drive punctuated by a 30-yard pass from Jackson to Xavian Flowers, taking a little over two and a half minutes to tie the game up.
The Chiefs then orchestrated a lengthy 16-play touchdown drive that ate up nine minutes of game time. A two-yard touchdown run by Isiah Pacheco with 10:56 left in the second quarter put the Chiefs up 17-7 and would be the final touchdown scored by either team.
The rest of the game was marked by strong defense and missed opportunities. The Ravens next drive ended with a strip sack of Jackson recovered by the Chiefs at Baltimore’s 33 yard line. But despite the great field position, Kansas City came away with nothing on the ensuing drive after failing to convert on a 4th and 1 run.
The teams then exchanged punts on the next three drives until the Chiefs were able to close out the half with a 56-yard field goal.
Two crucial turnovers in the second half doomed the Ravens. The first came on the very first play of the 4th quarter, when Flowers fumbled just before crossing the plane for what would have been a touchdown. Instead, the ball was recovered by the Chiefs in the endzone for a touchback.
On the Ravens’ next possession, a promising drive ended abruptly when Jackson’s pass on 2nd and 10 from the Kansas City 25 yard, intended for a well-covered Isaiah Likely, was picked off in the endzone.
But despite the Ravens’ issues, the Chiefs’ offense couldn’t muster anything after halftime either.
The only scoring in the second half came with just 2:34 left to play in the 4th quarter, when Justin Tucker kicked a 43-yard field goal to bring the Ravens back within seven. But Baltimore’s offense never saw the ball again, as the Chiefs were able to put the game away with a 32-yard pass from Mahomes to Marquez Valdes-Scantling on 3rd and 9, giving the Chiefs a fresh set of downs as the game wound down to the two minute warning.
The Ravens, with no more timeouts remaining, were unable to stop the clock and all the Chiefs needed were a few kneel downs to end the game.
NFC Championship: Detroit Lions fall to San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers dealt the Detroit Lions a crushing 34-31 loss in the NFC Championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California (and yes, Grateful Dead founding member Bob Weir was in attendance).
The Lions jumped out to a 24-7 lead at the half, putting them in excellent position to make their first ever Super Bowl appearance. But the 49ers came storming back in the second half.
San Francisco kicked a field goal on its first possession of the third quarter to make it a two-score game. An improbable catch by Brandon Aiyuk on a deep ball that bounced off a defender’s facemask set San Francisco up with a first and goal at the five yard line on their next drive. The Niners then went on to score 27 unanswered points, with a three-yard Elijah Mitchell touchdown run making it 34-24 with 3:02 to play.
Detroit also helped San Francisco’s comeback efforts by failing to convert two fourth downs while in field goal range.
The Lions pulled back within three with 56 seconds to go, but failed to recover the ensuing onside kick. San Francisco was then able to bleed out the rest of the clock.
San Francisco’s win sets up a rematch of 2020’s Super Bowl LIV, when the Chiefs downed 49ers 31-20.