If there was ever a time to confidently say that the NFL is scripted with predetermined outcomes, this edition of Conference Championship weekend would be it.
It seems obvious that the two best teams in their respective conferences would reach the final four of professional football with one game until the Super Bowl. But here we are. The Saints, Chiefs, Rams and Patriots withstood their lower-seeded competition over the weekend to set up what is perhaps the most exciting narrative the NFL has seen.
In addition to two games between the best four teams in the league, football fans also get to watch a generation of quarterbacks on its way out the door do battle with two youngsters who have taken the league by storm with their dynamic offenses.
Just think of a year ago when the conference championship games featured the Jaguars, Eagles, Vikings and Patriots. Blake Bortles, Case Keenum and Nick Foles were three of the quarterbacks featured that weekend. It’s crazy how different it all seems a year later.
Drew Brees and Tom Brady are without a doubt in the conversation as the best to play the quarterback position. And with their careers running out of road, they face two young men who have every intention of taking the reins of the league for themselves over the coming years.
Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes are part of the next wave of great quarterbacks to change the dynamic of the league. At this point, there is no reason to start debating who is better between the two because one will be named league MVP in the coming weeks and the other won’t. That doesn’t change that Goff is a good quarterback in a great system, and as long as he’s in it, he will likely stay good. Mahomes is just an amazing quarterback in an equally great system.
The point is, we’re witnessing something that could change the league as we know it. Really, only one of these young guys has to win their game to send the message that this youth movement is real. Even if Brady and Brees prevail, can anyone really complain about seeing two greats play in the most important football game of the year?
Each of the possible outcomes for the Super Bowl is enticing. The only one that is exponentially less exciting than the others is a Rams vs. Patriots game. Even then, Ram’s coach, Sean McVay represents a new breed of young offensive geniuses and taking down Bill Belichick would rapidly accelerate the youth movement.
As a Chiefs fans, witnessing the Mahomes show each week has been special in so many ways. If you haven’t heard, the Chiefs have been terrible at drafting and developing quarterbacks, so naturally the one time they got it right, they nailed it. As someone who wants to see Mahomes be the greatest and most innovative to play the position, I hope for a road that includes defeating Brady and Brees en route to the first Super Bowl Championship in Kansas City in nearly 50 years.
Regardless of how the weekend shakes out, the Super Bowl will feature a matchup that would likely draw the same amount of attention without the Super Bowl label. Chiefs fans, remember where we were before the season began and be grateful that Mahomes and company gave us that home playoff win.