The 2019 divisional round came and left without rocking the boat. The home teams swept their opponents to advance to the conference championship games. A common storyline for both contests will focus on youth versus experience.
We'll see two new faces in big-time matchups. The Kansas City Chiefs will host their first AFC Championship Game with second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes under center. Los Angeles Rams signal-caller Jared Goff will go on the road to face the No. 1-seeded New Orleans Saints.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees looks to play in his second Super Bowl, and the Patriots will attempt to reach the title game for the fourth time in five years.
Check out the dates and times below for the conference games. We'll also profile the final four teams vying for the Lombardi Trophy.
Conference Championship Round
NFC: No. 2 Los Angeles Rams at No. 1 New Orleans Saints; Sunday, Jan. 20 at 3:05 p.m. ET on Fox, FuboTV
The Saints started slow but recovered to win 20-14 over the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday. Cornerback Marshon Lattimore forced two crucial turnovers—the second essentially sealed the victory late in the fourth quarter.
In unfortunate news, there's a belief that Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins tore his Achilles' tendon, per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo:
Rankins' potential absence could be a huge loss for the defensive line with Rams running back Todd Gurley coming to town.
Although the Rams won by an eight-point margin (30-22) over the Dallas Cowboys, they dominated in the trenches. Los Angeles held running back Ezekiel Elliott to 47 yards on 20 carries. Gurley and C.J. Anderson ran for a combined 238 yards and three touchdowns.
The Saints-Rams NFC Championship Game is a rematch from Week 9—a contest New Orleans won 45-35. In the first meeting, Drew Brees connected with Michael Thomas on 12 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown. The quarterback-wideout tandem came up huge Sunday for 12 completions, 171 yards and a touchdown. Cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib will have their hands full next week.
The Saints will have to put together a plan to keep Brees away from the league's sack leader, Aaron Donald, and Ndamukong Suh, who flashed in Saturday's matchup. If the interior duo can collapse the pocket and penetrate against the run, we could see an uncharacteristic struggle for the home team on the offensive end.
On the other side, New Orleans pass defense looked much improved against the Eagles, giving up just 201 yards along with Lattimore's two takeaways. Rams quarterback Jared Goff's recent inconsistencies, throwing five touchdown passes and five interceptions in the last five games, could tilt the advantage in the Saints' favor.
AFC: No. 2 New England Patriots at No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs; Sunday, Jan. 20 at 6:40 p.m. ET on CBS, FuboTV
The Chiefs dominated the Indianapolis Colts 31-13 in the divisional round to win their first home playoff game since 1993. They're going to host their first AFC Championship Game in a matchup against the Patriots, who crushed the Los Angeles Chargers 41-28 to advance to an eighth consecutive conference title contest.
The Chiefs can't get caught up in the moment of breaking through a playoff barrier. Head coach Andy Reid's group lost to New England 43-40 in Week 6 at Gillette Stadium. The matchup will have some differences, though.
For starters, the Patriots won't have home-field advantage. They're 9-0 at home and 3-5 on the road this year, which includes Sunday's win over the Chargers.
Both teams won't have vital offensive assets from the first meeting. Running back Kareem Hunt racked up 185 total yards and a touchdown in that game. Kansas City waived him November 30 after TMZ released a video of him shoving and kicking a woman at a Cleveland hotel. Wideout Josh Gordon hauled in five catches for 42 yards in Week 6. The league suspended him indefinitely for substance-abuse violations.
The Chiefs have filled Hunt's void with Damien Williams. He broke out for 25 carries, 129 yards and a touchdown against the Colts. The Patriots have turned to running back James White as a consistent pass-catcher. He led New England in receptions (15) in Sunday's matchup against Los Angeles.
The Chiefs must also prepare for a strong ground attack. Rookie running back Sony Michel plowed through the Chargers defense for 129 yards and three touchdowns. New England will see a refreshed Sammy Watkins. He returned to action against the Colts and recorded six catches for 62 yards after missing five consecutive games with a foot injury.
Where to Watch: NFL playoff games, studio shows and more are available through Fubo.TV/welcome.