NFL Playoff Bracket 2020: Conference Championship Game Times, Matchups Schedule

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2020

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 12: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs warms up prior to the AFC Divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Only four teams are left standing in the 2019 NFL playoffs.

Each sits just two wins shy of a championship celebration. One more victory for the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs, and they'll secure their spot in Super Bowl LIV.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We still have conference titles to disburse and two brilliant football matchups to break down below.

                     

Remaining Postseason Schedule

Conference Championships — Sunday, Jan. 19

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs, 3:05 p.m. ET on CBS

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers, 6:40 p.m. ET on FOX

                   

Super Bowl LIV — Sunday, Feb. 2

Titans-Chiefs winner vs. Packers-49ers winner, 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX

                     

Conference Championship Breakdown

Titans at Chiefs

Well, this is...unexpected.

Tennessee's feel-good story now has made-for-Hollywood, team-of-destiny vibes after the club dispatched Lamar Jackson and the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. Derrick Henry keeps bulldozing everything in his path (three straight games with over 180 rushing yards), the defense is dazzling and Ryan Tannehill is checking the right game-management boxes (eight passing touchdowns, one pick over his last four games).

"We're just locked in," Henry told reporters. "We believe in each other. We communicate. It's working out there."

To hear Henry tell it, you'd think Tennessee hadn't accomplished anything it. In some ways, it hasn't. While history would never forget this run if it's punctuated by a title, anything less and this will lack lasting power, on a national level at least.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, are right where they expected to be. Behind an offense that Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill can electrify and a stingier-than-you-think defense, coach Andy Reid has his club in its second straight conference title game. In turn, the veteran skipper might have his best shot yet at securing his first championship, as ESPN's Dan Graziano observed:

"Everything sure does seem to be coming up Chiefs right now. They got a bye because Miami knocked off the Patriots in Week 17. They'll host the AFC Championship Game ... because the Titans upset the Ravens. And while they looked utterly awful Sunday in a first quarter in which they fell behind 24-0, they looked utterly unstoppable for the remaining three quarters and beat the Texans 51-31."

This contest likely hinges on Henry vs. Kansas City's rush defense. Tennessee clearly has no problem feeding its top rusher all he can handle, and controlling the ground game means controlling the clock—and keeping Mahomes on the sideline. But if the Chiefs pair a couple of early stops with some quick-strike scores, Mahomes might have more than Henry, Tannehill and the entire Volunteer State can handle.

                    

Packers at 49ers

Theoretically, Green Bay got exactly what it wanted. After suffering a 37-8 thrashing at Levi's Stadium on Nov. 24, the Packers were already eagerly awaiting a rematch.

"We definitely want to see them again," Packers linebacker Blake Martinez said. "We are competitors and we want to be able to show our true selves."

It's on the Packers to prove they're the team that converted nine of their 13 third-down chances in Sunday's 28-23 triumph over the Seattle Seahawks and not the one that went 1-of-15 on that first disastrous trip to San Francisco. The 49ers sacked Aaron Rodgers five times in that tilt, then upped the ante with six sacks in Saturday's 27-10 handling of the Minnesota Vikings.

The 49ers are healthy 7.5-point favorites, per Caesars Sportsbook, for a reason. Their defense is ferocious at every level, but they're especially nasty up front, as their line features five former first-round picks. Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman is as stingy as they come. Their rushing attack is potent, too, as only the Ravens bettered San Francisco's 2,305 yards on the ground this season.

But the Niners can't let this game became a quarterback duel.

Aaron Rodgers, a California native whom San Francisco passed over to take Alex Smith first overall in 2005, is a two-time MVP and Super Bowl champion. Jimmy Garoppolo, who spent his first three-plus seasons backing up Tom Brady, just picked up his first playoff win and looked a little shaky doing it (11-of-19 for 131 yards with one touchdown and one interception).

Still, when San Francisco is at its best, it doesn't need much from Garoppolo. This looks like a Super Bowl-caliber defense, and it's already flummoxed Rodgers and the Packers once.

"They're a great football team, have a great front, obviously get after the passer and don't need to rush a lot of guys to do that," Rodgers said. "(They have an) excellent pass rush, really good on the back end, smart."

Any time Rodgers goes up against a great defense, it's appointment viewing. Put a Super Bowl berth on the line, though, and this could be an all-time classic.

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