Burrow, Mahomes co-favorites to pass for most yards in Conference Championship Round
In a game with the highest projected points total of Championship Sunday, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Kansas City Chiefs gunslinger Patrick Mahomes are co-favorites to finish with the highest passing yards of the weekend.
Player to have most passing yards in the gameweek
The duo squared off in Week 17 of the regular season, where Burrow finished with 446 yards on 30-of-39 passing and four touchdowns in a 34-31 upset over Kansas City inside Paul Brown Stadium. Star wideout Ja'Marr Chase pulled down 266 of those yards, which set a rookie single-game record.
Mahomes went 26-of-35 for 259 yards and two scores in the loss, as his top receivers, Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce, were held to a combined 65 receiving yards. It's important to note, though, Kelce came off the reserve/COVID-19 list the week of this game and Hill was in his second game back after testing positive for the virus.
In the playoffs, Mahomes is back in top form and has totaled 791 passing yards across the Wild Card Round and the Divisional Round, where he threw for 378 yards, the most by any quarterback last weekend.
Burrow finished with the third most yards (348) in the second round, while Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (366) ranked second.
Stafford is set to face one of the league's top defenses in San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game, while Burrow and Mahomes will go up against two middling defenses that have been weakened by injuries in the playoffs.
Another concern for Burrow is the play of his offensive line, which allowed a record-tying nine sacks by the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round.
Despite getting the best of the Chiefs in Week 17, Cincinnati will enter as a seven-point underdog at Arrowhead Stadium.
Kansas City is the favorite to finish with the most points in the conference championship round, while Cincinnati is the third choice to score the most on the weekend.
Highest scoring team in the conference championship round
Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco 49ers
Mitchell expected to rule the run game
While Cincinnati's rematch with Kansas City should see a flurry of points scored behind two high-octane passing attacks, the 49ers vs. Rams showdown will likely stay low to the ground.
San Francisco rookie running back Elijah Mitchell is the favorite (+190) to rush for the most yards on Championship Sunday, after he combined for 176 yards in two regular-season matchups with LA.
Player to have most rushing yards in the gameweek
Behind him on the odds board is Rams running back Cam Akers, who made his 2021 regular-season debut in Week 18 against the Niners and rushed for just three yards on five carries in the 27-24 overtime loss.
In the postseason, Akers has run for 103 yards on 41 total carries, good for just a 2.5 yards-per-carry average.
San Francisco wideout Deebo Samuel is the fourth choice (+550) to top all players in rushing yards, as the multifaceted talent has become a key part of the Niners' rushing attack and finished with 72 rushing yards in the Wild Card Round.
However, the veteran receiver appeared to injure himself in the Divisional Round win against Green Bay and may not be as effective in his third meeting of the season with Los Angeles.
Kupp a prime target for most receiving yards
While the Niners attempt to control the clock through the run game in their all-NFC West clash with the Rams, Sean McVay's team will attempt to push the ball downfield with star receiver Cooper Kupp.
In the Divisional Round, Stafford needed just 42 seconds to find Kupp for two deep passes to set up the game-winning field goal in a 30-27 thriller in Tampa Bay.
Kupp led the league in receiving yards, touchdown catches, and receptions during the regular season and ranks first among all receivers in yards (244) in the postseason.
He's the +200 frontrunner to lead all receivers in the third round, followed by Chase (+425), Hill (+600), and Kelce (+650).
Player to have most receiving yards in the gameweek
Last weekend, Kupp ranked second in receiving yards (183), behind Bills wideout Gabriel Davis, who racked up 201 yards in Buffalo's 42-36 overtime loss to Kansas City.
Each team this Sunday had a receiver eclipse 100 yards and a TD:— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) January 25, 2022
Kansas City - Tyreek Hill: 11 rec, 150 yds, 1 TD
Buffalo - Gabriel Davis: 8 rec, 201 yds, 4 TDs
Tampa Bay - Mike Evans: 8 rec, 119 yds, 1 TD
Los Angeles - Cooper Kupp: 9 rec, 183 yds, 1 TD
Hill finished with the third most receiving yards (150), followed by Titans receiver A.J. Brown (142) and Packers running back Aaron Jones (129).
With three of the top five receivers from the Divisional Round eliminated, Kupp and Hill are in strong contention for the conference championship receiving crown.
But keep an eye out for Kelce, who had 96 yards against Buffalo, and 108 yards against Pittsburgh in the Wild Card Round.
The playoffs are where he shines the most, as we saw last year in the Chiefs' run to the Super Bowl. Kelce caught for more than 100 yards in all three of his postseason games last year, and could have a huge performance Sunday in his first fully healthy outing against Cincinnati.