NFL playoff bracket 2023: Breaking down matchups, schedule for AFC & NFC championship games

The race for the Lombardi Trophy is down to four teams.

After a packed divisional round weekend, there are only three games left on the playoff schedule. Two of those will be played on Sunday, Jan. 29, to decide the matchup for Super Bowl 57.

Championship weekend brought plenty of fireworks last season, including the Bengals’ shocking comeback to upset the Chiefs in Kansas City. Chances are we’ll see some more excitement this year with everything on the line.

Here’s what you need to know about the AFC and NFC championship matchups, as well as a complete schedule.

MORE: Watch NFL playoff games live with fuboTV (free trial)

NFL playoff bracket 2023

NFL playoff bracket 2023

(SN illustration)


3. Cincinnati Bengals vs. 1. Kansas City Chiefs


2. San Francisco 49ers vs. 1. Philadelphia Eagles

NFL conference championship matchups


Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce

Getty Images

3. Cincinnati Bengals vs. 1. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are in the AFC championship game for the fifth consecutive year after taking down the Jaguars 27-20 in the divisional round. Kansas City has been a mainstay on this stage since Patrick Mahomes debuted, but there’s added intrigue this time after Mahomes suffered a high-ankle sprain against Jacksonville. The likely NFL MVP is set to play, but he almost certainly won’t be 100 percent as he tries to lift the Chiefs to their third AFC title in four years.

MORE: Patrick Mahomes’ injury doesn’t hurt Chiefs in their quest to get back to the Super Bowl

The Bengals, meanwhile, are back in the AFC title game and won’t be underestimated like they were last year. Cincinnati dominated Buffalo 27-10 in the divisional round and is one win away from its second consecutive trip to the Super Bowl. Joe Burrow and company have been playing with a chip on their shoulder, and they’re about as well-equipped as any team to win a key game on the road. Even a limited Mahomes won’t make that easy, but few teams are as confident as the Bengals right now. 

MORE: Joe Burrow lives up to lofty Peyton Manning, Tom Brady comparisons in Bengals win


2. San Francisco 49ers vs. 1. Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles shook off any concerns about rust or injuries in the divisional round, trouncing the Giants 38-7. Philadelphia looked like the juggernaut that started the season 13-1, combining a dynamic running game with a strong passing game and balanced defense. The win means the Eagles will host the NFC championship game for the first time since their Super Bowl season five years ago.

As for the 49ers, they are appearing in the NFC championship game for the third time in the last four seasons. They managed to defeat the Cowboys 19-12 thanks to a stellar effort from their elite defense. San Francisco has now won 12 consecutive games, and that defense will provide the Eagles with one of their toughest tests all season.

NFL playoff schedule: Conference championships

The NFC championship game will start the day at 3 p.m. ET in Philadelphia, followed by the AFC championship game at 6:30 p.m. ET in Kansas City.

The order of events typically alternates year to year, so the AFC will go second this year after starting championship weekend off last January.

Sunday, Jan. 29

Matchup Time (ET) TV Live stream
49ers vs. Eagles 3 p.m. Fox FuboTV,
Bengals vs. Chiefs 6:30 p.m. CBS FuboTV, Paramount+


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