49ers defeat Cowboys to advance to NFC title game

49ers defeat Cowboys to advance to NFC title game

Christian McCaffrey scored on a 2-yard go-ahead run in the fourth quarter and San Francisco’s defense did the rest, sending the 49ers to their second straight NFC title game with a 19-12 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

The 49ers (15-4) used back-to-back scoring drives in the second half to wear down the Cowboys (13-6) and win their 12th straight game. San Francisco advanced to play the Eagles in next Sunday’s NFC title game in Philadelphia after losing in that round to the Rams a year ago.

The Cowboys lost for the seventh straight time in the divisional round and have failed to reach the NFC title game since winning their fifth Super Bowl title after the 1995 season.

Dak Prescott threw two interceptions and Brett Maher missed his fifth extra point of the postseason when his attempt was blocked. He later made two field goals.

The Cowboys had a chance when they took over at their own 18-yard line with 2:59 remaining, trailing 19-12 after Robbie Gould’s fourth field goal of the game capped a nearly eight-minute drive.

But Prescott threw two consecutive incompletions and was sacked on third down. Coach Mike McCarthy opted to punt on fourth-and-10 with three timeouts remaining.

Purdy improves to 7-0 as a starter

Rookie Brock Purdy started the ensuing drive with a 16-yard completion to George Kittle and San Francisco didn’t give the ball back to Dallas until 45 seconds remained on the 6-yard line. Dallas never came close from there.

Purdy, the last pick in the draft last April, improved to 7-0 as a starter since taking over for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo early in Week 13. He went 18 of 28 for 215 yards with no turnovers against the Cowboys, joining Joe Flacco (2008) and Mark Sanchez (2009) as the only rookie quarterbacks to win two playoff starts.

The 49ers took the lead on the first play of the fourth quarter when McCaffrey capped a 91-yard drive with a two-yard run.

The drive featured a juggling 30-yard catch by Kittle and a pair of defensive holds against Dallas, including one on Donovan Wilson near the goal line that negated a sack on third down.

Maher made his second field goal of the game when he converted from 43 yards out to cut San Francisco’s lead to 16-12.

The NFL’s top two scoring teams over the past 13 weeks struggled to get going as defenses led by San Francisco’s All-Pros Nick Bosa and Dallas’ Micah Parsons controlled the game.

The Niners converted two first-half interceptions by Prescott into Robbie Gould field goals and led 9–6 at the half.

The Cowboys scored the only TD of the first half with Prescott connecting with tight end Dalton Schultz for the third time this postseason. But Maher’s low extra point attempt was blocked by Samson Ebukam.

Maher got some redemption when he made a 25-yard field goal that tied the game at 9 early in the third quarter after Ray-Ray McCloud fumbled on a punt return at the San Francisco 21-yard line.

The 49ers would reach their second Super Bowl in the last four seasons with a victory in Philadelphia.

The Bengals shut down the Bills in Buffalo

Joe Burrow threw two touchdown passes, Cincinnati’s defense outran Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen on a snow-slick field and the visiting Bengals advanced to their second straight AFC Championship game with a 27-game victory. 10 over the Bills on Sunday.

The inspiring presence of Damar Hamlin as he watched the game from an end zone suite wasn’t enough to ignite the Bills in a rematch of a regular season game that was canceled on January 2 when Bills security suffered a cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated. in the Cincinnati field.

Instead, it was “Joe Cool” showing poise while playing in a persistent snowfall.

Burrow completed his first nine passes for 105 yards and led Cincinnati to a 14-0 lead after his first two possessions. Ja’Marr Chase opened the scoring with a 28-yard TD reception at 3:20 into the game, followed by Burrow’s 15-yard TD toss to Hayden Hurst eight minutes later. Joe Mixon scored on a one-yard run and Evan McPherson converted field goals of 20 and 28 yards in a game the Bengals never trailed.

A male football quarterback wearing the number 9 passes the ball with his right hand as snow falls in a stadium full of fans.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws the ball during the second quarter of his team’s 27-10 victory over the Bills in the AFC divisional round on Sunday at Highmark Stadium in Buffalo. (USA Sports TODAY)

The Bengals advanced to back-to-back AFC championship games for the first time in franchise history and will travel again to play Kansas City. The Bengals beat Kansas City 27-24 to advance to last year’s Super Bowl, which they lost to the Los Angeles Rams.

The Bengals have won the last three meetings against Kansas City, including a 27-24 victory last month. Kansas City is making its fifth straight AFC Championship Game appearance following a 27-20 win over Jacksonville on Saturday.

The Bills’ playoff streak ended in the divisional round for the second straight season, including a 42-36 overtime loss to Kansas City last year.

If Buffalo had beaten Cincinnati, the AFC championship would have taken place in Atlanta next weekend because the Bills (13-3) finished the season a half-game behind Kansas City (14-3) after they lost. canceled their game against Cincinnati.

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