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1 big thing you need to know about the last 4 teams left in the NFL playoffs


Football fans are eagerly awaiting Sunday's conference championship games to find out which teams will go to the Super Bowl. OK, I can't even pretend I know what I'm talking about. I don't know what the conference championship games are, and I don't know why the players wear those tight pants. A, you're going to have to just take it from here.


Leila, I'm glad you asked. The reason why the pants are so tight is because when they get tackled, they don't want the pants to come off. That's why they have to be that tight.


MARTÍNEZ: Pretty simple, yeah.

FADEL: There are explanations. OK, so for those of you like me who don't follow the NFL, it might be stressful with coworkers or friends asking for your hot takes about the big games. We're here to help you fake it until you make it.

MARTÍNEZ: Who is asking you for your hot football takes?

FADEL: Did I not just explain my expertise, A? Ah, noted, yeah. I mean, clearly, I'm kidding. We have the perfect person - that is not me - to help.

MELISSA JACOBS: Hi, I'm Melissa Jacobs. I'm an NFL contributor for The Guardian. And my social media is @thefootballgirl.

MARTÍNEZ: All right, in the AFC Championship game Sunday night, the Baltimore Ravens host the Kansas City Chiefs. What should you know about the Ravens?

JACOBS: The main name you need to know is Lamar Jackson. He's the do-it-all quarterback, with his arms getting it done on the ground. And he is the unequivocal NFL MVP this season.

FADEL: OK, and what about the Chiefs?

JACOBS: The most famous name from the Kansas City Chiefs used to be their quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. But now it's Taylor Swift thanks to her very well-publicized relationship with Travis Kelce, the tight end of the Kansas City Chiefs is - Mahomes is the No. 1 target. I mean, he is just a bruiser out there. He's a total game changer. He's really, really hard to cover.

MARTÍNEZ: And then in the NFC, the Detroit Lions are in San Francisco to take on the 49ers.

JACOBS: This is a team, the San Francisco 49ers, perennially in the playoffs. But they've lost the NFC Championship the last two years, and they lost the Super Bowl two years before that. So they have a lot still to prove despite their success. And it will be a disappointing season if the 49ers don't win the Super Bowl.

FADEL: And what about their opponents from the Motor City?

JACOBS: Well, the Detroit Lions have morphed into America's team. They just won their first playoff game in 32 years, and the Lions are one of only four teams that have never played in a Super Bowl. They're a team on the rise, and they've gotten so many monkeys off their back already, and there might be more to come.

MARTÍNEZ: All right. There you have it, your guide to this weekend's NFL playoff games.

FADEL: Play ball. Oh, wait. That's base - whatever.

MARTÍNEZ: (Laughter) Close. You're close.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Devan Schwartz
Devan Schwartz is an editor for NPR's Morning Edition. He is an experienced audio professional who, in addition to his work with NPR, has worked with such organizations as BBC, Slate, the New York Times, and various public radio stations.

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