NFL: The ‘You Are Looking Live!’ preview for Championship Weekend

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This week's Championship Weekend clashes (Titans-Chiefs ... 49ers-Packers) are both rematches from the regular season.

Three years ago, we began honoring radio legend Steve Czaban — who was surprisingly booted from the SB Nation Radio morning lineup in 2016, despite having perhaps the most engaging program in the radio marketplace — with a “You Are Looking Live!” preview of each NFL weekend.

The bit was so well-received, so roundly praised by media pundits (including a few SB Nation writers) and Czabe’s legion of fans alike, that we decided to make You Are Looking Live! a permanent Friday staple of other sites (including the new BATSBY Sports Network).

So, without further ado, here’s a print doppelganger to the best 60 minutes in sports radio — Hour #3 of Czabe’s NFL-heavy Friday show (heard daily from 4-7 p.m. in Washington D.C).

As such, it makes perfect sense to include Brent Musburger and Joey Porter into the presentation, via YouTube:

CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND

SUNDAY

TENNESSEE (11-7) @ KANSAS CITY (13-4)

TIME: 3:05 p.m. EST
LINE: Chiefs (-7) … Over/Under: 53
REFEREE: Tony Corrente
TV: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson, Jay Feely (CBS)

GONE STREAKING: There’s a bad news/good news proposition to the Chiefs’ current losing slide versus the Titans, in advance of Sunday’s heavyweight bout:

Since the NFL-AFL merger, Kansas City has endured three four-game losing streaks against Tennessee (formerly the Houston Oilers), covering 1975-79, 1990-93 and 2014-19.

On the plus side, the Chiefs’ losing ways with the Oilers/Titans have never extended to five consecutive games; and dating back to the AFL days of the early 1960s, Kansas City owns the longest winning streak (seven games) between the clubs.

NO CHANCE OF THIS ON SUNDAY: Since the NFL-AFL merger (1970), only two clubs have won their conference title game by scoring 10 points or less — the 1979 Rams (9-0 winners over the Buccaneers) and 1991 Bills (10-7 over the Broncos).

FUN FACT #1: Last week, Titans tailback Derrick Henry established an NFL record for most consecutive games (three) of at least 180 rushing yards.

However, his dominance for essentially carrying the Tennessee offense goes even further.

Charting his last nine outings (including the playoffs), Henry reached the elite-level threshold of 100 total yards and/or one touchdown eight times; and during this prodigious stretch, the former Heisman Trophy winner enjoyed supreme averages of 160 total yards and 1.7 touchdowns.

FUN FACT #2: During their eight home games during the regular season, the Chiefs surrendered robust averages of 127 total yards and 0.9 touchdowns to the opposing club’s No. 1 rusher (Mark Ingram, Marlon Mack, Josh Jacobs, Phillip Lindsay, Melvin Gordon, Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones, Carlos Hyde) … and that included a 32-yard, zero-TD clunker from the Broncos’ Lindsay.

On the bright side, Hyde’s 62 total yards from last week had little impact with the Texans offense, despite Houston rolling for 31 points in its Divisional Playoff round defeat.

ROAD WARRIORS: Joe Flacco (then with the Ravens) and Eli Manning (Giants) share the NFL record for most playoff road wins by a starting quarterback (six).

And in case you’re wondering, Tom Brady merely has a lifetime postseason mark of 4-4 on the road … despite owning the NFL record for most playoff starts, among quarterbacks (41).

In fact, how’s this for quirky: Brady’s Patriots notched 12 playoff berths from 2007-19; and yet, New England only played three road games during this prolific stretch (1-2 record).

GREEN BAY (14-3) @ SAN FRANCISCO (14-3)

TIME: 6:40 p.m. EST
LINE: Niners (-7.5) … Over/Under: 46.5
REFEREE: John Hussey
TV: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Chris Myers (FOX)

BATTLE TESTED: Aaron Rodgers has accounted for multiple touchdowns in seven of his last eight postseason outings.

On the down side, the Packers quarterback has never beaten the Niners in playoff action (0-2 lifetime).

FINISHING KICK: Niners tight end George Kittle enjoyed a rock-solid close to the regular season, despite being hampered by injuries around that time.

For his final 11 games, the Iowa product averaged 6.2 catches and 81 yards, while also finding the end zone five times.

Here’s another thing to celebrate: For that 11-game stretch, Kittle proffered a robust catch-to-target rate of 79 percent … which ticks eight points higher than the Packers’ catch-to-target allowance with opposing tight ends during the regular season (71 percent).

RUN TO DAYLIGHT: Come Sunday, the Niners likely won’t replicate their 37-8 trouncing from November, given the Packers’ modest improvements with run defense since then.

That said, it’s still a bad matchup on paper. During the regular season, Green Bay ranked 30th in rushing touchdowns allowed and 26th in rushing yards surrendered.

What’s more, opposing tailbacks averaged 4.9 yards per carry this year … which sounds even scarier upon realizing the Niners crafted the league’s No. 2 rushing offense (144 yards per game).

(NOTE: San Francisco produced 112 rushing yards and two rushing scores in its first encounter with Green Bay.)

FIRST ONE TO 30 WINS: Dating back to the 1970 campaign, no NFC club has ever eclipsed the 30-point mark on Conference Championship Sunday … and not advanced to the Super Bowl.

The highest-scoring losing teams? It’s a tie between the 1994 Cowboys (fell to the 49ers, 38-28) and 2009 Vikings (lost to the Saints in overtime, 31-28).

FUN FACT #1: For the first 11 NFC title games in history (1970-80), the losing club never scored more than 13 points.

Speaking of scoring droughts … from 1984-89, the losing teams from the NFC championship scored a grand total of 16 points.

That figure includes back-to-back-to-back shutouts (1984-86).

FUN FACT #2: Packers wideout Davante Adams (83 catches, 997 yards, 5 TDs, despite missing four outings) has been a PPR dynamo for fantasy owners this season, whenever healthy.

Citing his last 10 complete games, Adams avereaged 7.6 catches, 96 yards and 0.7 touchdowns, while collecting double-digit targets nine times.

Here’s another cool nugget: In two career meetings with the Niners, Adams has amassed 17 catches, 275 yards and three scores.

About The Managing Editor

Jay Clemons remains the only sports writer on the planet to capture Cynposis Media’s national award for Sports Blog Of The Year (beating out NBA.com, MLB.com, PGATour.com, The Players’ Tribune in 2015), along with the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s pre-eminent award for Best Writer (2008). Through the years, Mr. Clemons has been a key figure with numerous blue-chip sports/media brands, namely the Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report and the NBC/Universal family. With Sports Illustrated (2006-11), Clemons served a triple role with SI.com‘s heralded football coverage—editing Peter King’s famed ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’ column, penning award-winning pieces for NFL and then writing/narrating scripted videos within the NFL and baseball realms. In 2013, Clemons’ first year with the company, FOX Sports South enjoyed a monumental increase of approximately 34 million Web hits in a 12-month cycle—merely posting 11 million hits the previous year. 

Then, over a two-month span in 2014, FOX Sports South amassed 19.5 million Web hits—a 60-day record for any FOX affiliate. And in 2015, Clemons claimed the aforementioned Cynopsis Media award on FOX Sports’ behalf, the company’s only national writing award during that period. Clemons, a graduate of Michigan State University  and Wayne State University, has been an on-camera Web-TV host for Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports. In 2015, he also became the first-ever sports journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta.

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