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NFL Divisional Round MMQB: Bengals’ Lack of Respect, 49ers’ Defense, Coach Carousel Notes

Links to all our coverage of NFL Sunday, including Albert Breer’s conversations with Zac Taylor, Fred Warner, Brandon Graham, Andy Reid and Chad Henne. Plus, coach carousel notes and a mini mock draft.

Welcome to the divisional round of the playoffs. We are trying things a little differently at The MMQB this year with Albert Breer’s Monday-morning column, publishing items as separate stories throughout the morning. Below are links to everything Albert wrote about this round, plus more from our staff.

The Bengals Know They’re a Superpower, Even If Others Can’t Believe It

Joe Burrow leads a Bengals huddle during the team's win over the Bills

Joe Burrow and the Bengals looked quite at home in a snowy playoff atmosphere in Buffalo.

“We won the AFC championship last year. We’ve won 10 games in a row. We’re here. Whatever you want to make of it doesn’t matter.”

Zac Taylor tells Albert Breer that the Bengals know who they are, even if the rest of the world is still catching up


Eagles Lose Themselves In the Moment—and Own It—Against Giants

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni leads Philadelphia into its first NFC championship game since 2017.

Nick Sirianni has the Eagles hosting the NFC title game in his second season.

Albert Breer talks to veteran defensive leader Brandon Graham about how Philadelphia responded to its coach’s inspirational video and advanced to the NFC championship. Also inside: Conversations with Andy Reid and Chad Henne about how the Chiefs proved they’re more than just Patrick Mahomes.


Divisional Round Takeaways: Inside the 49ers’ Big Day Against Big D, Understanding Patriots Staff Changes

San Francisco linebacker Fred Warner breaks up a pass against the Cowboys' CeeDee Lamb during their NFC divisional playoff game.

The 49ers’ defensive stars stepped up on a day when Brock Purdy’s offense didn’t light up the scoreboard.

Albert Breer talks to linebacker Fred Warner about how San Francisco picked off Dak Prescott twice and the Cowboys’ “very bizarre” play to end the game. Plus the rest of the takeaways including a deep dive into the changes on the Patriots’ staff.


Six From Saturday: Projecting the Top Six Picks of the 2023 NFL Draft

Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jalen Carter

There are many reasons to believe the Bears would take Jalen Carter No. 1.

Albert Breer gives a mini mock draft, along with his latest notes on player declarations and NIL.


Former Saints coach Sean Payton stands on the sidelines during a game in 2022.

Sean Payton has loomed over the entire coach hiring cycle, but the longer it drags out the more likely he might not return to the NFL this year.

The playoffs and league rules are slowing down the process with five head coach openings and more than 10 offensive and defensive coordinator positions still available. Here is the latest on what Albert Breer is hearing.


Money Would Drive More Potential Neutral-Site AFC and NFC Championship Games

The NFL is considering moving to neutral-site conference championship games.

There will be no neutral-site game in Atlanta this weekend, but the NFL may have learned from the possibility there would be.

A look at why the NFL would consider a permanent move to neutral-site AFC and NFC championship games, and how the league could profit from it.


More From the MMQB Staff

Josh Allen crumbled on the snowy field during a loss to the Bengals

A long season in Buffalo came to an abrupt end Sunday against the Bengals.

Greg Bishop: For the Bills, the Curtain Closes on an Unimaginable Season

Conor Orr: Another Cowboys Season Ends on a Baffling Late-Game Decision

Conor Orr: Eagles Remind Us of Their Regular Season Dominance By Demolishing Giants

Michael Rosenberg: Patrick Mahomes’s Legend Grows With Gutsy Performance Against Jaguars

Greg Bishop: Maybe This Felt Like the Bills’ Year—Until Joe Burrow’s Bengals Stormed Into Buffalo

Divisional Round Game Balls: Recognizing the week’s top performers


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