The NFL’s ‘Fantastic Four’ face off

(l-r) Jared Goff, Drew Brees photos by Steve Floyd; Tom Brady and Pat Mahomes photos by Lou Lampson

This is what greatness is all about. Four teams have navigated through the minefields of the NFL to reach the finals in one of the most exciting seasons in league history.

The NFL’s first three teams that scored over 500 points in the regular season — Kansas City 565, Los Angeles 527, and New Orleans 505 — are now on a collision path to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. For the first time in the Conference Finals, the four top-scoring teams remain.

Kansas City will host New England in the AFC Championship, and New Orleans will host the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship. In both cases, this is the rematch.

They met during the regular season. New England edged Kansas City 43-40 on Oct. 14 in New England. New Orleans defeated Los Angeles 45-35 in New Orleans on Nov. 4.

All four teams are driven by great quarterbacks. Kansas City’s Pat Mahomes threw 50 touchdown passes to lead the league. He’s only the third quarterback in league history to throw 50 or more touchdown passes.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees led the NFL with a QBR 115.7 and completion percentage 74.4. Quarterback Jared Goff of Los Angeles threw for 4,688 yards and 32 touchdowns.

QB Tom Brady of New England is recognized as the greatest of all time. Five-time Super Bowl champion, he’s the all-time post-season leader in games played with 38, 28 wins, and the most completions, passing yards and touchdown passes.

If this weekend’s games don’t excite you, you’ve already checked out. A long time ago a wise man said defense wins championships. Let’s look at the four finalists on the defensive side of the ball.

Kansas City allowed 421 points and were ranked 31st in total defense. New England we saw lose Super Bowl LII to Philadelphia here in Minneapolis; they allowed 325 points and were ranked 21st in total defense.

New Orleans allowed 353 points and were ranked 14th in total defense, while the LA Rams allowed 384 points and were ranked 19th in total defense.

How about the records of the four finalists versus 2019 playoff teams? New Orleans was 3-1. Los Angeles was 4-2, Kansas City was 2-4, and New England was 4-0.

I can’t wait. The NFL has two great championship game matchups in which experience, talent, and home-field advantage could be critical.