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A Guide for Who to Root for in the Championship Games

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After the Ravens' early playoff exit, nobody will blame you if you take a hard pass on watching the championship games.

The Ravens' divisional loss still feels like a fresh wound to many after such a dominant, record-setting, fun regular-season ride.

But let's be honest. A lot of you simply love football, so you still turn the games on – even just to have in the background.

So who should you be rooting for? Depends on what kind of person you are …

If you like vengeance …

… then root for the Chiefs. After all, the sixth-seeded Titans came into M&T Bank Stadium and stunned the top-seeded Ravens in what was a historic upset. Tennessee also ruffled some feathers along the way. They stomped around the Ravens' midfield shield during pre-game introductions and mocked Mark Ingram II's "big truss" after the game. Marshal Yanda said he was spat on. Simply put, the Titans ended the Ravens' season, so it might help soothe the pain to see them knocked out.

If you like an underdog …

… then root for the Titans. Tennessee is trying to become the first sixth seed to reach the Super Bowl since the Green Bay Packers in 2010. They beat the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots, then the best team of the 2019 regular season. The Titans' lone trip to a Super Bowl came a few inches short against the St. Louis Rams in the 1999 season.

If you want to feel better about the Ravens' loss …

… then root for the Titans. You want to be beaten by the best, right? If the Titans upset the Chiefs, it means Baltimore was at least knocked out by the AFC champions. Tennessee would have knocked out the conference's top three seeds.

If you like to see former Ravens succeed …

… then root for whichever former Raven you liked the most. All-time Ravens sacks leader Terrell Suggs has a chance to go to another Super Bowl, this time with the Chiefs. Pro Bowler Kyle Juszczyk is a big part of San Francisco's offense and has helped keep fullbacks – a creature once seemingly headed for extinction – alive in the NFL. Outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith has balled out (13.5 sacks) for Green Bay this year after signing a mega contract last offseason. And Dean Pees came out of a brief retirement to be the defensive coordinator of the Titans.

If you like to feel better about who the Ravens beat …

… then root for the 49ers. San Francisco is the only team left that Baltimore defeated this season. The Chiefs beat the Ravens in Week 3, the Titans topped Baltimore in the playoffs and there was no regular season game against Green Bay. The Ravens prevailed over the 49ers in a rain-soaked 20-17 victory capped by a game-winning 49-yard field goal by Justin Tucker. If they reach the Super Bowl, at least Ravens fans can feel confident that Baltimore proved it could've been there.

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