The Patriots are headed to the Super Bowl for the third consecutive season.
They needed overtime in Kansas City to do it.
After winning the coin toss in overtime, the Patriots never gave Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense a chance. Rex Burkhead capped a drive that featured three third-and-10 conversions with a 2-yard touchdown run to give them a 37-31 victory over the Chiefs.
New England squandered a 14-0 halftime lead, and the teams waged a back-and-forth fourth quarter before the Chiefs’ Harrison Butker forced overtime with a 39-yard field goal in the closing seconds. The teams combined for 38 points in the fourth quarter.
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Tom Brady showcased his mastery once more, though. He twice hit Julian Edelman and once found Rob Gronkowski to convert crucial third downs that set Burkhead up for the winning score.
Kansas City will now face the Los Angeles Rams in a showdown that will pit the NFL’s past against its future.
Led by 24-year-old quarterback Jared Goff, the Rams and their 21st-century offence will take on 41-year-old Tom Brady and the Patriots, who are in search of a record-tying sixth Super Bowl title.
At 32, Sean McVay of the Rams (15-3) will be the youngest Super Bowl coach. He’ll be going against 66-year-old Bill Belichick, who is taking the Patriots (13-5) to their third straight title game, fourth in the last five years and ninth since 2002.
That streak started against who else? The Rams.
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Back then, though, they were in St. Louis. New England came in as a two-touchdown underdog and won 20-17.
The Rams open as a 1-point pick in this one, set for Feb. 3 in Atlanta.