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Brady leads patriots past Chiefs in overtime AFC Championship classic



Tom Brady added another chapter to his Hall of Fame heritage Sunday night, which led the New England Patriots to a dramatic 37-31

overtime victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game.

Rex Burkhead's two-yard touchdown runs on the first possession of the extra period that created a matchup between the Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams at Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta Feb. 3. The Patriots advanced to their ninth Super Bowl with Brady on quarterback and Bill Belichick as coach and their 11th in franchise history, expanding their NFL record mark. Brady, 41, will also break his own record as the oldest quarterback to start a Super Bowl.

New England also became just the third team to reach at least three consecutive Super Bowls joining the Miami Dolphins (1971-1973) and Buffalo Bills (1990-1993).

CANCEL SUPER BOWL: RAPPER DRAKE COURSES ALL FOUR TEAMS IN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES "Overtime heading towards a good team," Brady said. "[The Chiefs] had no end. We didn't. We played our best football at the end. I don't know, man, I'm tired. It was a hell of a game."

Sunday night, Brady's was not the finest statistical performance. He threw two interceptions, the first of which came with New England a farm away from another quarter-touchdown that would have set them up 14-0 early. Second midway through the fourth quarter helped create Patrick Mahomes' 23-yard touchdown pass for Damien Williams, who gave Kansas City their first leg of the evening at. 21-17.

But when the time went down when the money was on the table and big throws were made, Brady was as unflappable as ever. First, he headed a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 10-yard touchdown run by Sony Michel to put New England back on top, 24-21. Then, after the Chiefs took a 28-24 lead on a two-yard run by Williams with 2:04 to go, Brady Patriots took 65 yards in six plays, a march ending with Burkhead crashing from four yards to make scores 31-28, patriots with only 39 seconds left.

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Finally, after Chiefs forced overtime with a 39-yard Harrison Butker field goal, the patriots won coin throws and brady and co. made sure Mahomes would not see it again. After three and ten times against three and three times, Brady completed a 20-yard pass to Julian Edelman, a 15-yard pass to Edelman and a 15-yard pass to Rob Gronkowski. The third major conversion put the ball on the Kansas City 15-yard line and two games later, Burkhead was in the finish line for the winning score.

Brady completed the day completing 30 of his 46 passes for 348 yards and a touchdown in addition to the two interceptions. Mahomes, who came so close to finishing Kansas City's 49-year-old wait for a Super Bowl look, finished 16 of his 31 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns. Most of the performances and yardage came in a sparkling second half for the Chiefs offense, scoring 31 points after being held for 32 total yards in the first half, after which they were lucky to only be down 14-0. It was the first time Kansas City had been shut down in any half of this season.

As last week in handling chargers early and cruising, the patriots delivered a message – and a touchdown – on their first series. It was a classic covering 80 meters in 15 players and using up more than eight minutes. Michel rushed for 32 yards and scored from 1.

A familiar look continued on the next drive. Oh, it was shorter in length and distance, but picked up the rest of the opening quarter when New England had the ball at 12:35. This 56-yard march as Mahomes so helplessly sidelined did not culminate in the expected. Brady's third round from 1 to Gronkowski was short, and Reggie Ragland picked it off.

Brady had never thrown an interception from 1.

When the Chiefs finally got a big game on Mahome's 42 yard completion to Hill, nothing went wrong. Mahomes overthrew a wide open Williams near the end zone and then took a 14-yard bag to send KC out of the field target range.

Big mistake.

The patriots became the dominant line of scrimmage, Brady took them 90 yards and associated with Phillip Dorsett over the sloppy cover of Steven Nelson to make it 14-0 with 27 seconds remaining in half.

But Kansas City's zero disappeared quickly in the third quarter. Finally given solid protection, Mahomes freed a 54-yard finish to Sammy Watkins over All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore. He then hit another All-Pro, close end Travis Kelce, on a slope to make it 14-7 – and awaken the dormant crowd.

But one of several bad decisions further damaged Kansas City when Tyreek Hill, All-Pro flex player, retreated deeply into Chief's territory returning a point. Ultimately, KC had to conduct and the Patriots had an excellent field position, with Stephen Gostkowski setting up a 47-yard goal.

Not one to be shy of innovation, Mahomes sided with a throw to Watkins for 10 yards on a third down so covered a dump to Williams 33. Kelce drew a pass interference call at JC Jackson in the closing zone and Mahomes threw a strike Williams for the score.

Although the Chiefs were on their heels much of the night, they were only 17-14.

As in the NFC title game, some surveys will fall on the officer. The Patriots got the benefits of the doubt on two replay reviews, one of which held the last drive that ended in Michel's touchdown run. There may also be a step to fine-tune overtime rules to give both teams a hold, although a team scores a touchdown on the first drive.

With New England clinging to their three-point fourth quarter lead, an apparent sleeve at the normally reliable Edelman was overthrown, giving rise to raucous booing and some demonstrative arguments from the normally backward Andy Reid. Two players later, Edelman deflected a Brady pass in safety arms Daniel Sorensen. His 22-yard return put Kansas City on Patriots 23, and Williams scored the second of his three touchdowns to put the Chiefs on top.

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On the subsequent drive, Chris Hogan's diving single-handed catch on a third and eighth throw from Brady was sustained by crawling, though it seemed to touch the ground. Michel scampered in the end zone six players later on the fourth and one.

Sunday's drama marked the first time that both conference championship games went for overtime and the first time both visiting teams had advanced to the Super Bowl since the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers did it after the 2012 season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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