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Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs in overtime



KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – It's the dead of winter, meaning the weather in New England can be brutal. And that was the Super Bowl

It took them overtime and more of Tom Brady's brilliance to get there – for the third straight year. While the folks back home dealt with a frigid storm, Brady blew through Kansas City's exhausted defense on a 75-yard drive to Rex Burkhead's 2-yard touchdown run in 37-31 victory Sunday for the AFC championship.

The drive, during which New England (13-5) had three third-down conversions, was reminiscent of when the Patriots beat Atlanta in the only Super Bowl to go to OT two years ago.

"Overtime, on the road against a great team , "Brady said. "They had no quit. Neither did we. We played our best football at the end. I don't know, man, I'm tired. That was a hell of a game." Los Angeles Rams, who won 26-23 in overtime in New Orleans for the NFC championship. The Rams (1

5-3) last made the Super Bowl in 2002 while based in St. Louis, losing to the Patriots.

New England benefited from critical replay reviews and made his ninth Super Bowl with Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as coach.

"This is crazy," said Brady, who was 30 of 46 for 348 yards. "What a game."

It's the first time both conference title games went to OT. The last time both visitors won conference championship matches was 2012.

Several times, the Patriots appeared to have won, only to see Kansas City (13-5) come back in spectacular fashion.

Brady, at 41 already The oldest quarterback has played in a Super Bowl, New England 65 yards in 1:24 to Burkhead's go-ahead 4-yard touchdown with 39 seconds left in regulation. That was enough, though, for his father, younger counterpart, the 23-year-old All-Pro Patrick Mahomes, to take the Chiefs 48 yards to Harrison Butker's 39-yard field goal with 8 seconds left to force overtime.

It was a sizzling offensive showing in the fourth quarter after defense had been charged most of the way. Indeed, the Chiefs were blanked in the opening half for the first time all season.

And they never saw the ball in overtime, which along with the two replay decisions might call into play NFL rules and officiating.

"I thought if we got the chance, "Mahomes said," we'd score. "

Mahomes finished 16 of 31 for 295 yards and three touchdowns.

New England became the third franchise to reach three Super Bowls in a row . And Belichick now has 30 postseason victories, more than Bill Walsh and Don Shula combined. That Hall of Fame coaching duo also won five Super Bowls; Belichick shoots for No. 6 in two weeks

An apparent muff of the usually reliable was fourth-quarter point return overturned by a lengthy video review, prompting raucous booing and some demonstrative arguing from usually laid-back Andy Reid. Edelman definitely touched his next try when Brady's pass deflected off his hands directly to safety Daniel Sorensen. His 22-yard return set up at Kansas City at the Patriots 23, and Damien Williams, who scored three times, had no defender near him down the left sideline for the score that made it 21-17, KC's first lead.

Back came Brady, engineering a 75-yard march on which Chris Hogan's diving one-handed catch on third down appeared to touch the ground. Reid challenged – and lost

Minutes later, rookie Sony Michel scored from the 10th, his second TD of the night

With 3½ minutes remaining, there was plenty of time for more points. Williams' 2-yard run gave the Chiefs a 28-24 edge that took over the remaining time overcoming before Butker's field goal sent it to overtime



The Chiefs hadn't been blanked in any half this season, but they were barely present in the first 30 minutes, when they had the ball for 8:53. Mahomes was sacked three times for 43 yards; Kansas City's record setting attack only 16 plays and gained more than 32 yards.

The zero quickly disappeared in the third quarter. Finally given solid protection, Mahomes unleashed a 54-yard completion to Sammy Watkins over All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore. He then hit another All-Pro, tight than Travis Kelce, to make it 14-7 – and awaken the slumbering crowd.

But one of several bad decisions further damaged Kansas City when Tyreek Hill, the All-Pro flex player, retreated deep in Chiefs territory returning to point. Eventually, KC had the point and the patriots had excellent field position, setting up a 47-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.

Not one to be shy about innovation, Mahomes completely sided with a throw to Watkins for 10 yards on a third down, then a dump-off to Williams covered 33. Kelce drew a pass interference call on JC Jackson in the end zone, and Mahomes threw to Williams for the score.

Although the chiefs were much of the night, they were down only 17-14.

LOPSIDED FIRST HALF

Just as they did last week in man handling the Chargers early and cruising, the Patriots delivered a message – and a touchdown – on their first series. It was a classic, covering 80 yards in 15 plays and using more than eight minutes. Michel, who had 113 yards rushing, scored from the 1.

But Brady made a weird mistake on the next dominant drive. His third-down pass from the 1st for Rob Gronkowski was short and Reggie Ragland picked it off.

Brady had never thrown an interception from the 1.

When the Chiefs finally got a trademark big play on Mahomes' 42- yard completion to Hill, it went for naught. Mahomes overthrew a wide-open Williams near the end zone, then took a 14-yard sack to send KC out of field goal range.

Big mistake.

The Patriots kept dominating the line of scrimmage, Brady took them 90

STATS

In Week 6, the Patriots beat the Chiefs 43-40 in a game featuring 946 yards total offense. This one had 814. … New England has played in eight straight AFC title games, but this is its first road playoff win since the 2006 season vs. San Diego. … Brady match forms Patriots K Adam Vinatieri, now with the Colts, for most wins in NFL history (236). … Kansas City's defense tied for first in the NFL with 52 sacks, but had none on Sunday. New England had four.

COIN TOSS

Reid's decision to defer after winning the opening coin toss proved unwise as New England had 22 plays in the opening period, and Kansas City had seven. Then, the Chiefs lost the more important toss before overtime. Less than five minutes later, they were headed to the offseason.

UP NEXT

The Patriots head to Atlanta to play the Rams in the Super Bowl.

___

More AP NFL: https: // apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL


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