NFL Playoff Update: Two OT thrillers pin Rams, Patriots in the Super Bowl


Thomson200 [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the home of Super Bowl LIII.

Matthew Szymanowski, Deputy Sports Editor

After two crazy games on Sunday, the NFC and AFC Champions were crowned. Both the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots advanced to Super Bowl LIII with thrilling OT wins.

At 3:05 p.m, the Los Angeles Rams kicked off in New Orleans against the Saints.

The Saints started off white hot, kicking two field goals and scoring a touchdown on their first three drives to take a 13-0 lead.

The Rams would respond with a field goal and a touchdown right before the half to cut the Saints lead to 13-10.

The Saints scored early in the second half with a touchdown, but the Rams would respond with one of their own to make it a 20-17 game.

Midway through the 4th quarter, the Rams kicked a field goal to tie it 20-20.

Following the score, the Saints moved down the field and killed most of the remaining clock. With 3rd down and less than two minutes to go, Brees dropped back and found an open receiver down the sideline. Just before the certain catch, Rams’ cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman crushed him to the ground for a clear pass interference call. No flag was thrown by the referee, and the Saints fans erupted in boos. The Saints had to kick a field goal to take a 23-20 lead.

The Rams answered to tie it at 23 right as time expired.

The Saints received the overtime kickoff, but an interception from Drew Brees put the Rams in an excellent position to win. Greg Zuerlein would kick his 4th field goal of the game to win 26-23 and put the Rams in the Super Bowl.

If the flag was thrown on the Saints drive before overtime, the catch would have been made and the clock would have kept running. If that were to happen, it would not have given the Rams enough time to score and the Saints would have won the game.

Following that crazy game, the Kansas City Chiefs kicked off to the New England Patriots on their home turf.

Brady led the Patriots to an early 7-0 lead, and their defense stymied the Chiefs’ offense.

The Patriots would score again before halftime, but the story of the game was their defense.

The Chiefs figured out a way around the Patriots defense at the start of the second half by driving 74 yards on just four plays to cut the Patriots lead in half.

A Patriots field goal late in the 3rd quarter made it 17-7, but the Chiefs weren’t out of it yet. Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs right down the field to make it a 17-14 game.

After that, Brady threw an interception and the Chiefs would score right after to make it a 21-17 Chiefs lead.

Brady wasn’t done either as he led the Patriots down with a response to give the Patriots the lead back as time was becoming a factor.

Mahomes responded quickly, taking only five plays to go 68 yards and put the Chiefs back on top.

The seesaw battle continued when Brady went right down again and put the Patriots up 31-28 with less than a minute to go.

Mahomes got the Chiefs into good enough field position for a field goal, and the game headed to overtime tied at 31.

The Patriots won the coin toss and elected to receive. Brady took 13 plays, and converted on three 3rd and 10s to lead the Patriots into the endzone for the win, 37-31.

With the Conference Championships finished, the Super Bowl stage is set.

The Los Angeles Rams will play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga.

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