NFL PLAYOFFS

In our penultimate games before the final, we see who clinched their respective division titles and became the finalists in this year’s Super Bowl final!

 

Los Angeles Rams 26-23 New Orleans Saints (OT)

 

The Rams somehow made it to Atlanta by defeating the Saints in overtime in a win that at one stage seemed unlikely at best. The Chiefs came flying out of the blocks and led the Rams by 13-0 after the first quarter, but the Rams rallied back to tie the game at 20-20 and again at 23-23 in the fourth quarter. Greg Zurelin was the hero for the Rams as it was his field goal that sent the game into overtime with 19 seconds on the clock before winning it after Drew Brees intercepted in Overtime.

This defeat will be particularly hard to take for the Saints, losing in such a manner but they will also feel aggrieved after controversy in the fourth quarter. In the final two minutes, Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman was not flagged for what appeared a clear pass interference penalty on receiver Tommylee Lewis. This would have resulted in a no-call and would have surely enabled the Saints to see out the victory. Had the penalty been called, the Saints would have got a fresh set of downs at the Rams five-yard line, giving them the opportunity to score a touchdown or to run down the clock and kick a field goal to win it.

It was, however, a night for Rams fans to celebrate and will be pleased that their expectations of making the Super Bowl.

 

FIRST QUARTER

Rams 0-3 Saints: Will Lutz 37-yard field goal

Rams 0-6 Saints: Lutz 29-yard field goal

Rams 0-13 Saints: Drew Brees five-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Griffin (Lutz extra point good)

SECOND QUARTER

Rams 3-13 Saints: Greg Zuerlein 36-yard field goal

Rams 10-13 Saints: Todd Gurley six-yard touchdown run (Zuerlein extra point good)

THIRD QUARTER

Rams 10-20 Saints: Brees two-yard touchdown pass to Taysom Hill (Lutz extra point good)

Rams 17-20 Saints: Jared Goff one-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Higbee (Zuerlein extra point good)

FOURTH QUARTER

Rams 20-20 Saints: Zuerlein 24-yard field goal

Rams 20-23 Saints: Lutz 31-yard field goal

Rams 23-23 Saints: Zuerlein 48-yard field goal

OVERTIME

Rams 26-23 Saints: Zuerlein 57-yard field goal

 

 

New England Patriots 37-31 Kansas City Chiefs (OT)

 

With the Rams being confirmed as the first finalist after their victory in the NFC Division Championship, it was time to determine the winner of the AFC Championship. And it was veterans Tom Brady and Bill Belichick who were left celebrating their 9th Superbowl in a compelling game which like its predecessor was also decided in overtime. The match sparked into life in the fourth quarter as the lead changed hands 5 times before being driven to overtime, although it did admittedly get off to a slow start.

The Patriots comfortably got themselves into a 14-0 halftime lead, before the statistically best offence of this season roared back as Mahomes delivered a 12-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce for the Chiefs to score their first points of the game and set the scene for a tense fourth quarter. And so the back-and-forth nature started, with Mahomes assisting them both to Damien Williams. This spurred the Patriots into life and they looked to have clinched it before a 39-yard field goal from Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker in the dying seconds sent the game into overtime.

After New England won the toss and elected to receive the ball first in the extra period, Brady delivered a couple of key third-down strikes to Julian Edelman, before Burkhead went in for the game-winning score to send the team to Atlanta.

 

FIRST QUARTER

Patriots 7-0 Chiefs: Sony Michel one-yard touchdown run (Stephen Gostkowski extra point good)

SECOND QUARTER

Patriots 14-0 Chiefs: Tom Brady 29-yard touchdown pass to Phillip Dorsett (Gostkowski extra point good)

THIRD QUARTER

Patriots 14-7 Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes 12-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce (Harrison Butker extra point good)

Patriots 17-7 Chiefs: Gostkowski 47-yard field goal

FOURTH QUARTER

Patriots 17-14 Chiefs: Mahomes one-yard touchdown pass to Damien Williams (Butker extra point good)

Patriots 17-21 Chiefs: Mahomes 23-yard touchdown pass to Damien Williams (Butker extra point good)

Patriots 24-21 Chiefs: Michel 10-yard touchdown run (Gostkowski extra point good)

Patriots 24-28 Chiefs: Damien Williams two-yard touchdown run (Butker extra point good)

Patriots 31-28 Chiefs: Rex Burkhead four-yard touchdown run (Gostkowski extra point good)

Patriots 31-31 Chiefs: Butker 39-yard field goal

OVERTIME

Patriots 37-31 Chiefs: Burkhead two-yard touchdown run

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