New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The New England Patriots are headed to their third straight Super Bowl, once more thanks to Tom Brady’s brilliance.

The five-time NFL champion guided the Patriots 75 yards after winning the overtime coin toss, and backup Rex Burkhead’s 2-yard TD lifted New England past Kansas City 37-31 for the AFC championship Sunday night.

The drive, during which New England had three third-down conversions, against an exhausted defence 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.”

New England (13-5) benefited from two critical replay reviews and made its ninth Super Bowl with Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as coach.

“This is crazy,” Brady said. “What a game.”

Awaiting them in Atlanta are the Los Angeles Rams, who won 26-23 in overtime in New Orleans for the NFC championship. The Rams last made the Super Bowl in 2002 while based in St. Louis, losing to the Patriots.

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 it won, only to see Kansas City (13-5) come back in spectacular fashion.

Brady, at 41 already the oldest quarterback to have played in a Super Bowl, drove 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 far younger counterpart, the 23-year-old 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 defence had been in charge 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.

RELATED: Canadian Super Bowl ads could play during championship game

No matter to New England, which 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.

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 off-season.

UP NEXT

The Patriots head to Atlanta to play the Rams in the Super Bowl, a showdown between the NFL’s past and its future.

Led by 24-year-old quarterback Jared Goff, the Rams and their 21st-century offence will take on 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 Belichick, who is taking the Patriots to their third straight title game, fourth in the last five years and ninth since 2002.

That streak started against who else? The Rams.

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.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Charge laid in Abbotsford motorcycle crash that killed Maple Ridge woman

Megan Kinnee, 19, died in collision on July 13, 2018

Abbotsford couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Abbotsford cartoonist Ernie Poignant, 100, to launch new book

Proceeds from book sales go to Heritage Abbotsford Society

Two new Central Park Village apartment buildings under consideration

New buildings would include 142 new housing units in third phase of project

Surprise demand from city leaves Abbotsford man frustrated

Council to decide whether local man will have to hand over land if he wants to subdivide property

VIDEO: Under the big top in Abbotsford

American Crown Circus and Circo Osorio performed July 11-14

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Mercury tops out on top of the world: Alert in Nunavut warmer than Victoria

It’s the latest anomaly in what’s been a long, hot summer across the Arctic

Most Read