The New England Patriots entered the AFC Championship game seeking their first AFC title on the road since 2004.
For the first time since the 2014 AFC Championship in Denver, the Patriots found themselves as the underdog in a playoff game.
In the first quarter, Rob Gronkowski reached another career milestone to open the game.
Much like the Chargers a week ago, the Patriots again put together a lengthy scoring drive on their first possession.
Sony Michel logged the games first points and it was 7-0 NE midway through the first.
More deja vu carried over from the Charger game on defense, as the Patriots pressured quarterback Patrick Mahomes early and often.
The Chiefs were held scoreless and it was 7-0 Patriots after one.
Just when it appeared the Patriots were going to jump out to a 14-0 lead to open the second, a Tom Brady mistake in the end zone gave the Chiefs much needed life.
Despite the miscue, the Patriots defense continued to keep the Chiefs high powered offense off the field.
With the Chiefs threatening for the first time late in the second quarter, linebacker Trey Flowers had other ideas.
With two minutes to go until halftime, Brady and the offense capitalized on their final possession and took a 14-0 lead into the locker room. .
Tom Brady can in fact, throw the deep ball.
14-0 Patriots at halftime.
Needing to desperately get something going in front of their home fans, Mahomes and the Chiefs finally woke up.
They’d score their first touchdown of the night in just under two minutes to open the second half.
Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce to cut the Patriots lead in half.
A Stephen Gostkowski 47 yard field goal pushed the Patriots lead back to ten at 17-7 after three quarters.
Then, just like the regular season meeting between these two, the floodgates opened in the fourth quarter.
The Chiefs quickly scored on a Mahomes touchdown to
Damien Williams to cut the deficit to three.
After the touchdown, the Patriots response stalled inside the Chiefs 25 when Rex Burkhead was stuffed on fourth down.
Momentum began shifting to KC.
Disaster nearly struck when Julian Edelman nearly fumbled away a kick return. The ruling after review stated the ball never touched him.
Unfortunately just two players later the Chiefs regained the ball anyway.
A fan ran on the field immediately after the interception.
Needing to take advantage of Edelman’s mistake, Damien Williams burned the Patriots again and the Chiefs had their first lead of the night with seven to go. 21-17 Kansas City.
Tom Brady and the offense fought back, but another crucial fourth down arose that could have ended the game.
Sony Michel had other ideas.
The Patriots regained the lead 24-21.
Again the Chiefs refused to die, feeding off the home crowd as Damien Williams found the end zone for a third time.
28-24 Chiefs but a full two minutes for Tom Brady to work with.
With 42 seconds remaining in the game, Rex Burkhead gave the Patriots the lead back at 31-28.
The 23 year old Mahomes showed no fear despite limited time remaining.
The potential league MVP had one final drive left in him as he set up a Harrison Butker 39 yard field goal to knot the game at 31 all.
For the second time on championship Sunday, the trip to the Super Bowl would be decided in overtime.
The Patriots won the overtime coin toss, and like in a previous Super Bowl, it would be the final drive of the game.
The Patriots overtime drive saw Tom Brady complete not one, but three 3rd and 10s that setup the winning score.
On second and goal inside the five, Brady handed off to Rex Burkhead to clinch the AFC Championship for the New England Patriots.
A 37-31 final score that send the Patriots to an unprecedented third Super Bowl in a row and the fourth in five seasons.
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Tags: Chris Hogan David Andrews Devin McCourty Dont'a Hightower Duron Harmon James White Jason McCourty JC Jackson Jonathan Jones josh gordon Kyle Van Noy Lawrence Guy Obi Melifonwu Phillip Dorsett Rex Burkhead Rob Gronkowski Sony Michel Stephon Gilmore Tom Brady Trey Flowers Vince Wilfork