Rams, Patriots Punch Tickets to SB 53

This weekend’s Conference Championship Games made a bit of history: For the first time in the Super Bowl era, both games went to Overtime, with the LA Rams beating the New Orleans Saints 26-23 and the New England Patriots beating the KC Chiefs 37-31. And as a result, the winners advance to Super Bowl 53, which will be played in Atlanta, Georgia. February 3rd. It’s be a rematch of Super Bowl 36 when the Patriots beat the then St. Louis Rams 20-17 to win the first of their 5 Championships.

The Patriots have advanced to their 10th Super Bowl in their history, while the Rams advanced to their 4th, and their first in Los Angles since they lost 31-19 to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1979 season. The Rams are looking for their first SB win since 1999 when they beat the Tennessee Titans 23-17 which would be their 2nd in team history, while the Patriots are looking to tie the Steelers with an NFL-best 6 SB wins.

Here’s a recap of both Conference Championship Games:

NFC Championship Game-Rams 26-23-For a minute there, it looked like QB Drew Brees was going to lead the Saints to their first Super Bowl since the 2009 season as they took an early 13-0 lead over a nervous Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and the Rams, but Goff and Co. shook off the butterflies and the loud Mercedes-Benz Superdome crowd to get as close as 13-10 and eventually tie the game twice thanks to 2 field goals by K Greg Zuerlein. It was also the Rams defense that sacked Brees twice with DT Ndamukong Suh’s 1.5 leading the team. But Brees (249 yards, 2 TDs, Int) looked like he had the Rams on the ropes when he was driving for the winning TD and Brees pass that was intended for WR Tommy Lee Lewis should’ve been called for pass interference when CB Robey Coleman slammed into Lewis before the ball got there. But the officials didn’t call it. In overtime, Goff (297 yards, TD, Int) got the Rams past the half-field mark when Zuerlein kicked a game-winning 57-yard FG to win the game. The 57-yarder is a Conference-Championship record.

AFC Championship Game-Patriots 37, Chiefs 31-Folks who are tired of the Patriots making Super Bowls, need to be tired of the teams that fail to beat them in these Conference Championship games. In this case, it was the Chiefs, who came back from a 14-0 deficit to score 31 points in the second half, and 24 in the 4th quarter alone in which they took 2 leads, only to have the Patriots take back the lead twice. In fact, this was the first time in Conference Championship history in which there were 4 lead changes. Chiefs QB Pat Mahomes (295 yards, 3 TDs) was excellent in his Conference Title Game debut as he did all he could to get his Chiefs into the Super Bowl, but unfortunately Patriots QB Tom Brady (348 yards, TD, 2 Interceptions) was better as he made key passes down the stretch to WR Julian Edelman (96 yards) and TE Rob Grownkoski (76 yards). Although they intercepted him twice, the Chiefs failed to put pressure on Brady all game and he made them pay for it. RBs Sony Michel (115 yards) and Rex Burkhead

ran through the Chiefs defense, with Burkhead scoring the winning TD in OT when he plunged in from the 2-yard line. The Chiefs would’ve had a 3rd interception off Brady, but an offsides call wiped the play out. 41-year old Brady is the oldest to play in the Super Bowl and the Patriots have earned their 3rd-straight trip to the Big Game, becoming the first team to do so since the Buffalo Bills in 1990-93.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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