[The Los Angeles Rams beat the New Orleans Saints, 26-20, in the AF.C. championship game earlier Sunday, and will face the winner of this game in the Super Bowl. See how they did it here.]
Fourth Quarter: Brady, Again
This game has lived up to expectations. Rex Burkhead blasted through the middle for a 4-yard touchdown run and the Patriots, who seemed all but done in this game, are now leading 31-28 with just 39 seconds remaining.
New England went 65 yards on six plays and survived what appeared to be a Kansas City interception that was overturned as a result of a penalty.
For Mahomes there is never a down or distance too far to rule him out, but he has a long way to go with almost no time to do it.
Fourth Quarter: Too Soon?
Damien Williams raced up the middle for a 2-yard score, putting the Chiefs up by 28-24 with 2:03 left in the A.F.C. championship game.
The Chiefs’ drive went 68 yards in five plays, and while it had many key moments for the Kansas City offense, it was far more about mistakes by the New England defense, and J.C. Jackson, a rookie defensive back, isn’t going to be very popular if the Patriots lose this game.
Earlier in the drive, Travis Kelce had lost control the of the ball, and Dont’a Hightower had recovered, giving the Patriots the ball and the lead with just over 3 minutes remaining. A late flag came out, and a defensive holding penalty on Jackson had instead given Kansas City a first down.
It was just two plays later that Jackson committed a brutal pass interference penalty that gave Kansas City 23 yards.
Tom Brady now has two minutes, and the Patriots need a touchdown.
Fourth Quarter: Patriots Retake Control
Not content to let the Chiefs steal the game, New England marched 75 yards down the field, with Sony Michel barreling his way into the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown run. With the extra point, the Patriots are now back on top, 24-21 with 3:32 remaining in the game.
Kansas City’s defense had tightened up considerably on its last few tries, but this time around they once again fell prey to a series of short grinding plays by the Patriots. On top of that, New England was able to take another 4:13 off the clock, extending its lead in time of possession to 37:35 to Kansas City’s 18:53.
The drive was impressive overall, but on what is proving to be a rough day for officiating — especially in New Orleans — New England’s drive was extended by an extremely questionable roughing the passer penalty against Chris Jones. The play, in which Jones reached over Brady’s shoulder and tapped his shoulder, was ruled on by an official who was out of position to see what type of contact was made between Jones and Brady.
Fourth Quarter: Kansas City Goes Ahead
The Chiefs have taken the lead.
Given the ball in New England’s territory, Patrick Mahomes needed just two plays to put his team on top, 21-17, with a 23-yard catch-and-run to Damien Williams in which the running back took a floater of a pass from Mahomes and sprinted past the entire Patriots defense on his way into the end zone.
Mahomes is up to three touchdown passes in the second half, and this time he capitalized on a Tom Brady mistake — the interception to Daniel Sorensen — to give his team its first lead.
Fourth Quarter: Thumbs Up
In a wild turn of events, the Chiefs had a touchdown taken off the board thanks to a replay review, but then got the ball back thanks to a huge interception by Daniel Sorensen.
It had briefly looked as if Kansas City had taken the lead on a muffed punt that was returned for a touchdown. A lengthy replay review determined the ball never made contact with Julian Edelman’s hands, giving New England the ball at its own 28-yard line.
The various replays appeared to show the ball clear Edelman’s hands, despite some odd movements in his thumbs.
Considering the Chiefs had come up with a huge stop on 4th-and-inches on New England’s previous drive, the muffed punt was pushing the momentum of the game decidedly in Kansas City’s favor. While losing the points from the fumble return had to be a blow to morale, Sorensen’s interception got the Chiefs right back into it.
Fourth Quarter: Chiefs Heat Up
Patrick Mahomes threw four touchdown passes in the second half of the Chiefs’ loss to the Patriots in Week 6, and he’s already up to two in the second half of this game. His latest, a 1-yarder to Damien Williams, has Kansas City trailing New England, 17-14.
The scoring drive went 75 yards on nine plays, with the biggest highlights coming on a 33-yard catch-and-run by Williams, and a brutal pass interference penalty in which New England’s J.C. Jackson mugged Travis Kelce in the end zone, setting the Chiefs up with a 1st-and-goal from New England’s 1-yard line.
On top of those plays, Mahomes showed some toughness on the drive, stepping out of the way of a sack attempt and racing for a 9-yard gain, plowing into Patrick Chung at the end of the play, and then picking up a first down on a sneak up the middle.
A few plays later, Mahomes saved the drive yet again with a sidearm throw to Sammy…