Following a wild playoffs weekend,Pats have déjà vu
January 24, 2019
You know how the old saying
goes: in this world nothing is certain
except death and taxes. Well, death,
taxes and the New England Patriots
getting into the Super Bowl.
This past weekend the Patriots
defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 37-
31 in a thrilling overtime game. With
the victory, the Patriots punched
their ticket to a third straight Super
Bowl—doing it in dramatic fashion
Some advice for non-Patriots
fans out there?
Just stay inside. Curl up with
that book you’ve been meaning to
read or binge watch a Netflix show.
Don’t venture out into public because the New England fans aren’t
going to let this one go. Most won’t
be shy to tell you all about how great
the Pats are, how unstoppable Rob
Gronkowski is and the god-like nature of Tom Brady. And honestly,
how can anyone blame them?
The Patriots have made the AFC
Championship game for the past
eight years. Yes, you read that right.
Eight. They have been in the AFC
Championship game every year
since 2011—when Charlie Sheen was
still on “Two and a Half Men” and
Snapchat had just been invented.
Their reign at the top of the National Football League has been long
and consistent. However, their lead
in this weekend’s game was not. The
Patriots jumped out to an early 14-0
lead going into halftime, but the
Chiefs mounted a slow, persistent
comeback throughout the second
half. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas
City’s star young quarterback, finished the game completing 16 of
31 passes for 295 yards and three
After a long video review on an
apparent muffed punt from Patriot’s
Julian Edelman in the fourth quarter, Kansas City’s defense forced an
interception which led to a touchdown from Damien Williams, making it 21-17 and giving Kansas their
Both teams traded scores again
and Kansas City held the lead at 28-
24 as the clock wound down to 1:57.
With the game on the line, Brady did
what he does best and led a 65-yard
scoring drive to put the Patriots
back on top with only 39 seconds
Yet, thanks to some quick improvisation from Mahomes, a “free
play” due to a New England penalty and a clutch kick from Harrison Butker, the Chiefs executed a
39-yard field goal to push the game
Unfortunately, that end of
regulation would be the last time
Kansas City would touch the ball,
as the Patriots won the overtime
coin toss and elected to receive the
ball first—a tremendous advantage
in NFL overtime rules. As they’ve
done countless times over their
long careers, Brady and Belichick
strung together an impressive 75-
yard drive that ended in a two-yard
touchdown run to send the Pats to
the Super Bowl.
On the other side of the league,
the Los Angeles Rams earned their
spot in Super Bowl LIII after beating the New Orleans Saints to win
the NFC Championship in another
exhilarating overtime game. This
was the first time in NFL history
that both conference title games
ended in overtime.
However, this unbelievable
weekend of NFL football was not
without controversy. The biggest
story of the weekend came from a
blown call by the officials in which
a crucial and blatant pass interference penalty near the end of regulation was missed.
With 1:48 left in the fourth quarter and the game tied at 20-20, Drew
Brees and the Saints were driving.
On third and 10 from the Rams’ 13-
yard line, Los Angeles cornerback
Nickell Robey-Coleman ran into
Saints’ running back Tommylee
Lewis well before the ball arrived.
It was an obvious pass interference call which would have given
the Saints a first down and the ball
around the five-yard line. Instead,
for the first time all game there
wasn’t a whistle to be heard. The
officials missed the call, forcing the
Saints to settle for a field goal that
put them up 23-20 with 1:41 left in
While still down by three points,
the entire Rams’ sideline knew they
got lucky. Robey-Coleman admitted post-game that after the play he
“came to the sideline, looked at the
football gods and was like, ‘Thank
you’. I got away with one tonight.”
A minute and 41 seconds was just
enough time to allow Jared Goff and
the Rams to score a game-tying 48-
yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein
with 15 seconds remaining.
In overtime, the Saints got the
ball first, but were unable to score
after an interception by Brees.
With Los Angeles taking over, the
next team to score was headed to
the Super Bowl. The Rams stalled
at the 39-yard line, but Zuerlein’s
57-yard game-winning field goal
went straight through the uprights
and the Rams were headed to Super
So, after an exciting, edge-ofyour-seat weekend of playoff football, the Super Bowl matchup for
Feb. 3 is set: the New England Patriots versus the Los Angeles Rams.
Brady, the oldest quarterback in the
league, against Sean McVay, the
youngest coach ever to make a Super
Bowl. Anything can happen, but I’d
think twice before betting against
New England’s experience.
Contact Kyle Lydon at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.