Championship Weekend Recap

For the first time in history both championship games went into overtime. The Super Bowl is only two weeks away and it feels like a year, but we couldn’t have asked for two better games. Patriots vs. Rams in Atlanta in two weeks. Rams 26 Saints 23 OT- The no-call is what everyone else will focus on and for good reason. I’m going to discuss the other 59:55 in the game, but to be clear the Saints should have won. The Saints started off brilliantly with Brees looking calm and collected. The defense came up with a huge interception deep in Rams territory. Despite being in the Redzone for both of their beginning drives the Saints only took six points away. After a forced punt Drew Brees got the ball back and wouldn’t settle for a field goal. He threw a TD to Garrett Griffin who was an undrafted player off the practice squad. The Rams finally showed signs of life by going for it on 4th and 5 with a pass by their punter, Johnny Hekker. They ended that drive with a field goal to get on the board and make it 13-3. The two teams traded punts until Goff was given the ball with 2 minutes left of the half. He promptly lead them down the field including completing a 36 yarder to Brandin Cooks. The drive was capped off by a Todd Gurley TD, one of his four carries of the day. The Saints started the second half much like they started the first, they forced a three and out and scored a TD. Brees exploited the mismatch of Kamara being taken by linebackers and ended the drive with a 2 yard TD pass to Taysom Hill. The Rams answered with their own TD drive with another long pass to Cooks. This time Tyler Higbee caught the short TD to make it 20-17. The teams again traded a few punts and then the Rams went on a drive to the Saints one. Nothing at the goal line worked so they kicked the field goal to tie it up. The Saints answered with a field goal of their own to retake the lead with just a minute forty left. However, Goff did his job and so did Zuerlein who nailed the 48 yarder to send the game into OT. The Saints won the coin toss, but that’s all they could win. Brees was pressured and hit as he released the dooming interception. The Rams only advanced to the Saints 39, but somehow it was enough for Zuerlein who hit the 57 yarder with ease. The Rams haven’t been in the Super Bowl since 2002. Patriots 37 Chiefs 31 OT- The Patriots started the game off with an 80 yard TD drive of 8:05. Then they sacked Mahomes on 3rd down and began to drive again. A rare Brady interception at the goal line kept the Patriots from scoring again, but the Patriots defense kept giving the ball back to Brady. This Patriots drive before the end of the half was quicker and was capped off by a 29 yard TD pass to Phillip Dorsett. The Patriots went into the half with a 14 point lead, but more importantly Mahomes was being picked off the turf by his linemen every play. Something in the locker room worked because Mahomes came out firing. He completed a 54 yard pass to Sammy Watkins and a 12 yard TD to Travis Kelce. The Patriots took advantage of a bad punt with a field goal to push their lead to 17-7. Mahomes ended the 3rd quarter with a nice drive and started the 4th with a TD. Brady got down to the 25 of the Chiefs, but on 4th and 1 they were stuffed and the Chiefs took over. The Chiefs couldn’t go anywhere and punted the ball which appeared to go off of Julian Edelman giving the ball back to the Chiefs with great field position. After a review it was determined that he didn’t touch it, but then Brady threw a pick off the hands of Edelman and the Chiefs took the ball anyway. The Chiefs took their first lead of the game on a 23 yard TD pass from Mahomes to Damien Williams. With 7:45 on the clock and his team down by 4, Brady used a combination of good passes and good runs to retake the lead with just 3 and a half minutes to go. We had seen Brady do it many times, but could Mahomes rise to the challenge? He only needed 5 plays. With the score 28-24 in favor of the Chiefs, Brady returned to the field with 2 minutes to go. The Chiefs looked like they won the game when they forced another interception, but an offsides call negated it. Burkhead ran it in to make it 31-28 with 40 seconds left. Nothing fazes Mahomes as he drove them into field goal range and watched as Butker tied it to force overtime. The Patriots won the toss and Mahomes watched the end of his season from the sidelines. Brady brilliantly drove the Patriots down the field again and Burkhead punched it in. The Patriots advance to their 3rd Super Bowl in a row and Brady’s 9th.

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