The New England Patriots officially own the AFC. It just took extra time to finally earn that crown as the No. 2 seed.
With a 37-31 overtime win Sunday in Kansas City, the Patriots punched their ticket to the Super Bowl once again. It will be the Patriots’ fourth Super Bowl appearance in the last five years, and the team’s ninth Super Bowl appearance since 2001.
With the game going to overtime, the Patriots won the all-important coin toss and with the touchdown drive, didn’t let Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes — who many expect to win MVP honors — have a chance at stepping on the field in extra time.
In the overtime drive, New England quarterback Tom Brady connected with Julian Edelman on two consecutive third-and-10’s before hitting Rob Gronkowski for 15 yards on another third-and-10. Running back Rex Burkhead then busted out a 10-yard run before sealing the deal with a touchdown run a couple plays later to send the Patriots to the Super Bowl.
Brady finished the game completing 30 of 46 passes for for 348 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions — one of which was tipped off the hands of Edelman.
Sony Michel led the way on the ground for the Patriots as the rookie rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries. Burkhead ran for 41 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime.
Mahomes did throw three touchdowns, but he completed just 16 of his 31 passes for 295 yards. Harrison Butker got the Chiefs to overtime, hitting a 39-yard game-tying field goal with 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 31-all.
In Week 6, the Patriots beat the Chiefs 43-40 in a game featuring 946 yards total offense. This one nearly equaled it as both teams combined for 814 yards. … New England has played in eight straight AFC title games, but this is its first road playoff win since the 2006 season vs. San Diego. … Brady matched former Patriots K Adam Vinatieri, now with the Colts, for the most wins in NFL history (236). … Kansas City’s defense tied for first in the NFL with 52 sacks, but had none on Sunday. New England had four.