Heading into Sunday’s NFL Conference Championships, the home teams have won 10 straight title games. Unfortunately, that streak came to an end, as both the New Orleans Saints and the Kansas City Chiefs fell at home.
Both the Saints and the Chiefs were favored in their respective contests, but both ended up losing in OT. In fact, this is the first time in NFL history where two conference games went to OT on the same day.
With that said, both games did have a lot of controversial calls and non-calls that will be talked about for the foreseeable future.
Not only did the Rams pull off the road upset, but they handed the Saints their first home playoff loss in the Sean Patyon and Drew Brees era. The Saints fell in overtime to the Rams by a score of 26 to 23, as LA kicker Greg Zuerlein nailed at 57 yard FG to win the game. Zuerlein also kicked a game-tying FG with 15 seconds left to send the game to OT.
The Saints got out to a fast start going up 13-0 in the 2nd quarter. The Rams were able to close the gap and cut into the lead, only trailing 13-10 at halftime. In the 2nd half, both teams alternated scores including three total field goals in the 4th quarter.
However, it was in the 4th quarter with less than 2 minutes left in the game when the referees missed a blatant pass interference call perpetrated by the Rams. It would’ve given the Saints a first and goal, which they could’ve run the clock out and kick a FG at the end of the game to win and go to SB LIII.
Unfortunately, the non-call forced the Saints to settle for a FG and give the ball back to the Rams with roughly 1:40 left in the game.
Los Angeles went down and scored a FG with 15 seconds left in the game to tie it up. In OT, the Rams intercepted Drew Brees and got the ball near midfield. From there, they didn’t get that far and had to settle for a 57 yard FG, which Zuerlein hit and won the game for the Rams.
Drew Brees finished the game going 26-of-40 for 249 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. Rams QB Jared Goff finished with 297 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT as he completed 25 passes on 40 attempts.
Neither team could get much going on the ground as the Rams finished with 77 yards and the Saints finished with 48 yards. Ultimately, both defenses stepped up and played much better today than in their first encounter two months ago.
New England jumped all over Kansas City early as they got out to a 14-0 lead at half time before the Chiefs rallied back in the second half. Just like in their first head-to-head meeting, both teams combined to score 30+ points in the 4th quarter. Today, they totaled 38 points, which topped the 32 combined points in their first meeting this season.
KC’s field goal with 8 seconds left in the game sent the AFC Championship into OT. Unfortunately for Chiefs fans, it only delayed the inevitable.
New England got the ball in overtime and drove down the field to win the game with a two-yard touchdown run by Rex Burkhead. New England is heading to their 3rd straight Super Bowl and the Chiefs are left wondering how they can beat the Patriots in 2019.
Despite the game being close in the scoring department, the Patriots dominated the stats sheet. New England finished with 524 total yards and the Chiefs mustered up just 290 total yards. Brady was dominant in his 8th straight AFC Championship game, finishing with 348 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INTs that went off his receivers’ hands.
Mahomes finished with 295 yards and 3 TDs. Unfortunately, the young gunslinger was abysmal in the first half. The Patriots tallied 176 rushing yards and 4 rushing TDs compared to the Chiefs only getting 41 rushing yards and 1 TD.
It didn’t take long for NFL betting sites to release their updated Super Bowl 53 betting odds. The majority of internet sportsbooks have the Patriots favored by 1 point. The Over/Under is set at 58 total points.
These two teams played against each other in the 2001 Super Bowl, which ended up being the first SB victory for the Patriots in the Belichick – Brady era.
Can Jared Goff take the torch from Tom Brady or will the GOAT fend off another young gunslinger after his crown?
Stay tuned to Gamblingsites.org for ongoing Super Bowl 53 coverage leading up to the big game.
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