The New England Patriots will go on to Super Bowl LIII, where they will face the Los Angeles Rams after beating the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship on Sunday, 37-31. It was an extremely close game that went to overtime after four lead changes in the fourth quarter (not counting when the Chiefs tied it to send it to overtime).
Patrick Mahomes did not get to touch the ball in overtime, as the Patriots received the opening kickoff and managed to score a touchdown after converting a 3rd-and-10 three separate times on the drive. Tom Brady threw two picks, but in the end he could not be denied, tossing a touchdown and throwing for 348 yards.
He was assisted by Sony Michel, who rushed for 113 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Mahomes was excellent despite his running game being lacking, with 295 yards and three touchdowns. Sammy Watkins caught 4 passes for 114 yards, while Julian Edelman caught 7 passes for 96 yards.
The Patriots had a fast start, and took a 14-0 lead into halftime, largely thanks to an improved pass rush that sacked Patrick Mahomes three times for a loss of 43 yards through two quarters. That same pass rush didn’t get to Mahomes once in their regular season meeting.
Kansas City, though, made plenty of adjustments and quickly got themselves back in the game. They limited the New England offense, forced a turnover, and despite some bad calls going against them, took the lead midway through the fourth quarter. But the Patriots once again drove down the field, and Tom Brady led them to a touchdown to take a three-point lead with under four minutes to go.
Kansas City, though, responded with a big play to Sammy Watkins that set up a touchdown and another lead change, leaving two minutes on the clock for Brady and the Patriots to work. That’s a scary amount of time to leave on the clock for Brady, and of course, he immediately threw for 20 yards, then 11 yards, and got the Patriots deep into Chiefs territory. They scored, making it a three-point game with the Chiefs trailing.
And, of course, the Chiefs took their 30 seconds and turned it into a field goal to tie it and send it into overtime, where Brady marched his team down the field for a touchdown.
Below, you can read our live blog, with highlights and analysis from the game.
Patriots 37, Chiefs 31, FINAL: The Patriots win the toss and receive the overtime kickoff. Brady hits Hogan for 10 yards and a quick first down. Burkhead goes for no gain, and then Brady misses Edelman, making it a 3rd-and-10. They convert with a 20-yard pass to Edelman. Two more incomplete passes for Brady, and he finds Edelman again on third down for the first down. Two more incomplete passes, and another 3rd-and-10 for New England ... and it’s another Brady pass for a first down, this one 15 yards to Gronkowski. Burkhead goes up the middle for 10 yards, then 3 yards and then 2 yards ... for the touchdown! Mahomes doesn’t get to touch the ball in overtime. Wow!
Patriots 31, Chiefs 31, 0:08, 4Q: The Chiefs take over at their own 31-yard line with 32 seconds remaining. Mahomes hits Ware for 21 yards, and they burn their final timeout. Mahomes then hits Robinson for 27 yards, and the Chiefs get some assistance because the Patriots were offsides, stopping the clock and giving them some time to talk it over. Mahomes throws incomplete deep, just to avoid disaster, and the Chiefs will bring out Butker for the field goal attempt. It’s a 39-yard attempt, and it’s good! The game is tied at 31, with 8 seconds on the clock, likely heading to overtime!
I REPEAT THIS GAME IS NOT OVER pic.twitter.com/iYXiGIc2hc— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 21, 2019
Patriots 31, Chiefs 28, 0:39, 4Q: Patterson fields the kickoff and takes it to the New England 35-yard line, which also brings us to the two-minute warning. Brady hits Edelman for 20 yards, and then Hogan for 11 yards, already into field goal range, though they trail by four. Another big pass is under review, initially called a catch, but overturned by the referees. Then Brady has a pass intercepted, but Dee Ford is called for offisdes, making it a 3rd-and-5 for the Patriots with 47 seconds remaining. Brady goes deep to Gronkowski, and it’s complete for 25 yards. They hand it off to Burkhead, and he gets the 4-yard touchdown run, and a Patriots lead! 39 seconds on the clock and only one timeout for the Chiefs.
Chiefs 28, Patriots 24, 2:03, 4Q: Mahomes throws incomplete to start the Chiefs’ drive, then another one to Kelce, but this time, the Patriots are called for defensive holding. That gives Kansas City a first down. Mahomes throws incomplete on first down, and then incomplete again, but there are two penalties on the Patriots. The first is roughing the passer, and they decline that. The second is pass interference, and it gives the Chiefs 23 yards. On first down, Mahomes goes deep and it’s nearly picked off, but the Chiefs catch a break. Mahomes then finds Watkins for 38 yards all the way to the 2-yard line! Williams gets the carry, and it’s a touchdown with two minutes still on the clock.
Patriots 24, Chiefs 21, 3:32, 4Q: So ... the Patriots take over, trailing now. Brady hits Patterson for 3 yards, then throws incomplete to Edelman, but Chris Jones is called for roughing the passer. It was a very bad call, as Jones’ hand brushed against Brady’s chest, which is apparently enough for one of those penalties. So they get a nice, free 15 yards. Michel then rushes for 2 yards and Brady throws incomplete deep to Gronkowski. On 3rd-and-8, Brady completes to Hogan for a first down, but it’s challenged by Andy Reid. The referees stick with the call on the field, so it’s a Patriots first down. Burkhead then picks up 14 yards, and a pass to Gronkowski goes for 11 yards. They’re inside the red zone now. Facing a 4th-and-1, the Chiefs whiff big time and Michel runs in a 10-yard touchdown to give the Patriots back the lead!
Sony takes it in and the Pats jump back in the lead pic.twitter.com/OMbvVAmva1— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 21, 2019
Chiefs 21, Patriots 17, 7:45, 4Q: After the pick, Mahomes hits Watkins for 7 yards, and the Patriots challenge the catch. It’s overturned and it’s incomplete. So on second down, Mahomes drops back and hits Williams for a 23-yard touchdown, and the Chiefs have their first lead of the game!
Patriots 17, Chiefs 14, 7:55, 4Q: The Chiefs, unfortunately for them, can’t take advantage of the Patriots’ mistake. Williams picks up 2 yards, and then Mahomes throws incomplete twice, forcing another Colquitt punt. The ball appears to be touched by Edelman, but it goes past him! It’s a muffed punt! Dieter recovers it. Despite it being extremely close and the call on the field being a muffed punt, the replay officials overturn it! There almost certainly wasn’t clear and convincing proof to overturn it, but they do it anyway!
The Patriots keep the ball, run a short play to Michel and then Brady throws one to Edelman and ... it goes through his hands, and intercepted by Sorensen! Wow wow wow! Chiefs take over.
KANSAS CITY JUST CAME TO PLAY BALL pic.twitter.com/68e8XJCaob— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 21, 2019
Patriots 17, Chiefs 14, 9:33, 4Q: Brady starts the Patriots drive with a quick 19-yard pass to Edelman, and Michel picks up 10 yards on a run. Develin catches a 9-yard pass, and after a couple short plays, the Patriots have a 4th-and-1 in Kansas City territory. They’re going to go for it, or at least that’s what they’re showing. Officially it’s 4th-and-inches. It’s a handoff to Burkhead and he doesn’t get it!
Patriots 17, Chiefs 14, 14:51, 4Q: Mahomes picks up 9 yards on the ground, and after a couple short plays, he finds Watkins for 10 yards and then Williams for 33 yards. On 2nd-and-10 from the New England 14-yard line, Mahomes goes to Kelce in the end zone, and Jackson is called for defensive pass interference. So now at the 1-yard line, they pass again, and it’s good! A touchdown to Williams to make it a 3-point game.
Patriots 17, Chiefs 7, 4:02, 3Q: The Patriots pick up some yardage with short plays, including an 11-yard pass to Chris Hogan, but they’re backed up 10 yards when Dorsett is called for offensive pass interference. From the Kansas City 33-yard line, Brady throws a short pass to Hogan for 2 yards, and then they pick up about a yard on a run. So it will be a 48-yard field goal attempt for Gostkowski ... and it’s good. They increase their lead to 10 points.
Patriots 14, Chiefs 7, 7:38, 3Q: New England takes over from their own 25-yard line, and they begin driving. Burkhead gets 6 yards, and they convert a 3rd-and-1, but they go no further, as Michel picks up 4 yards and Brady throws two incomplete passes, prompting a punt. The Chiefs are called for an illegal block on the punt, and begin their drive from their own 4-yard line. After a 10-yard pickup by Williams, Cam Erving is called for a false start. Mahomes then throws incomplete, is sacked for a 3-yard loss, and throws incomplete again! The Patriots get the ball back at ... the Kansas City 37-yard line, already on the edge of field goal range. That’s gotta hurt.
Patriots 14, Chiefs 7, 12:56, 3Q: The Chiefs take over from their own 26-yard line to start the second half. Mahomes goes to Williams for 5 yards, then Williams picks up 3 yards. On 3rd-and-2, Mahomes goes deep to Sammy Watkins, hitting him on a 54-yard pass. On the next play, Mahomes hits Kelce in the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown, and the Chiefs are on the board!
Patriots 14, Chiefs 0, END 2Q: The Patriots take over from their own 10-yard line, and pick up a first down with two Michel runs for 11 yards total, sending us to the two-minute warning. Michel picks up 1 yard, then 5 more, setting up a 3rd-and-4, and the Chiefs take their first timeout. On third down, Brady hits White for 5 yards and a first. Then he goes to White again, and it’s a 30-yard reception. Then White picks up 9 yards as the Patriots burn two timeouts. Then Brady goes deep to Dorsett for 29 yards and a touchdown! The extra point is good and New England leads, 14-0.
Gostkowski’s kickoff isn’t a good one, and the Chiefs take over on their own 42-yard line with 27 seconds to go. But instead of doing something big and trying to get a field goal out of it, Mahomes is sacked for a loss of 14 yards. Again. Ouch!
Patriots 7, Chiefs 0, 3:08, 2Q: Chiefs take over from their own 15-yard line, and pick up short gains of 6, 2 and 12 yards before Mahomes goes deep to Tyreek Hill. It’s a 42-yard reception, and puts them in New England territory. Mahomes throws incomplete, Williams picks up a yard and then Trey Flowers comes through with a 14-yard sack of Mahomes, the second such sack thus far. That pushes them just outside their comfortable field goal range, so they punt it.
Patriots 7, Chiefs 0, 7:39, 2Q: After the pick, the Chiefs ... cannot get anything done. Mahomes throws incomplete to Travis Kelce, then targets him again for a 9-yard gain. On 3rd-and-1, Williams goes for no gain and Colquitt has to punt it away. Patriots will take over at their own 26-yard line. They get an early 3rd-and-7, and convert it when Brady hits White for 9 yards. He then goes to Gronkowski for another 9 yards. After the next first down, Brady throws incomplete and Michel can only pick up 9 yards, so the Patriots punt it.
Gronk just blocked a poor, unwitting Chiefs defensive back into oblivion pic.twitter.com/XkJnbggDTo— Christian D'Andrea (@TrainIsland) January 21, 2019
Patriots 7, Chiefs 0, 13:37, 2Q: The Patriots are driving, they’re right at the goal line. 1st-and-5 from the Kansas City 5-yard line. Michel picks up 4 yards, then is stopped for no gain. On 3rd-and-1, Brady throws to Gronkowski, but it’s intercepted by Reggie Ragland, who kneels it for a touchback! Chiefs catch a big break!
Patriots 7, Chiefs 0, END 1Q: The Patriots face an early third down after the punt, but they pick up the 4 yards they needed on a White run. Brady finds Cordarrelle Patterson for a 15-yard pickup. Michel picks up 4 yards twice, and then Brayd hits Edelmen for 5 yards and another first down, which sends us to the second quarter.
Patriots 7, Chiefs 0, 4:33, Q1: Kansas City gets the ball from their own 16-yard line, and they get some good yardage off the bat with Damien Williams. They get a first down when the Patriots are called for defensive holding, and then things went bad. Patrick Mahomes throws incomplete deep, incomplete short, and then is sacked for a loss of 14 yards by Kyle Van Noy. Dustin Colquitt punts it and the Patriots have great starting field position.
Patriots 7, Chiefs 0, 6:55, 1Q: The Patriots receive the ball first, and they immediately break out with an 11-yard run from Sony Michel. He then has a short gain, and Tom Brady hits Rob Gronkowski for a 13-yard gain and a new set of downs. Two short plays later, and the Patriots have a 3rd-and-4, which they convert when James White picks up 5 yards on a rush. Two more short plays, and the Patriots face a 3rd-and-1. They convert it with another White run. On a 3rd-and-7, Brady finds Edelman for 14 yards, then Michel picks up another 11 yards on the ground. Michel goes for 4 yards, and they’re at the 1-yard line, 2nd-and-goal. Michel punches it in and the Patriots have an early 7-0 lead!
6:40 p.m.: We’ve got the Patriots and Chiefs in the AFC Championship, to see who will go on and face the Rams in the Super Bowl. We’ll have a running live blog of the action, including highlights, top plays and more. Below, you can find all the viewing information and everything else you need to watch the game. Kickoff is set for shortly after 6:40 p.m.!
The AFC Championship is the second of two conference title games on Sunday, and it features the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs playing host to the second-seeded New England Patriots to determine who will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. The game is set for 6:40 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by CBS (live streaming via FuboTV, CBS All-Access).
When these two teams met in the regular season, it was as close as it can get. A total of 30 points were scored in the fourth quarter alone, but the Patriots made out with a 43-40 victory, despite four touchdowns from Patrick Mahomes. Tom Brady only tossed one touchdown, but didn’t throw an interception while Mahomes was picked off twice.
It was a very evenly-matched game, but New England’s superior defense made just enough stops (it wasn’t a great day for them by any means) to let the Patriots sneak through with a win.
Both teams had bye weeks in the wild card round of the playoffs, and both teams made it through their divisional round games much easier than their NFC counterparts (the Rams and Saints) were able to do. While those NFC games were close, the Patriots walked through the Chargers, winning 41-28, and the Chiefs made short work of Andrew Luck and the Colts, winning 31-13.
Below is all you need to know to watch the action on Sunday.
Time, TV, and streaming info
- Time: 6:40 p.m. ET
- Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
- TV: CBS
- Streaming: FuboTV, CBS All-Access
- Odds: The Chiefs opened as 3.5-point favorites, making the Patriots a rare underdog, per OddsShark.
Patriots vs. Chiefs news
- In big injury news, the Chiefs will get Eric Berry back for the AFC title game on Sunday, per their final injury report. The Patriots are also quite healthy.
- Be sure to peep the Arrowhead Pride Q&A with the folks at Pats Pulpit, and of course the reverse post on the latter blog.
- Dustin Colquitt has been with the Chiefs since ... well for a very long time. He’s seen it all. And he likes what he sees in this year’s team (unsurprisingly).
- The core of the Patriots roster is very strong, and has seen quite a few AFC title games.
- It’s going to be loud and cold at Arrowhead. The Patriots are aware.
- How have the Chiefs and Patriots changed since they met in Week 6?
- Justin Houston realizes that not many players get to make it to the conference championship game.
- Patriots players explain the challenges of defending Patrick Mahomes.
- The Patriots seeing themselves as underdogs has Chiefs players and fans tickled.
- Over at Arrowhead Pride they have a look at how the Chiefs offense beats the New England defense, how the Chiefs defense beats the New England offense, five stats that could determine Sunday’s game, five things to watch and, of course, predictions.
- And at Pats Pulpit, they have defensive keys to victory for the Patriots, some advanced stats on the Chiefs offense, film review of how the Patriots defended the Chiefs in Week 6, and one thing the Patriots defense can do to send them to the Super Bowl.
Patriots vs. Chiefs prediction
Of the six SB Nation NFL experts picking the conference championships, five of them think the Chiefs will win, leaving just one picking the Patriots. The OddsShark computer picked Kansas City, while the coin flip landed on New England.