It’s official….the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots will meet in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. The Los Angeles Rams went on the road in the Super Dome to upset the top seed, New Orleans Saints. With the win, Los Angeles avenged the loss from earlier in the season handed to them by the Saints. New Orleans started out dominating the Rams and had a 13-0 lead. The Rams stormed back and eventually sent the game into OT. After Drew Brees tosses an INT, Greg Zuerlein hit a 57-yarder to send the Rams to the Super Bowl. The game didn’t end without controversy as the referees didn’t call a crucial pass interference which would’ve all but sealed the game.
For me, the play calling of Sean Payton and the Saints settling for FGs was their undoing. After Brees hit Ted Ginn Jr. for the 46 yard pass, which lead to the 2-minute warning, Payton’s play calling after that hurt the Saints. Instead of running the ball three times which would’ve for the Rams to use all of their timeouts, New Orleans threw the ball twice. During that set of downs, the Saints forced the Rams to only use one of their two timeouts. The missed pass interference call came on 3rd down, but if they ran the ball all three times, the Rams would’ve had around 30 to 40 seconds to travel the field without a timeout to kick a field goal.
As far as the AFC Championship went, New England went into Arrowhead and beat the top seed Kansas City. In the first half, the Patriots defense shut down the high-powered Chiefs offense as they didn’t allow a point. Patrick Mahomes was pressured throughout the first half and he couldn’t get going. New England relied heavily on Sony Michel and their running game in the frigid conditions in Kansas City. Tom Brady came up with some key connections and the Patriots took a 14-0 lead into halftime. In the second half, we saw a much different Chiefs team. In the second half, the Chiefs outscored the Patriots 31-17 as Mahomes finally got into his groove. Mahomes was finding Sammy Watkins, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Damian Williams out of the backfield.
The Chiefs battled back to take a 28-24 lead with a little less than 3 minutes to go in the game. We all knew they left too much time on the clock for Brady. The GOAT marched the Patriots down field for the go ahead score to put the Patriots up 31-28. Kansas City managed to march down into field goal territory and Harrison Butker hit a 39-yard FG to send the game into OT. New England won the toss and they marched down the field to score. It’s crazy that I thought both of these teams would lose in the conference championship.