We now know which teams will be contesting the 53rd Super Bowl after the Conference Championships were played out on Sunday in two thrilling, nail-biting games. The first of which saw the NFC title decided in New Orleans as the Saints hosted the L.A. Rams. Things didn’t get off to the best of starts for the Rams, and because of that, they were playing from behind for nearly the entirety of the game. The Saints jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter before the Rams roared back to life with ten points of their own in the second. The Saints extended their advantage to ten points again in the third by grabbing a 20-10 lead, but once again the Rams fought back to close the period behind just three at 20-17. Three field goals, two for the Rams that sandwiched one from the Saints, would end up sending it to overtime. And that’s when the Rams defense stepped up as John Johnson III intercepted Drew Brees’ pass after being pressured severely. That would set up Greg Zuerlein’s winning field goal, his fourth of the night, from 57 yards deep to give the Rams a 2-23 win on the road. For his part, winning QB Jared Goff had 297 yards and a touchdown on 25 completions, while Brees had 249 yards, two TD’s, and 26 completions. Each had an interception, but the one Brees threw is the one that will be remembered.
In the AFC Championship, it came down to an extremely wild fourth quarter. Not to understate the beginning stages of the game, but the fourth was where it was decided at Arrowhead Stadium as the Patriots somehow figured out a way to outlast the Kansas City Chiefs for the second time this season. After racing out to a 14-0 lead in the first half, New England looked like they were going to cruise toward yet another Super Bowl. But the Chiefs kept fighting. They were down 17-7 after three, and that is where the action really picked up for them. In the fourth quarter, they would get two Damien Williams receptions for touchdowns in the span of seven or so minutes to give them their first lead of the night at 21-17. The momentum had swung, or had it. With five minutes on the clock, Tom Brady did what he does best and drove the Pats down to allow Sony Michel to score from ten yards. Pat Mahomes surely wouldn’t have what it took to lead the Chiefs back from the brink, but he and some poor defense led them down and eventually Williams scored a third TD in the fourth to make it 28-24 to the Chiefs. Brady then did what he does best yet again with a drive down the field that culminated in a Red Burkhead run. They had the lead, and it was lights out, right? Nope, because Pat Mahomes did his best Brady impression and got his team a field goal that took it to OT at 31-all. From there, though, he wouldn’t see the ball again as the Pats won the toss and proceeded to drive the ball straight down until Burkhead rushed in to win it for the Patriots 37-31. New England will meet the Rams in Atlanta in two weeks for the Super Bowl.