sunny.png
Wednesday May 22nd, 2019 10:52AM

Patriots-Chiefs, Saints-Rams in conference championships

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Tom Brady versus Patrick Mahomes. Drew Brees against Jared Goff.

Two high-profile rematches with the Super Bowl on the line.

The NFL's highest-scoring offenses face off in the conference championships next Sunday. Brady leads the New England Patriots into Kansas City to take on Mahomes and the Chiefs, and Brees and the New Orleans Saints host Goff and the Los Angeles Rams.

"We'll see how it goes," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "Well-coached, they have a lot of explosive players. We had a tremendous game with them here earlier. That was a long time ago. We'll see where we are now, see where they are."

New England hosted Kansas City way back on Oct. 14, and Brady passed for 340 yards and a touchdown in a 43-40 victory that was the Chiefs' first loss of the season. Mahomes' 75-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill tied it with 3:03 left, but Brady drove the Patriots to Stephen Gostkowski's 28-yard field goal as time expired.

The AFC championship game is Brady's first trip to Kansas City since he threw two interceptions and was sacked twice in an ugly 41-14 loss on "Monday Night Football" on Sept. 29, 2014.

"It'll be a tough game," Brady said. "They're well-coached. They've got a good offense. ... It's going to be a lot of fun to go back there and play in a championship game and try to advance."

New Orleans (14-3) and Los Angeles (14-3) played their own wild shootout on Nov. 4. Wil Lutz's 54-yard field goal got the lead for the Saints with 6:23 left, and Brees found Michael Thomas for a clinching 72-yard touchdown in a 45-35 victory.

"When we come out there, we feel like no one can stop us," Thomas said of his connection with Brees. "I just feel like we keep building every week. We have a thing, and it's hard for the other team to stop."

The Saints averaged 31.5 points this season on their way to the NFC South title, ranking third in the NFL behind the Chiefs (35.3 points per game) and Rams (32.9) and ahead of the Patriots (27.3).

It's the first time in the Super Bowl era that the NFL's top four scoring offenses all reached the conference championships.

But New Orleans' defense played a crucial role in its 20-14 win over Philadelphia in the divisional round on Sunday. Marshon Lattimore had two interceptions, including one on the Eagles' final drive, and the Saints erased an early 14-0 deficit.

"We were real calm and poised and we knew we were going to get things done," Brees said.

Los Angeles advanced by powering its way to a 30-22 win against Dallas on Saturday. C.J. Anderson had 123 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, and Todd Gurley rushed for 115 more yards and another TD.

"Our sense of focus and the sense of urgency have gone up tremendously," guard Rodger Saffold said.

New England (12-5) also showed off its rushing attack in a 41-28 win against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Sony Michel rushed for 129 yards and three TDs.

The Patriots scored on their first four possessions on their way to a 35-7 halftime lead.

"The ability to execute early and get things going sets a lot of things up," wide receiver Julian Edelman said. "It shows that we had a good week of practice, executed well in practice and it carried over and went into the game."

Kansas City (13-4) is headed for its first AFC title game in 25 years after rolling to a 31-13 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday. Mahomes, who is one of the favorites for the NFL MVP award, passed for 278 yards and rushed for a score in his playoff debut.

"This is what we work for," Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford said. "We just want to keep this thing rolling. Enjoy it now but keep it rolling."

___

AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner and AP Sports Writers Greg Beacham in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Kyle Hightower in Foxborough, Mass., Brett Martel in New Orleans and Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Mo., contributed to this report.

___

Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Patriots-Chiefs, Saints-Rams in conference championships
Patriots versus Chiefs, Saints take on Rams in NFL's conference championships
9:00PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Saints rally past Eagles 20-14, will host NFC title game
The New Orleans Saints got two touchdown passes from Drew Brees, two interceptions by Marcus Lattimore, and rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 20-14 to advance to the NFC championship game
8:47PM ( 27 minutes ago )
The Latest: Sharapova routs qualifier at Australian Open
Maria Sharapova got out of the Melbourne heat as quickly as she could, needing just 63 minutes to beat British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-0, 6-0 in the first match on Rod Laver Arena at this year's Australian Open
8:27PM ( 46 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Messi scores record 400th goal in Spanish league
Lionel Messi took his all-time Spanish league scoring record to a total of 400 goals on Sunday
7:13PM ( 2 hours ago )
De Gea's saves help United beat Tottenham in Premier League
David de Gea produced 11 saves in a virtuoso goalkeeping performance on Sunday, helping Manchester United to a 1-0 victory over Tottenham secured by Marcus Rashford's goal
7:06PM ( 2 hours ago )
Solskjaer beats Pochettino in unofficial Man U job audition
Manchester United's league position hasn't changed but everything else has under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
6:45PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Colts plan to build off foundation from historic turnaround
Colts plan to build off foundation from their turnaround season
5:10PM ( 4 hours ago )
Wintry mix of snow, freezing rain pummels mid-Atlantic
A winter storm that contributed to at least five deaths in the Midwest pummeled the mid-Atlantic region for a second day Sunday, bringing with it an icy mix that knocked out power, cancelled flights and contributed to hundreds of car accidents.
5:07PM ( 4 hours ago )
Unknown stars emerge for suddenly stingy Chiefs defense
Jordan Lucas and Charvarius Ward have gone from relatively known role players to key pieces in the Kansas City Chiefs' push toward the Super Bowl
4:38PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Chill out! Chiefs' Andy Reid urges KC fans to nix snowballs
Chiefs coach Andy Reid was summoned to the corner of Arrowhead Stadium during Saturday's playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts to get fans to stop throwing snowballs on the field
6:07PM ( 1 day ago )
Joe Gibbs' eldest son dies at 49 from neurological disease
Joe Gibbs Racing says co-founder J.D. Gibbs has died at 49 following battle with degenerative neurological disease
4:53PM ( 1 day ago )
Ready Freddie: Kitchens hired by Browns after offensive run
Browns make Freddie Kitchens new coach after strong run with offense
1:07PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Saints rally past Eagles 20-14, will host NFC title game
The New Orleans Saints got two touchdown passes from Drew Brees, two interceptions by Marcus Lattimore, and rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 20-14 to advance to the NFC championship game
8:47PM ( 27 minutes ago )
The Latest: Sharapova routs qualifier at Australian Open
Maria Sharapova got out of the Melbourne heat as quickly as she could, needing just 63 minutes to beat British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-0, 6-0 in the first match on Rod Laver Arena at this year's Australian Open
8:27PM ( 46 minutes ago )
AP Source: A's, MLB meet with Heisman Trophy winner Murray
A person with direct knowledge of the meeting says representatives of the Oakland Athletics and Major League Baseball met with Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, a day before the Oklahoma quarterback's deadline to enter the NFL draft
8:25PM ( 49 minutes ago )
The shutdown today: Ally presses Trump to reopen government
The shutdown today: Ally presses Trump to reopen government
8:15PM ( 59 minutes ago )
Graham urging Trump to reopen government for a few weeks
A Republican lawmaker close to Trump says he's pushing Trump to reopen government for several weeks to continue negotiating with Democrats over funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall before taking a more drastic step
8:13PM ( 1 hour ago )