Super Bowl LIII is now set as the New England Patriots will play the Los Angeles Rams two weeks from today at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA.
The Rams advanced to Super Bowl LIII on Sunday with their 26-23 overtime road win over the New Orleans Saints. Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein kicked a 57-yard game-winning field goal with 11:43 left in overtime for his team to advance to the championship game. That offensive possession came after Saints quarterback Drew Brees was intercepted by Rams safety John Johnson with 14:03 left in overtime. From there, the Rams offense gained just 15 yards on five plays to set up Zuerlein for the long game-winning attempt.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff completed 25 of his 40 total pass attempts in the game for 297 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His scoring toss went to tight end Tyler Higbee in the third quarter. Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks led Los Angeles in receiving as he caught 7 passes for 107 yards.
The Rams running game was led by running back C.J. Anderson, who rushed for 44 yards on 16 carries. Fellow Rams running back Todd Gurley carried the football just 4 times for 10 yards and a touchdown. Zuerlein did the rest of the scoring for the Rams as he was 4-of-4 on his field goal attempts with three of them conning in the second half.
As for Brees, the Saints quarterback finished the game 26 of 40 passing for 249 yards with a touchdown and the overtime interception. New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara caught 11 of those passes for 96 yards in addition to rushing for 15 yards on 8 total carries. The Saints scoring was limited to touchdown passes from Brees to Taysom Hill and Garrett Griffin in addition to three field goals by kicker Wil Lutz.
The NFC Championship included some very poor officiating and one very controversial non-called penalty. That non-call should have been a pass interference penalty on Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman on a 3rd and 10 pass down the right side of the field to Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis with 1:49 left in the fourth quarter. Had Robey-Coleman been called for pass interference or illegal contact on the play, the Saints offense would have likely been able to bleed off the rest of the regulation clock time before attempting a game-winning field goal.
With no penalty called on Robey-Coleman, the Saints had to kick the go-ahead field goal on the next play and that left the Rams offense plenty of time to drive the field for a game-tying field goal to send the game into overtime.
As for the Patriots, they advanced to Super Bowl LIII on Sunday by beating the Kansas City Chiefs 37-31 on the road and in overtime in the AFC Championship game. The Patriots won the game on the opening overtime possession with a 13-play, 75-yard drive that last 4:52 and was culminated by a 2-yard touchdown run by running back Rex Burkhead. That long overtime game-winning touchdown drive required the Patriots offense to convert three long third downs. One of those third down conversions was a 15-yard completion to tight end Rob Gronkowski from quarterback Tom Brady down the left sideline to set the Patriots offense up at the Chiefs 15-yard-line.
Brady finished the game 30 of 46 passing for 348 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. His lone scoring toss went to wide receiver Phillip Dorsett in the first half. Brady had a third interception wiped out by an offsides penalty on Chiefs outside linebacker Dee Ford with 1:01 left in the fourth quarter and the Patriots training 28-24. In short, Ford’s penalty essentially lost the game for the Chiefs
After the Patriots scored a go-ahead touchdown, a 4-yard run by Burkhead, with 42-seconds left in the fourth quarter, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes quickly drove the Kansas City offense 48 yards in 4 plays and kicker Harrison Butker kicked a game-tying 39-yard field goal with 8-seconds left in regulation. Mahomes ended the game 16 of 31 passing for 295 yards with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.
All three of Mahomes touchdown passes came in the second half as the Patriots defense shutout the Chiefs offense in the first half. After leading 14-0 at halftime, the Patriots let the Chiefs back in the game in the second half and Kansas City eventually took their first lead with 7:45 left in the fourth quarter.
In a losing effort, Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins caught 4 passes for 114 yards. Chiefs running back Damien Williams scored three touchdowns in the game with two of coming via passes from Mahomes and the other being a short score from 2-yards out with 2:03 left in the fourth quarter. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce had the other touchdown for his team early in the third quarter.
The Patriots will now advance to their third consecutive Super Bowl and their eleventh all-time. As for the Rams, Super Bowl LIII will mark the fourth time that franchise has played in the big game and the first time since Super Bowl XXXVI when they lost in New Orleans to Brady and the Patriots as the St. Louis Rams. The Patriots opened as 2-point favorites on MyBookie.ag.