Follow along with 985TheSportsHub.com as the New England Patriots take on the Kansas City Chiefs for the right to go to Super Bowl LIII. The winner will meet either the New Orleans Saints or Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl at Mercedez-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Check below for pregame news and content. Live updates will take place during the game after the opening kickoff.
— PATRIOTS WIN. Rex Burkhead runs it in and the Patriots end the Chiefs’ season on their opening drive of overtime. They’re going to the Super Bowl yet again and will face the Los Angeles Rams after beating the Chiefs 37-31.
— OT, 11:18: Rex Burkhead picks up 10 yards on first down, making it first-and-goal with a trip to the Super Bowl in Tom Brady’s hands.
— OT, 11:57: They try a flea-flicker on first down, but it falls incomplete in the end zone. It’s incomplete to Cordarrelle Patterson on second down as he can’t get separation or hold onto the pass. Brady completes it to Gronkowski on third-and-10 to get the ball down to the 15.
— OT, 12:10: Two straight incompletions to Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson set up a third-and-10 for the Patriots. Edelman comes up big yet again on third down, making a 15-yard catch to pick up another first down.
— OT, 12:54: Chris Hogan gets the Patriots started with a 10-yard catch and a first down. Rex Burkhead is dropped for no gain. Brady escapes pressure in the pocket to get a throw off on second down, but it’s incomplete. Edelman gets popped as he makes a catch and he holds on to it to complete a 20-yard gain and give the Patriots another first down.
— OT: Patriots get the ball to start overtime after winning the coin toss.
— Q4, 0:08: After two big pass plays by Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs get into field goal range for Harrison Butker. He’s good from 39 yards, and the AFC Championship Game is tied 31-31.
— Q4, 0:39: TOUCHDOWN, PATRIOTS! Rex Burkhead powers through the Chiefs defense and punches it into the end zone, giving the lead back to the Patriots. Extra point is good, and it’s 31-28 Patriots.
— Q4, 0:37: Tom Brady lofts it up for Rob Gronkowski, and the tight end comes up with a massive catch to give the Patriots a first-and-goal at the 4.
— Q4, 0:54: Julian Edelman makes a big 20-yard catch on first down to set up first-and-10 from the KC 45. He hits Chris Hogan on a comebacker at the chains to pick up another first down. It’s incomplete on the next first down as Brady gets rid of the ball quickly to avert pressure. Brady finds Hogan again to give the Pats another first down, setting up first-and-10 at the Chiefs 21- but the call is overturned to make it third-and-10.
— Cordarrelle Patterson returns it 38 yards to set up the Patriots at their own 35-yard line. It’s time to see if Tom Brady has some playoff magic in him for one more drive.
— Q4, 2:03: Damien Williams takes it up the middle and into the end zone for a touchdown. It’s 28-24 Chiefs with 2:03 left, and Tom Brady getting the ball with a chance to win.
— Q4, 2:54: Mahomes throws it on first-and-10 but there’s no one there, appearing to be a miscommunication by the Chiefs. The Patriots get two flags against them on the next play, and the Chiefs accept a defensive pass interference call against J.C. Jackson. Mahomes bombs it for Hill in the end zone, and it’s almost intercepted by Jonathan Jones but it falls incomplete.
Mahomes comes up with a huge play on second down, hitting a wide open Sammy Watkins and he almost makes it to the end zone. First and goal Chiefs.
— Q4, 3:21: Starting off the biggest drive of his season, Patrick Mahomes rolls out on first down and tries to hit Sammy Watkins but it’s incomplete. On second down, Travis Kelce appears to fumble after making a catch and Dont’a Hightower recovers it. However, J.C. Jackson is called for holding on the play to negate the turnover.
Q4, 3:32: TOUCHDOWN PATRIOTS! Forced to go for it on fourth-and-inches, Sony Michel gets the carry and he runs it all the way to the end zone for the TD to give the lead back to the Patriots.
Drive Recap: Rob Gronkowski stays on his feet after making the catch and he fights forward to pick up a first down. Brady completes it to Burkhead for six more yards to make it third-and-1 from the 10. Burkhead carries it, and he’s just short. The Patriots have to go for it on fourth-and-inches, losing by four with the clock ticking.
Sony Michel is untouched on fourth down, powering all the way to the end zone to put the Patriots back on top. Extra point is good and the Pats have a 24-21 lead.
— Chiefs lose the challenge. They’re charged with a timeout, and the Patriots have a first down at the Chiefs’ 44.
— Q4, 6:25: Big-time drive for the Patriots begins at the 25. Cordarrelle Patterson makes a guy miss and turns a potential loss of yardage into a three-yard gain. It’s incomplete intended for Julian Edelman on second down, but Chris Jones is flagged for roughing the passer to give the Patriots a first down.
Sony Michel picks up two yards on first down. Brady lofts it down the field for Rob Gronkowski on second down, but it falls incomplete. Chris Hogan snags it on third down and it’s ruled a catch, but Andy Reid challenges it.
— Q4, 7:45: Patrick Mahomes hits Damien Williams on a swing pass, and he has the whole field in front of him. He takes it 23 yards to the house, and the Chiefs have their first lead of the game. It’s 21-17 Chiefs and the Patriots need a championship drive.
— Q4, 8:39: After all that, the Chiefs get the ball off Edelman anyway. Tom Brady’s pass attempt is off Edelman’s hands and it’s picked off by Daniel Sorensen. Chiefs take over at the Patriots’ 23.
— CALL IS REVERSED. The Patriots get the ball, as the officials rule that the punt never touched Julian Edelman’s hands. A very close replay call showed enough to the officials to overturn the call on the field.
— Q4, 8:47: Julian Edelman is ruled to muff a punt that’s recovered by the Chiefs. The replay, however, shows that he may not have touched the ball which would keep possession for the Patriots. The play is under review.
— Q4, 8:51: Damien Williams picks up two yards on first-and-10. Mahomes goes over the top looking for Williams on second down, but it falls incomplete to make it third-and-8. The Patriots send the house on Cover-0 on third down and Mahomes lofts it up, where it falls incomplete again. Chiefs have to punt, as the Patriots defense comes up with a massive three-and-out.
— Q4, 9:33: Rex Burkhead takes the carry on fourth-and-inches, but he’s stopped short of the line. Chiefs take over as the Patriots come up empty on a potentially pivotal defensive stop for K.C.
— Q4, 9:47: Tom Brady hits Julian Edelman deep over the middle for a 19-yard gain to jump-start the Patriots’ next drive. Sony Michel is dropped for no gain on the next first-and-10. Michel takes the draw on the next play and picks up 10 yards for a first down.
James Develin gets involved in the passing game on the next play, as Brady whips it to him near the left sideline and he barrels forward to get the first-down yardage. Michel gets the carry on the next play and picks up three. James White catches it out of the backfield on second-and-7 but picks up only five, making it third-and-2.
White only gets one yard on third down to make it fourth-and-1, and the Patriots are going for it…
— Q4, 14:51: Patrick Mahomes tries to hit Travis Kelce in the end zone and it’s incomplete, but J.C. Jackson makes too much contact and he’s called for pass interference to give the Chiefs first-and-goal from thew 1.
Damien Williams catches it in the end zone on the next play, as Mahomes rolls out and waits for him to get behind Dont’a Hightower before firing it to him for the TD. Extra point is good and the Chiefs cut the Patriots’ lead to three. It’s now 17-14 Patriots with a massive drive coming up for Tom Brady and the Patriots offense.
— End 3: Patriots 17, Chiefs 7: Patrick Mahomes is under pressure from Patrick Chung on first down, but he’s able to throw the ball away. Mahomes is under duress again on second down, but this time he takes off and picks up nine yards to set up third-and-1. Mahomes finishes off the first down with a dive for one yard.
Mahomes fakes the handoff then checks down to Damien Williams, who picks up four yards. Williams gets the handoff after that and three. Mahomes has Adrian Clayborn bearing down on him, but he’s barely able to get the throw off to Sammy Watkins and get the first down.
Williams gets a swing pass on first down and bursts ahead for 33 yards, setting up a first-and-10 at the Patriots’ 14-yard line. Mahomes slings it to the end zone incomplete on first down, and that’s how the third quarter ends in Kansas City. Patriots 17, Chiefs 7.
— Q3, 4:02: Sony Michel pushes ahead for two yards on the first play of the Patriots’ next drive. Tom Brady hits Chris Hogan for an 11-yard gain and a first down on the next snap, his first catch of the night. Michel picks up just one yard on his next carry.
Brady drops it off to White on second-and-8 and he picks up a five-yard gain, but Phillip Dorsett is Flagged for offensive pass interference to back them up 10 yards instead. Hogan catches it on second-and-19, but he’s wrapped up for just a two-yard gain to set up third-and-17 from the Chiefs’ 31.
James White takes a draw on third-and-17, as the Patriots call a safe play to protect the ball and put it on the foot of Stephen Gostkowski. He’s good from 47 yards and the Patriots go up 17-7.
— Q3, 7:38: Dwayne Harris picks up two yards on first down, getting the Chiefs to only the 6-yard line. They fake the jet sweep on second down and hand it off to Damien Williams, and he rumbles for 10 yards to give the Chiefs a first down and a little breathing room.
Mahomes hits Travis Kelce throwing sidearm on first down, but it’s dropped. On second-and-15, the pocket closes around Mahomes and John Simon gets credit for the sack and a three-yard loss. Mahomes slings it on third-and-18, but Jason McCourty breaks it up and the Chiefs are forced to punt. Big stop for the Pats defense.
Julian Edelman catches the short punt and the Patriots are set up at the Chiefs’ 37 with a golden opportunity to go back up two scores.
— Thoughts: So far, a much better half for the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes burned Stephon Gilmore with a deep ball then struck with his first touchdown of the game, and the Chiefs followed that up with a defensive stop on the strength of a batted ball by Chris Jones.
However, after a 12-yard loss on the punt return by Tyreek Hill and a penalty on top of that, the Chiefs are backed up all the way to their own 4-yard line. Big opportunity for the Patriots to gain good field position if they can keep the Chiefs from picking up chunk yardage.
— Q3, 10:33: Tom Brady hits Rex Burkhead with a swing pass on first down, and he tiptoes down the right sideline for a six-yard gain. Julian Edelman catches it just before the sticks to set up third-and-1. Burkhead gets the call and he leaps through an ankle-tackle to pick up the first down on the extra effort.
Brady looks for Rob Gronkowski over the middle on first down, but the throw is behind him and falls safely to the turf, incomplete. Sony Michel breaks a tackle on second down, turning a potential loss of yardage into a four-yard gain. Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones bats the third down pass attempt down, and the Patriots are forced to punt. Chiefs starting to gather momentum.
— Q3, 12:56: The Chiefs’ first drive of the third quarter is a screen pass to Damien Williams, who picks up five yards. Trey Flowers drags Williams down on the next play after just a three-yard gain, setting up third-and-2. Mahomes has time to throw and escape the pocket, and he’s able to loft one to Sammy Watkins for a huge 54-yard catch against Stephon Gilmore. First-and-10 from the Patriots’ 12.
Travis Kelce catches it over the middle and beats J.C. Jackson to the end zone on the very next play. The extra point is good and it’s 14-7 Patriots. Tom Brady and the offense gets the ball back with a whole new ballgame.
— HALFTIME: Patriots 14, Chiefs 0. Nothing short of impressive by the Patriots on both sides of the ball. If not for Tom Brady’s ill-advised interception in the end zone, the Pats could have a 21-point lead. The offense has mostly been efficient and timely, going 7-for-9 on third down and racking up 16 first downs with an overwhelming 21:07 advantage in time of possession.
As solid as the offense looked, perhaps the more impressive performance so far has been by the Patriots defense. This is the first time under Andy Reid that the Chiefs have been shut out in the first half at home. You’d have to think Patrick Mahomes will find a way to put points on the board in the second half, just like last time. But so far, the Patriots are getting great pressure on Mahomes and mostly keeping him in the pocket and moving backwards. The lone blemish for that group was a 42-yard catch by Tyreek Hill. Can’t stop ’em all.
Overall though, an excellent first half for the Patriots, all things considered. They’re 30 minutes away from beating the No. 1 seed on the road to go to the Super Bowl. But you can’t count this Chiefs team out just yet; plenty of football left to play.
— Q2, 0:27: TOUCHDOWN PATRIOTS! Phillip Dorsett reels in a 29-yard catch in the end zone to put the Patriots up 14-0.
Recap: White gets a draw handoff and takes it around the left edge, following good pull blocks by David Andrews and Joe Thuney to pick up nine yards. Patriots take their second timeout with 33 seconds left. Dorsett does a great job to work his way back to the ball and stay behind Steven Nelson, reeling in the huge touchdown to make it 14-0 Patriots with halftime near.
— Q2, 0:41: James White makes a nice catch on third-and-4, tumbling just after the line to gain to pick up the first down. White takes a screen pass on the next snap, and this time finds a seam and rips off a 30 yard gain. The Patriots take their first timeout with 41 seconds left and the offense near field goal range.
— Q2, 1:13: Sony Michel carries it twice for a total of six yards, setting up a big third-and-4 for the Patriots with 1:13 left. The Chiefs take their first timeout of the half.
— Q2, 2:00: Sony Michel gets it up the middle on first down, and he’s slammed to the turf by Anthony Hitchens after a two-yard gain. Michel gets more room on second down and slices up field for nine yards to pick up a first down. The Patriots hit the two-minute warning with first-and-10 at their own 21.
— Thoughts: The Patriots made an interesting choice to put cornerback Keion Crossen, a rookie seventh-round pick who mainly plays special teams, on Tyreek Hill in coverage. They paid the price for it, as Hill easily burned Crossen for his 42-yard catch. Fortunately, the Patriots continue to find ways to get pressure on Patrick Mahomes and he’s taken a couple of bad sacks for deep losses of yardage. Big opportunity coming up for the Patriots offense, as they’ll have a chance to hit halftime with a two-possession lead if they can cash in on their next drive.
— Q2, 3:08: The Chiefs hand it to Damien Williams to start their next drive, and he grinds out six yards. On second-and-4, Travis Kelce catches a shovel-pass from Patrick Mahomes and he picks up two. Mahomes is very nearly sacked by Kyle Van Noy on third down, but he hops out of the pressure and finds Sammy Watkins over the middle for a 12-yard gain and a first down.
Mahomes drops deep and throws it deep on the next first down play, hitting Tyreek Hill for a 42-yard gain to set up first-and-10 from the Patriots’ 23-yard line. Mahomes has Williams wide open down the right sideline, but he overthrows him from the pocket. Williams is met at the line for no gain on second down.
Trey Flowers comes up with a big-time sack on third down, dropping Mahomes for a 14-yard loss. The Chiefs are moved out of field goal range and have to punt. Patriots take over at their own 10.
Q2, 7:39: Sony Michel takes it up the middle for three yards on first down. Second down is a pass intended for Rob Gronkowski, but it’s overthrown and very nearly intercepted but dropped by Eric Berry. Brady narrowly escapes pocket pressure and throws back-shoulder to James White, who reels it in with a defender all over him. First down Patriots.
Gronkowski gets the pass from Brady on first-and-10 and turns up-field for nine yards. Michel barrels into the line on second-and-1 and gets forward progress for another first down. White drops it on the next first down play, an attempted screen. Michel has a big opening on second-and-10 and picks up an easy nine yards up the middle. He’s brought down for no gain on third-and-1, setting up fourth down.
They show that they’re going for it initially, but switch the offense out for the punting unit. After a delay of game penalty, Ryan Allen punts it down to the 15, where Tyreek Hill makes the fair catch.
— Thoughts: Two possessions for the Chiefs, and two punts. The defense made up for Tom Brady’s interception, but still a bad, untimely mistake for the quarterback to make. He now has an opportunity to redeem himself and get the 14-point lead anyway.
— Q2, 12:54: Mahomes whips it under pressure and it’s incomplete on first down. Travis Kelce picks up nine on second down. Damien Williams gets the carry on third-and-1, but he’s stood up before the line by Dont’a Hightower, John Simon, and others. Chiefs forced to punt from their own 29-yard line.
— Q2, 13:37: Big mistake by Tom Brady, throwing an interception in the end zone as the Pats end up with zero points on their second drive.
Recap: Sony Michel patiently curls around a block to the left edge to pick up four yards and get back to the 1-yard line. Michel gets stood up for no gain on second down, setting up third-and-goal, still from the 1. Reggie Ragland picks Brady off in the end zone on the play, as the pass was intended for Rob Gronkowski but the tight end was covered and the throw was a tad short. Chiefs get a touchback and the Patriots miss an opportunity, coming up empty with a real chance to go up 14-0.
— Q1, 0:00: The first quarter could not have gone much better for the Patriots, who are threatening to kick off the second quarter with another touchdown. They used up all kinds of clock, grinding out first downs and keeping Patrick Mahomes off the field. And when Mahomes was on the field, he didn’t look sharp throwing the ball.
Drive Recap: For the third time on third down, the Patriots call a draw to James White. He gets a nice block from Joe Thuney and shifts his way forward to pick up the first down. Burkhead picks up just one yard trying to push up the middle on the next first down play. They run a fly sweep to Cordarrelle Patterson on second-and-9, and he zooms for 15 yards to grab another first down for the Patriots.
Sony Michel takes another handoff on first down, and grinds ahead for four yards. Michel gets another carry and picks up another four, setting up third-and-2. Brady hits Edelman for an easy pitch-and-catch just beyond the sticks, setting up first-and-goal at the Chiefs’ 5. That’s how the first quarter ends in Kansas City, with the Patriots knocking on the door of a two-score lead to start the second.
— Thoughts: Huge start for the Patriots. Patrick Mahomes looked uncomfortable on his first drive of the game, and meanwhile Tom Brady and the Patriots looked impeccable on theirs. Tons of football left to play, but the Pats have certainly gotten the start they wanted on both sides of the ball.
— Q1, 5:25: The Chiefs’ first play from scrimmage is a five-yard run by Damien Williams up the middle. Elandon Roberts breaks through and brings Williams down for a two-yard loss. On third-and-7, Mahomes’ first pass attempt sails incomplete but it draws a flag on the Patriots for holding against cornerback Jonathan Jones. The penalty gives the Chiefs an automatic first down.
Mahomes chucks up a deep ball on first down, but it’s well overthrown. Mahomes targets Sammy Watkins on second down, but Stephon Gilmore is all over him and breaks it up. Kyle Van Noy finds an opening on third-and-10 and sacks Mahomes for a 14-yard loss. The Chiefs have to punt it back to Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Q1, 6:55: TOUCHDOWN PATRIOTS! Sony Michel runs behind James Develin and picks up an easy running lane to burst right into the end zone. It’s 7-0 Patriots as Tom Brady & Co. draw first blood.
— Q1, 7:25: The Patriots are driving all the way down the field against the Chiefs, and chewing plenty of clock in the process. So there’s a lot to get to, here.
Drive recap: Sony Michel cuts up the middle for 11 yards on the first play from scrimmage for the Patriots. He picks up just one yard on the next snap. Tom Brady’s first pass attempt of the game is complete to Rob Gronkowski for 13 yards, as safety Daniel Sorensen covered him.
Michel goes for no gain on first down. Gronkowski catches it for six yards on second-and-10. On third-and-4, they call a draw play to James White and he darts through an opening for five yards to pick up the first down.
Michel rumbles for four yards to start the next series. Rex Burkhead catches it just before the line to gain for five yards, setting up third-and-1. They call the draw to White again, and again he shifts his way through a hole to pick up the first down on the two-yard gain.
This time, Rex Burkhead runs it on first down and picks up three. It’s incomplete to White on second down, making it third-and-7. Julian Edelman finds a soft spot in the Chiefs secondary to pick up 14 yards and give the Patriots yet another first down.
Michel gets the rock again, and he powers up the middle for 11 yards to set up first-and-goal from the Chiefs’ 5-yard line. Michel fights for extra yardage on first down and end up with a gain of four, putting the Pats at the 1 as the game heads to a TV timeout.
— The Patriots and Chiefs have each released their inactive players for the game. DE Deatrich Wise Jr. and DT Danny Shelton are among the notable inactives for the Patriots, who are making DE Derek Rivers and DB Obi Melifonwu active.