2018 AFC Playoffs

Brady and Patriots outlast the Chiefs in an overtime thriller for another AFC title

(Adam Richins/Boston Sports Journal)

KANSAS CITY -- Next stop, Super Bowl LIII.

The Patriots won a wild one against the Chiefs Sunday night in Arrowhead, outlasting Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City in the AFC title game, 37-31, to reach their third consecutive Super Bowl.

Pushed into overtime after a late drive from Mahomes and the Chiefs, Brady guided a masterful drive on the first series of the extra session, hitting Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman with passes before Rex Burkhead plunged over from two yards out to give the Patriots another AFC title.

Brady finished 30-of-46 for 348 yards with one touchdown and a pair of interceptions. Edelman had seven catches for 96 yards, while Sony Michel had 29 carries for 113 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Mahomes and the Chiefs were terrific in defeat, as the young quarterback went 16-for-31 for 295 yards and three touchdowns.

The Patriots were in unquestioned command in the early going, as Brady engineered the longest postseason drive of his career, a 15-play, 80-yard sequence that was capped off by a 1-yard plunge by Michel into the end zone. The Patriots added to their lead late in the second when Brady hit Phillip Dorsett with a 29-yard scoring strike to make it 14-0 at halftime.

Meanwhile, the defense was doing more than its share of work to smother the Chiefs — Sunday marked the first time all year the high-octane Kansas City offense was held scoreless over the first four two quarters.

But predictably, the Chiefs answered quickly at the start of the third quarter — just 2:04 into the second half, Kansas City got on the board with a 12-yard pass play to Travis Kelce to cut the New England lead in half. The Pats answered with a 47-yard field goal with 4:02 left in the third to stretch their lead to 17-7, but a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown catches (both from Damien Williams) pushed Kansas City to a 21-17 lead. It marked the first time New England trailed in a game since mid-December.

That set the stage for the wild finish, which saw the teams trade scores before the Patriots eventually took a 31-28 lead with just over 30 seconds remaining when Rex Burkhead plunged in from the 4-yard line. Mahomes had one final drive left in him, which got the Chiefs a 39-yard field goal with eight seconds left to force the extra session.