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Kansas Chiefs pull off NFL miracle to keep their Super Bowl dream alive

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24th January, 2022
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If Tom Brady has played the last game of an unprecedented NFL career, he ended with one of his toughest losses after a stunning comeback.

Bloodied and battered by the Los Angeles Rams, the 44-year-old seven-time Super Bowl champion rallied the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back from a 24-point deficit, only to see the defence surrender a big play in the final minute to set up Matt Gay’s winning 30-yard field goal.

The Rams’ 30-27 victory on Sunday sent Los Angeles home to host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game next week.

Hours later, Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce in the corner of the end zone early in overtime, as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bills 42-36 in a wild conclusion to an insane divisional-round weekend.

The lead changed hands three times in the final two minutes of regulation before Harrison Butker, who earlier missed a field goal and extra point, drilled a 49-yard field goal for Kansas City as time expired to force overtime.

The Chiefs won the coin toss, marched swiftly down the field against the NFL’s top-ranked but exhausted defence and right into their fourth straight AFC title game.

They’ll host the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday night for a spot in the Super Bowl.

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In Tampa, the Rams ended the Bucaneers’ bid to become the NFL’s first repeat champions since Brady led the New England Patriot to consecutive titles in 2004 and 2005.

Have the Rams also ended Brady’s career?

“I haven’t put a lot of thought into it. We’ll just take it day by day and see where we’re at,” Brady said when asked about his future.

Brady is under contract for another year but his return isn’t definite.

He struggled early against the Rams — and was called for the first unsportsmanlike penalty of his career in the first half for arguing a call after a hit busted his lip.

Brady misfired on several passes, had two turnovers and was sacked three times but his 55-yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans with about three minutes left got the Bucs within seven points.

After the Rams lost their fourth fumble, Brady drove Tampa to the tying score as Leonard Fournette ran in from the 9.

But defensive breakdowns allowed Matthew Stafford to connect with Cooper Kupp on 20 and 44-yard completions to put the Rams in position to win it.

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Incredibly, this was the third play-off game of the weekend to be decided by a field-goal on the final play of the game — with all going the way of the lower seed away from home.

Yet the finish was even more incredible at Arrowhead Stadium, as Mahomes threw for 378 yards passing and three touchdowns, including a 64-yarder to Tyreek Hill during the thrilling final minutes of regulation.

Josh Allen did everything in his power to prevent the Bills season ending with a loss at the Chiefs for the second year in a row.

He threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to Gabriel Davis with 1:54 minutes left in the regulation, then another to the same player — for his playoff-record fourth TD catch — with 13 seconds remaining.

Yet that was somehow enough time for the Chiefs to set up Butker’s tying kick to send the game to overtime.

© AAP

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