Patriots execute a perfect game plan against the impending leaders: play the goalie and trust Tom Brady


KANSAS CITY, MONTH – Where to start Sunday night? Well, there was the last eight minutes in the CFA championship game when the front changed hands four times. There were four touchdowns, three kiosk reviews, some challenges, and overtime.

There was a frosty house crowd that had waited nearly half a century for a spot at the Super Bowl. Kansas City fans cheered on a potential NFL player at the quarterback.

But some things never change.

The blank disc known as New England Patriots continues to play the same old piece. The needle remains stuck in the throat, repeating something about another Super Bowl.

Victory 37-31 Sunday made three consecutive trips to the Super Bowls, as well as four of the last five for the Patriots. Seventeen years and one day after the beginning of this dynasty in the Tuck Rule Game, the Patriots go to their ninth Super Bowl led by Bill Belichick to try to win their sixth title.

And just when you thought that the greatest of all time (Tom Brady) was going to fall into the biggest of recent Once (Patrick Mahomes), a father of three 41-year-olds proved he was not ready to give up the throne yet.

"I do not even know how to start describing No. 12," said New England catcher Chris Hogan, following the 37-31 win over Pats in overtime. "Every year they try to find a reason, but there is not, the guy is coming and getting ready like never before."

At the end of Sunday's most exciting league conference game in history, we wondered: does not that always end? Brady, with the ball in his hands, with the game in play?

It's more like that; it's pretty much the reality. On two occasions in the final time of 3:32, Brady led his team to scores that gave the Pats the advantage, the last with 39 seconds to play in the rules.

There was almost inevitable overtime training, highlighting how much the Chiefs' defense was fizzy and how much Brady's game is still awesome.

"It's probably harder to watch than playing because I know what we're doing," Brady said. "I know what we still have in front of us."

Sunday's result gives Brady a score of 73-1 with at least two touchdowns at half-time. The only defeat was this 2006 AFC championship game against the Colts. Since then, he has won 52 games of this type.

Why would Sunday have been different? Mainly, because Mahomes tried to take this stick away from the old man.

The alleged MVP NFL led the Chiefs to 24 of 31 points scored in the fourth quarter. In the last 15 minutes he pitched for 110 yards and two touchdowns.

But in overtime, he and the leaders have never seen the ball. The Pats won the draw, walked 75 meters in 13 games and that's it. The game is over, the season is over for the Chiefs who – according to the last decisive loss mode in the playoffs – may have to wait another half-century to get a Super Bowl shot. It's 49 years old and it counts.

Kansas City led 14-0, 17-7, 24-21 and 31-28 before succumbing. The Chiefs' defense – which clearly trailed in overtime – barely resisted, the Patriots being methodically steeped in history.

New England ran only four times during the 13 sessions in overtime. Brady ran possession as if it was a two minute exercise. NFL overtime rules in series indicate that the game is over if the first team to take possession of the ball marks a touchdown.

Yes, in many ways, an epic game was decided by a coin.

"It's just like that the play is going on, I guess you'd say," says Mahomes.

The only advantage Mahomes had on Brady at the end of Sunday was the 18 years he spent on Earth. One day, Brady will use it. Sunday was not the day.

"In those moments, that's what I want behind the center," Hogan said of Brady.

However, all signs were present: the end of the game, Rob Gronkowski was not himself. In the playoff games on the road, Brady and his coach Bill Belichick totaled 3-4 of all times (20-3 at home). It was not a classic team of Patriots. They were 3-5 on the road this season. They took the field Sunday as an outsider for the first time in 69 games.

Brady started the week saying "everyone thinks that we fear"Whether it's a casual remark or an intentional motivation ploy, we'll never know it.

But the joke was on us.

When Brady took the lead in turn, it was obvious that the defense of Kansas City was tired. Brady and Belichick have lined up for a perfect game plan: the best way to beat the big Mahomes is to keep him on the bench. The Pats held the ball for nearly 44 minutes. The Patriots ran 94 games (winning 524 yards). To show how dangerous Mahomes and this offense are, Kansas City scored 31 points only on 47 shots.

New England has survived an epic fourth quarter. In consecutive possessions, the Pats first returned the ball to Kansas City 25, followed by an interception of Brady, the ball slipping between Julian Edelman's fingers.

But in the last round of 3:32 of the fourth quarter, Brady completed eight of his 10 attempts for 99 yards, leading two touchdowns.

He was just beginning. The patriots followed.

"He has appeared today on the football field, but he is taller than football," said Matthew Slater, receiver of Pats. "It has always been."