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Patriots primed for rematch with Chiefs in AFC title game

New England tight finish Rob Gronkowski stated the Patriots would take the evening to revel in it. Protection Devin McCourty stated it will be nearer to only some hours of birthday party.

Alternatively lengthy the Patriots avid gamers deliberate to chill out after their dominating 41-28 divisional-round win over the Chargers on Sunday , this a lot is apparent: An excellent Kansas Town Chiefs crew is ready within the AFC championship recreation.

In the meantime, within the dropping locker room in Foxborough on Sunday, the Chargers headed again around the nation after shedding their lone recreation of the season out of doors the state of California.

New England wanted a box purpose from Stephen Gostkowski within the waning seconds to slide previous the Chiefs 43-40 in one of the most wildest video games of the steady season in Week 6. Tom Brady had one in all his best possible video games of the season within the Oct. 14 victory over KC, throwing for 340 yards and a landing and operating for every other to earn his 200th profession victory as beginning quarterback.

It all used to be wanted on an evening through which counterpart Patrick Mahomes rallied his crew from a 24-Nine halftime deficit, throwing for 352 yards and 4 touchdowns in what used to be the Chiefs’ first lack of the season and his first as a beginning quarterback.

Now comes a rematch in opposition to a Kansas Town crew that oddsmakers have put in as an early favourite. It’ll be uncommon air for the Patriots.

Sunday’s win over the Chargers despatched the Patriots to the convention identify recreation for 8th immediately season. It’ll even be the 13th convention championship recreation look via the Patriots right through the Tom Brady-Invoice Belichick generation.

McCourty stated regardless of their remarkable run and function Sunday, no person within the Patriots locker room believes they may be able to simply display up and win at Arrowhead Stadium.

“You move to 8 immediately AFC championship video games, you might be within the playoffs 10 years in a row, you more or less get in a method like it is going to stay going down, it is going to be there,” McCourty stated. “However this can be a particular team, and I believe we are beginning to understand that we’ve got one alternative to take a look at to profit from the entirety that is in entrance people.”

New England were given 3 first-half touchdowns from rookie Sony Michel to set the early tone in opposition to the Chargers. He completed with 129 yards speeding, his 5th 100-yard speeding recreation of the season.

The Patriots scored touchdowns on their first 4 possessions, development a 35-7 halftime lead.

Buoyed via the run recreation, Brady used to be in antique shape at age 41, finishing 34 of 44 for 343 yards and a landing. He advanced to Eight-Zero as a starter in opposition to Philip Rivers, who drops to 1-Eight in opposition to New England all-time.

In a while, Brady stated that he heard the voices this season who doubted the Patriots and concept “we will’t win any video games.”

Requested if he concept the win may have quieted the ones voices, he merely smiled and paused.

“I similar to successful,” he stated. “I similar to successful.”

OPEN GATES

The Chargers’ ultimate landing got here lengthy after the sport used to be out of succeed in, however do not name it rubbish time to Antonio Gates.

The Los Angeles tight finish is 38 years previous, and it would had been his ultimate recreation. When he stuck an Eight-yard go from Rivers to make it 41-28 within the ultimate minute, it made him the oldest tight result in NFL historical past with a landing catch in a playoff recreation.

Simplest large receiver Jerry Rice had a postseason TD reception at a extra complicated age.

“Beautiful cool that if it had been to be his remaining one, that his remaining catch used to be a landing,” stated Rivers, who has thrown 89 regular-season TD passes to Gates, probably the most for a quarterback-tight finish tandem.

“You are speaking a few man that is stuck greater than any one within the historical past of tight ends. And he and I’ve thrown extra within the historical past of quarterbacks and tight ends,” Rivers stated. “If it had been to be (his remaining recreation), you’ll glance again at some point and say it ended simply the way it began there a very long time in the past.”

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Whilst so much used to be product of the Chargers’ luck at the street this season, Rivers stated it would had been great to play Sunday’s recreation at house.

They had been 7-1 right through the steady season, dropping best once they performed on the crosstown Los Angeles Rams. The Chargers received at Baltimore within the wild-card around to open the postseason.

“We received each and every recreation we were given on a airplane this 12 months, aside from for this one. So we would executed a heck of a role at the street. Once in a while you have a look at what you probably did and also you move, ‘Yeah, let’s simply stay all of them at the street as a result of we now have been just right at the street.’ … There is not any query, you need to be at house the place it is about 65 levels and it is your position, now not coping with the noise and having the ability to keep in touch and all the ones issues. The ones issues will have helped just a little bit nowadays, too. However they simply outplayed us, they simply outplayed us.”

MOVING ON UP

The Patriots received their 35th playoff recreation, tying the Cowboys for 2nd all-time. With another win, New England will tie Pittsburgh for probably the most postseason wins in NFL historical past.

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AP Sports activities Creator Jimmy Golen contributed to this record.

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Extra AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL

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Observe Kyle Hightower on Twitter a http://www.twitter.com/khightower

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