Brady bumps L.A.

The Globe and Mail (Alberta Edition) - - REPORT ON BUSINESS SPORTS -

New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots QB Tom Brady passes be­tween Los An­ge­les Charg­ers Uchenna Nwosu and Des­mond King dur­ing the sec­ond half of the teams’ di­vi­sional play­off game on Sun­day in Foxbor­ough, Mass. Brady com­pleted 34-of-44 passes for 343 yards in the Pats’ 41-28 win. Also on Sun­day, the Saints beat the Philadel­phia Ea­gles 20-14 in New Or­leans. On Satur­day, the Chiefs beat the In­di­anapo­lis Colts 31-13 in Kansas City and the Rams beat the Dal­las Cow­boys 30-22 in Los An­ge­les

The New Or­leans Saints got two touch­down passes from Drew Brees, two in­ter­cep­tions by Mar­cus Lat­ti­more and ral­lied from a 14-point deficit to beat the Philadel­phia Ea­gles 20-14 Sun­day to ad­vance to the NFC cham­pi­onship game.

Us­ing a dom­i­nant ball-con­trol of­fence after a hor­ren­dous start, Brees took the Saints (14-3) on scor­ing drives of 92, 79 and 67 yards. And a few gam­bles paid off to as­sure New Or­leans will host the Rams (13-4) next Sun­day for a spot in the Su­per Bowl.

Los An­ge­les, which fell 45-35 at the Su­per­dome in Novem­ber, will try again next week, with the win­ner tak­ing on ei­ther Kansas City or New Eng­land in the Su­per Bowl in At­lanta. The Saints’ win fin­ished off a sweep of the di­vi­sional round by teams com­ing off byes.

Wil Lutz added two field goals for the Saints, who last got this far in 2009, when they won the Su­per Bowl.

Philadel­phia (10-8) will not re­peat as NFL cham­pion; no team has done so since the 2004 Pa­tri­ots.

This was re­ally two games in one. Philly scored on its first two drives as the Saints could do vir­tu­ally noth­ing right.

After that open­ing pe­riod, it was all New Or­leans, yet the re­silient Ea­gles kept it close enough that when Lutz missed a 52-yard field goal with 2 min­utes 58 sec­onds re­main­ing – they were only one score be­hind.

Nick Foles, the hero of last year’s Su­per Bowl run, got them in po­si­tion for yet an­other late win­ning score – just like last week at Chicago and last Fe­bru­ary against New Eng­land for the cham­pi­onship.

Then, Al­shon Jef­fery couldn’t han­dle a sec­ond-down pass from the Saints 27 and Lat­ti­more grabbed his sec­ond in­ter­cep­tion to clinch the win.

PA­TRI­OTS 41, CHARG­ERS 28

FOXBOR­OUGH, MASS. Sony Michel ran for 129 yards and had three touch­downs and New Eng­land beat Los An­ge­les in the di­vi­sional play­offs to earn its eighth straight trip to the AFC cham­pi­onship game.

New Eng­land (12-5) will play at Kansas City in next week’s AFC ti­tle game. The Pa­tri­ots beat the Chiefs 43-40 in Foxbor­ough in Week 6. The Pa­tri­ots fin­ished 9-0 at home this sea­son.

It is the 13th con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game ap­pear­ance by the Pa­tri­ots dur­ing the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era.

The Charg­ers (13-5) haven’t reached the AFC ti­tle game since the 2007 sea­son.

Philip Rivers fin­ished 25-of-51 for 331 yards, three touch­downs and an in­ter­cep­tion. He is 0-5 in games played in Foxbor­ough, in­clud­ing 0-3 in the post­sea­son.

Brady fin­ished 34-of-44 for 343 yards and a touch­down. He im­proves to 8-0 as a starter against Rivers, who drops to 1-8 against New Eng­land all-time.

James White tied Dar­ren Spro­les’s NFL post­sea­son record with 15 catches, to­talling 97 yards.

New Eng­land scored on its first four pos­ses­sions of the game to build a 35-7 half­time lead.

Ju­lian Edel­man had nine catches for 151 yards.

ELISE AMEN­DOLA/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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