Brady bumps L.A.
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
Dallas defence falls into early hole it can’t climb out of as Los Angeles’ offence keeps game on the ground
C.J. Anderson rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns, and Todd Gurley rushed for 115 more yards and another TD in the Los Angeles Rams’ first playoff victory in 14 years, 30-22 over the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round on Saturday night.
Gurley and Anderson punished the Cowboys’ normally sturdy run defence and sent the second-seeded Rams (14-3) to the NFC championship game for the first time in 17 years. Los Angeles racked up a franchise playoff-record 273 yards on the ground – also the most ever allowed in the postseason by the Cowboys, which were playing in their NFL-record 63rd postseason game.
The long-struggling Rams had won only one postseason game since their last trip to the Super Bowl in February, 2002, but 32year-old coach Sean McVay has added his first playoff victory to his spectacular two-season franchise turnaround.
Ezekiel Elliott rushed for a TD and Amari Cooper caught an early TD pass for the Cowboys (11-7), who still haven’t won a playoff game on the road in 26 years. After winning the NFC East and beating Seattle last week, Dallas lost in the divisional playoff round for the sixth consecutive time and fell short of its first trip to the NFC championship game since January, 1996.
Next weekend, the Rams will face the top-seeded New Orleans Saints.
The Rams are one win away from another Super Bowl trip after McVay’s high-flying, inventive offence largely kept it on the ground, methodically punishing the Cowboys’ normally sturdy run defence with their unlikely running back tandem. The Cowboys, which largely shut down Seattle’s league-best rushing attack last week, hadn’t allowed
two 100-yard rushers in a playoff game since the NFL-AFL merger.
Dak Prescott passed for 266 yards and rushed for a TD with 2 minutes 11 seconds to play, but the Cowboys couldn’t climb out after falling into a 23-7 hole midway through the third quarter. El-
liott managed just 47 yards on 20 carries as Dallas lost for just the second time in its past 10 games.
Jared Goff passed for 186 yards and spent much of the night handing off, but the gangly quarterback improbably scrambled 11 yards for a first down with 1:51 to play, essentially wrapping up his first playoff victory.
CHIEFS 31, COLTS 13
Patrick Mahomes picked apart the Colts in his postseason debut, the Chiefs defence answered their chorus of critics with a stout performance and Kansas City rolled to a victory over Indianapolis in the divisional round to end 25 years of playoff frustration.
Mahomes threw for 278 yards while running for a touchdown, and Damien Williams ran through snow and muck for 129 yards and another score, as the Chiefs beat Indianapolis for the first time in five playoff meetings to earn their first AFC title game appearance since January, 1994.
The AFC West champions will play the New England Patriots next weekend for a spot in the Super Bowl in Atlanta.
Andrew Luck was held to 203 yards passing for the Colts (11-7), while Marlon Mack was a nonfactor on the ground. He had 46 yards rushing before leaving late in the fourth quarter with a hip injury.
With snow turning Arrowhead Stadium into a winter wonderland, the Chiefs (13-4) waltzed all over a Colts defence that nearly shut out the Texans a week ago. Mahomes and Co. scored on their first three possessions, then again just before halftime, to take a 24-7 lead into the break.
If there was any question whether this would be Kansas City’s day, it was answered when Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a 23-yard field-goal try off the upright just before halftime.
Rams defender Mark Barron tackles Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper in a divisional playoff game in Los Angeles on Saturday. Cooper caught an early TD pass, but it wasn’t enough to get Dallas its first playoff win on the road in 26 years.