Rams oust Cowboys, Chiefs down Colts to advance in NFL playoffs
Quarterback Dak Prescott (No. 4) of the Dallas Cowboys looks to make a pass in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Round playoff game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday in Los Angeles, California.
A record-setting rushing performance sparked the Los Angeles Rams over Dallas and into the NFL playoff semifinals Saturday (Sunday in Manila) alongside with Kansas City Chiefs, whose defensive unit dominated in a lopsided victory over Indianapolis.
C.J. Anderson ran 23 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns while Todd Gurley added 115 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries as the host Rams ripped the Cowboys 30-22 in a National Conference playoff game.
“It was incredible what they did,” Rams quarterback Jared Goff said of his blockers and rushers. “We know this defense and we prepared for it well. We ran the ball well. It started with Todd. C.J. added to it. We did it really well.”
The Rams will face either top seed New Orleans or defending champion Philadelphia next weekend in the conference final with a trip to Super Bowl 53 next month in Atlanta at stake.
At Kansas City, Patrick Mahomes threw for 278 yards and ran for a touchdown while Damien Williams ran for 129 yards and a touchdown to lead the Chiefs over Indianapolis 31-13, snapping a 25-year NFL home playoff win drought that saw Kansas City lose six straight.
“We played a great ‘team’ football game,” Mahomes said. “The defense did amazing and the offense did enough to get the win in the end.”
The Chiefs will host next week’s American Conference championship game against Sunday’s winner between the Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots for a berth in the February 3 championship spectacle.
“There’s a lot of confidence, a lot of chemistry and a lot of guys playing their tails off for each other,” Chiefs co- captain Travis Kelce said.
The Rams ran 48 times for 273 yards, eclipsing their old post-season rushing mark from 1986 against Dallas by four yards, and inflicting the best rushing total of the campaign against the Cowboys.
Anderson and Gurley were the first two Rams rushers to crack 100 yards in the same playoff game. attempt to seek a touchdown, which Anderson obtained on a 1-yard run to give the Rams a 30-15 lead with 7:16 to play.
Dak Prescott scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:11 remaining to lift the Cowboys within the final margin but the Rams took the ball and ran out the clock for the victory.
Greg Zuerlein kicked a 25-yard field goal for the Rams to open the scoring but the Cowboys answered on Prescott’s 29-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper for a 7-3.
Zuerlein added a 23-yard field goal and the Rams regained the lead on Anderson’s 1-yard touchdown run, then stretched it to 20-7 at half-time after Gurley’s 35-yard touchdown scamper with 3:27 remaining in the second quarter.
Zuerlein added a 44-yard field goal early in the third quarter but the Cowboys responded with a touchdown drive capped by Ezekiel Elliott’s 1-yard touchdown run and a 2-point Prescott conversion pass to Cooper.