Rams oust Cow­boys, Chiefs down Colts to ad­vance in NFL play­offs

Manila Times - - Sports -

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.

LOS AN­GE­LES:

AFP PHOTO

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