Dynasty meets dy­namo for ti­tle

With Su­per Bowl on line, it’s Brady vs. Ma­homes

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Pro Football - By Blair Kerkhoff

The Kansas City Chief­sNew Eng­land Pa­tri­ots AFC cham­pi­onship is set. Some con­trasts couldn’t be sharper.

The Pa­tri­ots are play­ing in the ti­tle game for the 16th time in fran­chise his­tory — the 13th time in the era of quar­ter­back Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick, in­clud­ing eight in a row.

The 1993 sea­son marked Kansas City’s pre­vi­ous trip to the AFC ti­tle game, the Chiefs’ only ap­pear­ance there since the NFL and AFL merged in 1970.

Brady is the NFL’s best post­sea­son quar­ter­back with five Su­per Bowl rings and eight AFC ti­tles.

Patrick Ma­homes, who has passed for 5,097 yards and 50 touch­downs this year, makes the ti­tle game in his first sea­son as a starter.

CBS com­men­ta­tors Jim Nantz and Tony Romo framed the game as the “leg­end ver­sus the phe­nom.”

The teams met in the reg­u­lar sea­son each of the past two years. In Week 6 this sea­son, the Pa­tri­ots beat the Chiefs, 43-40.

Down 24-9 at half, the Chiefs took a lead in the third quar­ter and made it 4040 with three min­utes left be­fore Brady ral­lied the Pa­tri­ots for a win­ning field goal on the fi­nal play.

Ma­homes passed for 352 yards and four touch­downs. Brady had 340 yards. They will be the game’s big story.

Brady, 41, showed no signs of slow­ing Sun­day with 343 pass­ing yards and a touch­down.

In Satur­day’s 31-13 win against the In­di­anapo­lis Colts, Ma­homes passed for 278 yards, help­ing the Chiefs to their first play­off vic­tory since 2015 and the first win at Ar­row­head Sta­dium since 1993.

The Pa­tri­ots will be look­ing for their first road play­off win since the 2006 sea­son. They have lost three in a row to Pey­ton Man­ning teams. They’ll seek redemp­tion in a place where their most re­cent visit didn’t end well. In 2014, the Chiefs han­dled the Pa­tri­ots, 41-14.

“That was a pretty crappy loss that night,” Brady said after Sun­day’s game.

Start­ing with that con­test, the teams have played four games. The Chiefs have scored 40 points three times.

Brady ex­pects to get the Chiefs’ best shot. “Kansas City’s had a hel­luva year,” he said.

“They gave us ev­ery­thing we could han­dle in Oc­to­ber. I’m sure it will be the same. They’re well-coached with a good of­fense and their de­fense played well against the Colts. It’s go­ing to be fun to play them in the cham­pi­onship game.”

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