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The 2018 New England Patriots are no strangers to playing

in close games. Just think back to their game against the Chicago Bears that came down to a Hail Mary stopped one yard short of the end zone. Or the one against the Miami Dolphins that was decided on an improbable final play that literally is described as a miracle. Or their first meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs that ended 43-40 in New England’s favor on a last-second field goal.However White Kevin Faulk Jerseys , they all pale in comparison to what transpired at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium yesterday. New England went on the road, jumped to a 14-0 halftime lead only to watch the Chiefs come back before the two teams combined to score 31 points in the final eight minutes of regulation. In the end, it was the conference’s second-seeded Patriots that pulled out the victory with a touchdown drive to open overtime.It was a thriller — one that saw memorable performances on both sides and all three phases. “These are memories that will last a lifetime,” quarterback Tom Brady said during his press conference after the game. The 41-year old, who will appear in his ninth Super Bowl in two weeks, was a key figure in the Patriots’ upset win and kept going blow-for-blow with the league’s best offense in the final minutes of the game.“I said it a few weeks ago, I am blessed to find something that I love to do that I love to work at,” Brady continued, visibly excited about his team’s thrilling 37-31 win. “That has probably been the biggest blessing in my life. I love working hard at trying to make improvements. Every year, we start at a different place. I love the grind of it, being in the moment. This was an incredible win. I will remember this one for the rest of my life.”Brady was not the only player to step in front of the press yesterday to talk about the Patriots’ 13th win of the season. “We knew if we kept fighting that we were going to put up a battle,” said tight end Rob Gronkowski after what might very well have been his most impressive performance of the season. “We were giving all we had. I’m pretty sure everyone on the team gave it all we had today.”“That’s all we can ask for, and in the end, the results came out great,” the 29-year old, who caught six passes for a combined 79 yards including two huge third down conversions in quarters four and five, continued. “We were battling the whole game — first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, fourth quarter and overtime. We were preparing all year for situations like this — conditioning levels — and it all pays off and shows with a victory like this.”The game itself certainly was an emotional one for both teams involved — a back-and-forth contest that will live in championship annals for quite a long time. The stage itself was perfectly set for a high-stakes drama: playing in front of an energetic crowd that saw the first ever AFC title game being played at Arrowhead Stadium, with two teams at the peak of their powers going at each other in crunch time.“I think we all were pretty emotional Kevin Faulk Jerseys 2019 , coming into a rough environment, mostly everyone thinking we weren’t going to win this football game,” running back James White said following the game, establishing himself as the latest Patriot to feed off the team’s underdog mentality. “We took it as a challenge, knew it was going to be a tough four-quarter football game, against a good football team that we beat and it took everything we had.”“It feels great. All of the hard work we’ve put in, this whole year. We get to play one more. It was a great game. The Chiefs are a great team,” added fellow running back Rex Burkhead, who scored two touchdowns during the game, including the walk-off score five minutes into overtime. Burkhead was not the only Patriot to praise Kansas City after the game. “This is the best team in the AFC that we played tonight. We knew that things were going to go back and forth,” special teams captain Matthew Slater said.In the end, however, the better team was the one from New England — one that was able to silence the Chiefs’ home crowd. “When you have 70,000 people cheering against you, it is pretty sweet when you win on the road,” said Brady. “It is a hard thing to do in the NFL. It is certainly a hard thing to do against the first-ranked team in the conference who has been playing well all year and certainly playing well at home.”“We knew it was going to take a lot. It obviously took into overtime. It took some great plays and great conversions,” the future Hall of Famer continued. Brady, of course, has some experience when it comes to playing tight postseason games: he became the first quarterback in league history yesterday to lead his team to three separate overtime victories in the playoffs.Knowing this, it is no surprise that the team had plenty of confidence entering the extra 15 minutes. “Never a doubt,” said defensive edge Trey Flowers when asked about his thoughts on the overtime period after yesterday’s game. “Tom Brady did some great things. You knew that once we got the ball it was game over. I mean I was ready to go out if I had to. But White Tedy Bruschi Jerseys , he put it away for us. It’s just a blessing.”“You saw me, I ran off as soon as I saw it was heads. I saw heads and I know what happens at the end of this one,” added defensive team captain Devin McCourty. Both he and Flowers were proven right: Brady and the Patriots offense marched 75 yards in 13 plays — three of which third down conversions — to give New England one final touchdown, and a ticket to Super Bowl 53 in two weeks. WHO: Los Angeles Rams vs New England PatriotsWHAT: Super Bowl LIIIWHERE: Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GeorgiaWHEN: Sunday, February 3Then comes the HOW…When the Rams and Pats pour out of the tunnels onto the artificial turf in Atlanta Sunday, 17 years to the day since they first met in SB XXXVI, history will be made. Regardless who ends up lifting the Lombardi, records will be set, dynasties will be created (or extended) and conversations over who is (or could be) the greatest of all-time will ensue. Here is a glimpse of the biggest things you need to know as you sit down in front of a sombrero-sized 7-layer dip.Boy wonderRams head coach Sean McVay turned 33-years-old just days after winning the NFC Championship, making him the youngest coach in NFL history to lead his team to a Super Bowl appearance. While history dictates the NFL as a “copycat league,” McVay and the Rams have flipped that preconceived notion on its head over the past two seasons. After taking control of the franchise as a 31-year-old with an offensive background, McVay turned a 4-12 Rams team into back-to-back NFC West champions while demonstrating he is one of the most brilliant minds in the game.Could they really do it again?In their 19th year together, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady look to complete a task never accomplished in modern NFL history: win six Super Bowls together. Looking to avenge last year’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the duo have now reached the season’s final game four of the last five years and for the ninth time overall in their partnership. In pro football history, only Vince Lombardi-Bart Starr (7) and Paul Brown-Otto Graham (7) have combined for more league championships, but neither have done so since the 1970 merger.Age is nothing but a numberWhile saying McVay is only 33 may turn some eyes, without proper reference, it doesn’t truly do the trick. For example, his counterpart Belichick is 66-years-old. Yup, twice his age. Belichick Tedy Bruschi Jerseys 2019 , widely viewed as one of the best coaches in NFL– nay, sports– history did not reach his first Super Bowl as a head coach until age 49.The quarterback situation provides similar opportunities to be mind blown. Brady, 41, is not only eight years older than McVay, but 17 years older than Rams QB Jared Goff. Like Goff, the five-time champion Brady was 24 when playing in his first Super Bowl (in which he defeated the St. Louis Rams and future Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, who was nearly a decade his elder). Could history flip itself?Running (?) backsDespite missing the final two games of the regular season, Rams running back Todd Gurley finished the year leading the League in touchdowns (21), but went virtually unnoticed in the NFC Championship. Coming off a 115 yard, touchdown rushing performance in the Divisional Round, Gurley was limited to a career-low five touches (4 rush, 1 rec) against the Saints. In his place, veteran C.J. Anderson— who was signed in December when Gurley was out with a knee injury– has taken the majority of touches for LA. Since joining the team, Anderson has registered at least 16 carries a game and only once (vs the Saints) did he manage less than 100 yards. McVay noted he would put an emphasis on getting Gurley more attempts in the Super Bowl, but it will be worth keeping an eye on who is getting the bulk of the workload.On the other side, the Patriots have a dynamic running back tandem of their own. Veteran James White and rookie Sony Michel combine for a lethal one-two punch split between the air and ground games. Despite being listed as an RB, White is primarily a target in the passing game, tying a playoff record with 15 catches in the AFC Divisional Round against the Chargers without running the ball a single time. Michel, on the other hand, has carved his own path by gashing defenses in the rushing attack. Having carried the ball 53 times in the postseason, the rookie out of Georgia has tallied 242 yards and five TDs. He’s only been targeted once in the pass game. So for those keeping track at home: if White is in the game White Andre Tippett Jerseys , expect a pass. If it’s Michel, expect a run.Pressure, pressing down on meDuring the regular season, the Patriots gave up just 21 sacks, good for the third fewest in the League. So far during the playoffs, Brady has yet to be brought down. However, they have not faced a pass rusher quite like the AP Defensive Player of the Year, Aaron Donald. Donald, who led the league with 20.5 sacks in the regular season, stuffed the stat sheet once again on his way to a second-consecutive DPOY award. Despite not yet having a playoff sack to his name, Donald’s pressure is constantly being felt; in the Championship vs the Saints, he registered three QB hits on Drew Brees. That said, he is not the only one that can make a QB sweat. The Rams totaled 41 sacks during the regular season and have gotten into the backfield three times during the playoffs. If LA can put Brady on his back, there’s a good chance the Lombardi could be coming to the City of Champions.So now that you’re equipped with the biggest storylines, some tidbits to drop throughout the game and certain personnel that will allow you to predict plays a la Tony Romo, it’s time to kick back with a bowl full of snacks and watch history unfold right before your eyes.