Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl

It’s the dead of winter, meaning the weather in New England can be brutal. And that the Patriots are headed to the Super Bowl.

It took them overtime and more of Tom Brady’s brilliance to get there — for the third straight year. While the folks back home dealt with a frigid storm, Brady blew through Kansas City’s exhausted defense on a 75-yard drive to Rex Burkhead’s 2-yard touchdown run in a 37-31 victory Sunday for the AFC championship.

The drive, during which New England (13-5) had three third-down conversions, was reminiscent of when the Patriots beat Atlanta in the only Super Bowl to go to OT two years ago.

“Overtime, on the road against a great team,” Brady said. “They had no quit. Neither did we. We played our best football at the end. I don’t know, man, I’m tired. That was a hell of a game.” Awaiting them in Atlanta are the Los Angeles Rams, who won 26-23 in overtime in New Orleans for the NFC championship. The Rams (15-3) last made the Super Bowl in 2002 while based in St. Louis, losing to the Patriots.

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New England benefited from two critical replay reviews and made its ninth Super Bowl with Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as coach.

“This is crazy,” said Brady, who was 30 of 46 for 348 yards. “What a game.”

It’s the first time both conference title games went to OT. The last time both visitors won conference championship matches was 2012; New England was 3-5 on the road this season. “We knew what our record was, but we didn’t let that dictate us,” said defensive end Trey Flowers, who led a staunch charge on Patrick Mahomes. “Whatever happened in the regular season happened. We came out and did it when it counted.”

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