The Super Bowl is just one game away, and the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs will battle in the AFC Championship game on Sunday to determine who will move on to play for the NFL title. The Patriots will be playing in the AFC title game for the eighth straight time after defeating the Los Angeles Chargers 41-28 this past Sunday. The Chiefs will be looking for their first trip to the NFL title game since Super Bowl IV as they defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 31-13.
NFL: Sunday, January 20, 2019, Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Patriots Look for Third Straight Trip to Super Bowl
The New England Patriots handily defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, 41-28. New England would jump out to a 28-7 lead thanks to touchdowns on their first four possessions. Sony Michel scored three times in the first half and would finish the game with 129 yards rushing on 24 carries.
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Tom Brady had another spectacular game, throwing for 343 yards and a touchdown. Julian Edelman was his favorite target, making nine catches for 151 yards. James White had 15 catches for 97 yards. The Patriots defense turned the Chargers into a one-dimensional offense, allowing just 19 yards rushing.
Michel is coming off of a spectacular rookie season where he rushed for 931 yards on 209 attempts, scoring six touchdowns. Brady had five receivers who had at least 500 yards receiving. White led the team with 87 receptions and seven touchdowns. He has 751 yards receiving. Edelman led the team in receiving yards with 850. He had six touchdown catches. Brady finished the season with 4355 yards passing and 29 touchdowns. He threw only 11 interceptions and was sacked just 21 times.
New England average 28.1 points per contest, fourth best in the NFL, while allowing 20.8 points per game. They were also fourth in scoring defense. The team averages 399.5 yards of total offense while allowing 357.8 yards per game.
Chiefs End Home Playoff Rut
The Kansas City Chiefs advanced to the AFC championship game with a decisive 31-13 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday. It was the first time that Kansas City had won a home playoff game in 25 years as the defense stymied the Colts offense from the start of the contest. The Chiefs will now look to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1970.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes had a solid day, completing 27 of 41 passes for 278 yards. However, it was running back Damien Williams and the rushing attack of the Chiefs that were the stars of the show. Williams ran for 129 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Tyreek Hill, Darrel Williams, and Mahomes each had a touchdown run as well. Justin Houston recorded two sacks for the Kansas City defense.
Mahomes established himself as the likely MVP this season, throwing for 50 touchdowns to become just the fourth player in NFL history to reach that mark in a single season. The Kansas City quarterback had 5097 yards passing while only throwing 12 interceptions. He also rushed for 272 yards and two touchdowns. When Kareem Hunt was released by the team, that gave Williams the opportunity to become the team’s No. 1 running back. He had just 256 yards rushing in the regular season with four touchdowns.
Kansas City had the No. 1 offense in the NFL this season, averaging 35.3 points per game but they were 24th in defense, allowing 26.3 points per contest. The Chiefs allow 397.1 yards of offense per game while producing 426.0 per contest.
- 5-1 ATS in their last six games January.
- 2-7 ATS in their last nine conference championship games.
- 17-8 ATS in their last 25 games on the road.
- 2-9 ATS in their last 11 playoff games.
- 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games at home.
- 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games against AFC teams.
The Winner Prediction
These two teams met in Week 6, a game New England won as time expired, 43-40. Mahomes threw for 352 yards in the game while Michel had a big day rushing, gaining 106 yards on the ground. The Patriots are 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings between these two teams.
This should be an unbelievable contest. While the defenses for both teams looked great in the divisional round, these are two of the best offensive clubs in the NFL and that should make this a high-scoring affair. New England is 3-4 in their last seven playoff games on the road and they have lost their last two AFC Championship games. We think it will be three in a row.
The Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -3.0 (-110)
The total is set at 55.0 in this game has the potential to be one of the best offensive showcases anyone has ever seen in AFC title game. The teams are averaging 63 points per game combined and are allowing better than 750 yards of total offense, while combining to average over 800 yards in total offense.
No one is going to be out of this game even if they fall behind early. Look for Kansas City to win, 38-31.
The Pick: over 55.0 (-110)