I suspect most Seattle Seahawks fans would’ve figured the worst case scenario out of these conference title games was for the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams to prevail. That’s exactly what happened. And they both did so in overtime.
The Rams rallied from 13-0 down to beat the New Orleans Saints 26-23 in overtime, in large part because Sean Payton called a bizarre game, and then Tommy Lee Lewis was allowed to be decleated without penalty on Nickell Robey-Coleman. This would’ve given the Saints a new set of downs and basically they’d have been able to run almost all the clock out and kick the winning field goal. Alas, they kicked the go-ahead field goal, but lost the lead at the end of regulation, then lost the game in overtime.
Meanwhile, the New England Patriots had a 14-0 halftime lead at the Kansas City Chiefs, but the Chiefs offense came alive in the 2nd half and the two teams played one of the most exhilarating fourth quarters in recent memory. At the end of the third quarter, it was 17-7 Patriots. By the end of regulation, it was 31-31. Patrick Mahomes made some incredible plays, but the Chiefs defense was just a sieve when it mattered most, and Tom Brady enjoyed great pass protection and made clutch third down throws to Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. Kansas City never saw the ball on offense in overtime, as Rex Burkhead crossed the goal line for the winning points. A 37-31 overtime classic that sees New England get the Lamar Hunt Trophy raised at Arrowhead Stadium, but for the road team.
If you despise the Patriots for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is XLIX, this sucks. As does seeing the Seahawks’ biggest rivals in the NFC West also make the big game, as they were favored to do prior to the start of the regular season. Like I said at the top, arguably worst case outcome for most of us.
Tom Brady will play in his ninth Super Bowl, and it’s against the same team he won his first Super Bowl against... except the Rams were in St. Louis back in the 2001 season, and the Seahawks were an AFC team. It’ll be on the 17-year anniversary of Super Bowl XXXVI, too.
So tune in (or don’t) on February 3rd at 3:40 PM PT on CBS. Game 267 will either mean a sixth Super Bowl for the Patriots or a first NFL title for the city of Los Angeles since the 1980s.