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‘The game of the year’: Chiefs edge Bills in overtime in instant NFL Playoffs classic

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Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce in the corner of the end zone early in overtime as the Kansas City Chiefs rallied to beat the Buffalo Bills 42-36 in a sizzling finish to a wild divisional-round NFL weekend.

The lead changed hands three times in the final two minutes of regulation before Harrison Butker, who earlier missed a field goal and extra point, drilled a 49-yarder for Kansas City as time expired to force overtime.

The Chiefs won the coin toss, marched swiftly downfield against the NFL’s top-ranked but exhausted defence, and right into their fourth straight AFC title game.

They’ll play the Bengals next Sunday night for a spot in the Super Bowl.

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Mahomes finished with 378 yards passing and three touchdowns, including a 64-yarder to Tyreek Hill during the thrilling final minutes of regulation.

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The Chiefs ended the Bills’ season inside Arrowhead Stadium for the second straight year.

Josh Allen did everything in his power to prevent it. He threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to Gabriel Davis with 1:54 left in the regulation, then another to Davis — his playoff-record fourth TD catch — with 13 seconds remaining.

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Yet that was enough time for the Chiefs to set up Butker’s tying kick.

Allen finished with 329 yards passing, and Davis with eight catches for 201 yards, in a loss even more devastating than their defeat to Kansas City in last year’s AFC title game.

Tyreek Hill and Patrick Mahomes celebrate together.(Getty Images: Jamie Squire)

Brady’s Bucs stunned by Stafford’s Rams

Forty-two seconds was just enough for Los Angeles quarterback Matthew Stafford to pull off a Tom Brady-like finish against the man himself, sending the Rams to the NFC championship game for the second time in four seasons with a 30-27 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rams players congregate to celebrate while Buccaneers players look sad
The Rams came through late to beat Tom Brady’s Buccaneers.(Getty Images: Robert Gauthier)

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Stafford said.

“I mean, we sure let ’em back in the game with a bunch of mistakes on offence. Our defence played outstanding. We’ve got to clean some stuff up, do a little better job in the turnover department.

“This is a tough team, man, this is what we’re all about. Just happy to get a win and keep on moving.”

Stafford threw for 366 yards and two touchdowns without an interception, and the team’s biggest off-season acquisition used a pair of long completions to NFL receiving leader Cooper Kupp to position the Rams for Matt Gay’s 30-yard field goal as time expired.

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“Man, I’m still trying to process everything. That was a crazy game,” linebacker Von Miller said after the win over the defending Super Bowl champions.

“I knew it was going to come down to the end. All the times that I’ve played Tom Brady, it always comes down to the end. No lead that we had was safe.

“Nobody was perfect, but we still found a way to win it.”

The Rams (14-5) will host next week’s NFC title game against the San Francisco 49ers, aiming for a second trip to the Super Bowl in four seasons.

Brady rallied the Bucs from a 27-3 second-half deficit with help from three of the Rams’ four turnovers, tying the game on Leonard Fournette’s 9-yard run on fourth-and-inches with 42 seconds remaining.

The NFL’s all-time passer leader didn’t get an opportunity to finish the job.

And it’s uncertain if that was the final game for Brady, who is undecided on retirement.

“I haven’t put a lot of thought into it,” said the 44-year-old quarterback, who led the league with a career-best 5,136 yards passing while also throwing for a league-high 43 TDs during the regular season.

AP

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