The NFC and AFC Championship games had everyone on the edge of their seats. Both games went into overtime which has never happened before. However, controversial calls were made (or lack thereof) that could've changed the game. Here's a breakdown of the games.
The NFC championship game between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams seemed one-sided at the start. The Saints were able to score thirteen points while shutting out the Rams. The defense for the Rams was just not stopping the run game. The Rams were able to score in the second quarter and even pressured Drew Brees. The offensive linemen gave Jared Good enough time in the pocket to make big plays that made the score 10-13. The second half was a back and forth shootout between the quarterbacks.
However, Brees was making risky throws that were almost intercepted. The game was tied up 20-20 and Brees was third and 10 and merely 13 yards from the end zone when his receiver was hit, which should've been pass interference, but a call was never made. The foul was extremely obvious and angered many fans since if a pass interference was called, the Saints would've been given a new set of downs which could've ended the game and send the Saints to the Super Bowl. The game went into overtime and the Saints were given the ball first, but an interception led to the end of their Super Bowl dreams.
Statistics show that if the pass interference call was made, the Saints would've had a 98% chance of winning. Even after the game, the officials claimed that they messed up. It's ridiculous that the officiating at such a high-level game was so poorly done. The league needs to find a way that allows events like this to never happen. Possible solutions are to put more referees on the field or allow coaches to challenge blown calls. Many fans claim that the Rams are illegitimate Super Bowl contenders and that a rematch should be done. Many also believe that the game was rigged.
Personally, I think that the Rams do deserve to go to the Super Bowl because the Saints were given a chance to catch the lead, but they blew it. They lost a two-possession lead and even got the ball first in overtime. The Saints should've run the last play they had since throwing the ball leads to more room for error.
The AFC championship between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots had a dominant performance from the Pats in the first half. The Pats were able to score twice while shutting out the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes began to pick up momentum in the second half. The Chiefs were able to score 14 points in one quarter. The fourth quarter was intense as the lead changed four times. Both teams scored back and forth until the game was tied with 31 points each. Both teams have the potential of scoring a touchdown in the first drive of overtime and it all depended on who would win the coin toss. The Patriots won the coin toss and did just that.
The Patriots are one of the most hated teams in the league due to their dominance and possible scandals such as Deflategate. Many people claim that their win is solely due to the luck of picking the right side of the coin. Belichick and Brady are an incredible duo that is able to pick a team apart and make the other team's strengths something they can't use. The ball barely reached the hands of the Chief's valuable assets.
In my opinion, the Rams will be coming in with a mindset that they need to prove to everyone that they deserve to be there.
The Rams will be coming in with a mindset that they need to prove to everyone that they deserve to be there giving them a mental edge. The Patriots also have that mindset since many analysts claimed that this year was the decline of the Brady era. I think that the Patriots have the edge over the Rams due to their experience. Brady has been to eight Super Bowls making this one his ninth. Most of the players have experienced playing in a high-pressure environment.
This Super Bowl might be the least watched Super Bowl due to the scandals circling both teams. In the end, the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots will be traveling to Atlanta to play in the Super Bowl.