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Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 17 February, 2019

Gronk and Brady take the Patriots to 5th AFC Championship Game in a row

The Chiefs’ struggles with clock management ultimately came back to haunt them at the end of the game.

Just the two touchdowns and one on-side kick recover for Gronk this evening.
Just the two touchdowns and one on-side kick recover for Gronk this evening.
Image: Charles Krupa

THERE MAY HAVE been some concern over the health of Rob Gronkowski during the week but any aches and pains were soon forgotten as he caught the game’s opening touchdown this evening.

The eight-yard scoring grab came at the end of an impressive first drive for the Patriots and saw Tom Brady welcome Julian Edelman back in style, consistently looking for the wide receiver who has been out injured since week ten as he completed 9 of 11 passes, including the final throw to Gronk.

After Kansas City got on the scoreboard through a field goal, Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola was lucky not to be ejected from the game for this hit on Jamell Fleming:

However, the Patriots players stayed on the field and his side marched down the field and Brady almost scored on second and 11, coming up just inches short of the pylon:

Two plays later, Brady called his own number again and sneak over the goal-line for the score.

Once more the Chiefs had to settle for a field goal to trail 14-6 at the half.

The visitors looked to be starting the second half the stronger but this Knile Davis fumble brought any momentum to a shuddering halt.

And the Patriots took full advantage as Brady found Gronk again to go up 21-6.

On the Chiefs next drive, Alex Smith may well have produced the best play of the postseason with this amazing scramble and pass to Jason Avant:

After successfully converting on fourth down later in the drive, Alex Smith finally found the endzone when his 10-yard pass found Albert Wilson to make the score 21-13:

With time running out, the Chiefs struggled to manage the clock but found the endzone again with 1.13 remaining thanks to Charcandrick West to make the score 27-20.

The on-side kick, however, was recovered by Gronkowski giving the Patriots the chance to run off most of the clock.

They did however, need a slice of luck to do it when a tipped pass ended up in the hands of Julian Edelman for the first down that killed the game and the Pats moved on to a fifth AFC Championship game in a row.

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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