Patriots 34, Texans 16
It’s no surprise the Patriots are going to their sixth AFC championship game in a row, but about midway through the second quarter the Texans showed they were trying to make a game of it. Tom Brady was 18-of-38 for 287 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He has performed better, but even with a mediocre performance the Patriots were able to beat Houston.
Patriots Dion Lewis had three touchdowns on the win, one of which was on a 98-yard kickoff return. Lewis is the first player in the Super Bowl era to score on a rush, a kick return and a catch in a postseason game.
On both of Brady’s interceptions the Texans were worked to third downs and chose to kick for both.
The game was close at half, the Patriots led 17-13, but in the third the Pats would put the game out of reach. New England held the Texans scoreless in the third quarter and scored a touchdown on a pass from Brady to James White to extend New England’s lead 24-13.
New England used the momentum to blow the game open. Texans’ Brock Osweiler was intercepted three times and Houston scored only one field goal for the remainder of the game. Osweiler was 23 of 40 for 198 yards.
Pats Julian Edelman caught eight passes for 137 yards. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski was 2-for-2 through the uprights.
Steelers 18, Chiefs 16
This was the second most exciting game of the weekend, second to the Packers, Cowboys game. It was a little different than the Week 4 meeting of the two teams where the Steelers stomped the Chiefs 43-14. The Chiefs almost took the game with 2:43 remaining, but unfortunately almost doesn’t count.
As much pass protection as Ben Roethlisberger has, why pass when you Le’Veon Bell can take 30 carries 170 yards. There were still receiving yards, of course. There were 20 catches total, of which Antonio Brown had 6 for 108 yards.
Chris Boswell had all Steelers 18 points and was 6-for-6 field goals marking a postseason record.
In the fourth quarter Spencer Ware had a 1-yard touchdown run that closed the gap Steelers 18-16. The Chiefs attempt to convert for 2 and tie the game would have been successful had Eric Fisher not been called for holding. The second attempt was intended for Chiefs’ Jeremy Maclin but was deflected by Steelers defense.
According to ESPN Travis Kelce was upset at the refs for trying to take over the game.
“Referee No. 51 shouldn’t even be able to wear a zebra jersey ever again,” Kelce said. “He shouldn’t even be able to work at f—ing Foot Locker.”
Pittsburgh Justin Gilbert’s kick return reception went awry and he was tackled at the Steelers 5. On third down, Roethlisberger hit Brown for 7 yards and then Pittsburgh ran out the clock.
Kelce had 5 receptions for 77 yards, a drop and a 15-yard roughing penalty.
Pittsburgh defense held Kansas City to 227 yards, only 61 on the ground.