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  • Tue, 22 Jan 2019 14:55:02 +0000: Feeling they were 'running out of time,' Patriots point to Week 16 spark - www.espn.com - NFL
    Emphasizing the run game and tightening up the defense helped the Patriots spark a late run that has led to their third consecutive Super Bowl.
  • Tue, 22 Jan 2019 14:11:39 +0000: Rashan Gary eyes 'legacy' with own agency - www.espn.com - NFL
    Rashan Gary is living his dream as the founder and CEO of his own sports agency.
  • Tue, 22 Jan 2019 14:10:20 +0000: Biggest Super Bowl LIII bets - www.espn.com - NFL
    Over $158 million was wagered on Super Bowl LII, a total that will likely be eclipsed at sportsbooks across the U.S. for this year's game. Here are the biggest bets.
  • Tue, 22 Jan 2019 13:28:06 +0000: Brady pegged as favorite over Goff for SB MVP - www.espn.com - NFL
    The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has opened Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as the favorite at EVEN odds to win MVP of Super Bowl LIII. Rams QB Jared Goff is the only other player with odds in single digits, at 2-1.
  • Tue, 22 Jan 2019 13:28:01 +0000: NFL to look into report laser flashed at Brady - www.espn.com - NFL
    The NFL says it will look into a report that a laser was flashed at Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the fourth quarter Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Official News Bulletins for The Guardian Newspaper in the UK for NFL can be viewed below:

  • Tue, 22 Jan 2019 12:36:28 +0000: Worst job in showbiz: why will no one touch the world's glitziest gigs? - NFL | The Guardian

    The Oscars have no host, Rihanna turned down the Super Bowl, and the White House dinner will be MC’d by a historian. What’s behind the sudden demise of entertainment’s biggest jobs?

    The loss of the Oscars’ latest host is, on the one hand, just another mishap to add to the list. From 2016’s #OscarsSoWhite to 2017’s wrong delivery of the best picture award, the ceremony now seems like a particularly slow bloopers reel. Yet the loss of Kevin Hart – who quit after old homophobic tweets resurfaced – is also a sign of something else. The fact that no one has replaced him, and that it’s difficult to think of many people who could, or would, reveals a much deeper malaise: a scary loss of nerve across showbiz’s top-tier events.

    Related: Oscars 2019: Roma and The Favourite vie for glory with 10 nominations each

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  • Tue, 22 Jan 2019 10:00:13 +0000: Rise of the TV rules analysts shows the NFL has a problem - NFL | The Guardian

    Former officials were picking over controversial decisions on Championship Sunday, a sign that things had gone badly awry for the league

    Here is one statistic you won’t find in the official game book from Sunday’s AFC Championship Game: it took 59 minutes in real time to complete the last eight minutes and 39 seconds of the fourth quarter. All the more time for ad breaks selling pickup trucks and building drama with men who have become central to NFL broadcasts, the “rules analysts.”

    The Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots combined to score 31 points in that span, but the game was also stopped four times so critical plays could be reviewed by the replay official. The longest stretch came when play grinded to a halt for seven minutes while officials reviewed New England receiver Justin Edelman’s apparent muffed handling of a punt, which the Chiefs, trailing 17-14 at the time, recovered at the New England 28-yard line.

    Related: Tom Brady was already the greatest QB of all time – now he's just rubbing it in

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  • Tue, 22 Jan 2019 00:38:40 +0000: Saints 'unfairly deprived' of Super Bowl place by missed call, says team owner - NFL | The Guardian

    A day after her New Orleans Saints lost the NFC Championship Game to the LA Rams after a late missed call by the officials, team owner Gayle Benson issued a strong statement of disapproval.

    “I am thoroughly disappointed by the events that led to the outcome of yesterday’s game,” Benson said. “Getting to the Super Bowl is incredibly difficult to do and takes such an unbelievable commitment from a team and support from its fans.”

    Related: Rams beat Saints in overtime to make Super Bowl after 'missed' call

    Related: Tom Brady was already the greatest QB of all time – now he's just rubbing it in

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  • Mon, 21 Jan 2019 09:00:10 +0000: Tom Brady was already the greatest QB of all time – now he's just rubbing it in - NFL | The Guardian

    The New England Patriots quarterback stepped up with his team’s season on the line and time running out on Sunday. Then he did it again in overtime

    Did you feel the inevitability? Tom Brady in overtime, needing to put together a drive to win the game and send the New England Patriots to their ninth Super Bowl. And, of course, he delivered, because Brady always delivers. He marched his team down the field with the confidence and presence of the greatest to ever play quarterback.

    Related: Tom Brady brilliant in the clutch as Patriots beat Chiefs to set up Rams Super Bowl

    Mahomes drills the sidearm with pressure in his face

    (via @thecheckdown) pic.twitter.com/uaMVvk4MgS

    Related: AFC Championship Game: New England Patriots 37-31 Kansas City Chiefs – as it happened!

    Another look at that no-flag callpic.twitter.com/PQIMkvrMHX

    What did Tom Brady say? Trust me, it is gold #Patriots pic.twitter.com/zHnh7ZwrUY

    Rams among teams heading to the UK

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  • Mon, 21 Jan 2019 03:31:40 +0000: AFC Championship Game: New England Patriots 37-31 Kansas City Chiefs – as it happened! - NFL | The Guardian

    Game report

    And last but not least, read all about this instant classic right here.

    Related: Tom Brady brilliant in the clutch as Patriots beat Chiefs to set up Rams Super Bowl

    This game had just about everything, but in the end, it was almost predictable. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady heading to the Super Bowl for a ninth time.

    Considering the way they were dominated in the second half, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs launched what seemed to be an almost improbable comeback, but in the overtime, New England and Brady took over and the kid never got the ball. There’s good reason to believe that he’ll reach this stage for years to come, but for now, he yields to the old raisin who has one more crack at a title.

    Burkhead is in the endzone and New England are heading to the Super Bowl for the third straight year!

    Don’t pass the torch yet, Tom Brady has reached the big show one more time!

    Patriots 31-31 Chiefs, 10:16 overtime

    Now Burkhead barrels ahead down to the five! The game is in the balance for KC!

    Patriots 31-31 Chiefs, 11:33 overtime

    Brady looks for Patterson, incomplete. It’s 3rd & 10. Does that mean Edelman again?

    Patriots 31-31 Chiefs, 12:03 overtime

    Flea flicker! Razzle dazzle!

    Patriots 31-31 Chiefs, 12:07 overtime

    Streaking into the middle of the field, Patterson can’t grab a ball thrown slightly behind him, incomplete. It’s 3rd & 10 and now Brady hooks up with Edelman again for 15!

    Patriots 31-31 Chiefs, 13:02 overtime

    Brady finds Edelman at midfield, Edelman is pummeled to the ground and holds on! First down and NE keep their drive alive.

    Patriots 31-31 Chiefs, 13:40 overtime

    Hogan has a 10-yard reception on the left side before Burkhead runs into the line for a yard.

    We will continue playing until we have a winner. Both teams get a possession unless the first team scores a touchdown: in that case the game is over. Each team gets three timeouts.

    New England win the toss, they’ll take the ball.

    Correction:

    We had a tech hitch with the score: please refresh your browser to see the changes.

    And so for the second time today, a championship game will go to overtime as Butker’s kick splits the uprights.

    Name your superlative for this game folks, none of the will be good enough.

    Patriots 31-28 Chiefs, 0:11 4th quarter

    Mahomes throws it away. Here comes the field goal unit. It will be a 39 yard attempt for Butker to tie this up.

    Patriots 31-28 Chiefs, 0:16 4th quarter

    Mahomes hits Robinson deep in NE territory, and a neutral zone flag on the Pats stops the clock.

    Patriots 31-28 Chiefs, 0:23 4th quarter

    Mahomes buys all kinds of time, but time isn’t something the Chiefs have. Tremendous athletic play from Mahomes, who finds Ware across the 50. Timeout KC.

    Patriots 31-28 Chiefs, 00:32 4th quarter

    Smith’s return is at the 30. KC have one timeout to help the Chiefs get into field position.

    After a big catch by Gronkowski takes NE to the three, then Burkhead rolls ahead into the endzone! Brady has done it again!

    The pass deflects off Gronkowski and is picked off! Except there’s offsides on KC called. So now it’s 3rd and 5!

    So it’s 3rd and 10 at the 34 and NE keep a timeout: they have two now.

    The clock is reset to 1:01.

    Brady goes to Hogan again on the far sideline for a 14 yard gain. New England call their first timeout.

    The ball is at the KC 21. Or is it?

    Patriots 24-28 Chiefs, 1:05 4th quarter

    Brady finds Hogan for another first down. NE are at the KC 34.

    Bill Belichick

    The Patriots head coach just threw his tablet on the ground and then over the bench. It seems that he is a little upset about that pick play that helped KC take the lead.

    Williams up the middle, and the running back has his third TD of the quarter!

    The Chiefs are back on top as the kid passes the gut check in a major way, leading his team down the field to reclaim the lead!

    Patriots 24-21 Chiefs, 2:04 4th quarter

    Now Mahomes has Watkins, he’s open thanks to a pick that isn’t called! Watkins is down at the three yard line, first and goal!

    Patriots 24-21 Chiefs, 3:02 4th quarter

    Now Mahomes is going deep down the far sideline, incomplete, but we have a flag...

    Patriots 24-21 Chiefs, 3:11 4th quarter

    Mahomes drops back and throws to nobody: Kelce was closest, but there was a miscommunication there. No time for that folks. It’s big boy pants time.

    Patriots 24-21 Chiefs, 3:11 4th quarter

    Mahomes finds Kelce, who drops it and NE pick it up...but there is a defensive holding call against Jackson that voids the whole play and pushes KC up to their 37. Still a ways to go.

    Patriots 24-21 Chiefs, 3:21 4th quarter

    Smith takes the kickoff across the 30 and here we go!

    Brady kills the play at the line, takes the nap, hands to Michel, who steams ahead in between the tackles and into the endzone! New England are back on top!

    Patriots 17-21 Chiefs, 3:50 4th quarter

    3rd & 1. Burkhead has it and is tripped up short of the first down!

    Patriots 17-21 Chiefs, 4:05 4th quarter

    The clock is ticking. It’s 2nd & 7. Brady is complete to Burkhead on the far sideline, he’s about a yard short of the first down at the 13.

    Patriots 17-21 Chiefs, 4:49 4th quarter

    Burkhead runs left and he’s untouched through acres of space for a gain of 14.

    NE have their first down confirmed, much to the chagrin of the KC crowd.

    Pats on the Chiefs 44.

    Brady, tons of time, and he slings it to Hogan for a great first down catch...or was it!

    Reid throws a challenge flag. The ruling on the field was complete but the ball is moving as he hits the ground. It looks like a catch to me but it’s really close, just like this game.

    Patriots 17-21 Chiefs, 6:25 4th quarter

    Brady facing pressure again and he throws incomplete...but there’s a roughing the passing call that wasn’t immediately evident, and that’s because I am not sure it actually happened.

    Patriots 17-21 Chiefs, 7:24 4th quarter

    There’s a Chiefs fan on the field but sadly we don’t get to see it. Luckily there’s been a decent chunk of action here in the second half, don’t you think?

    Here comes the blitz again and Mahomes floats a pass to Williams on the near side, he has the football and he is STREAKING DOWN THE SIDELINE! TD KC!

    The Kansas City Chiefs have come all the way back from a demoralizing first half, 14 points down at halftime, to take a late lead at Arrowhead!

    But wait, there’s more! Brady is picked off! The pass bounced off Edelman and into the hands of Daniel Sorensen!

    So now KC take over on the Pats 23!. If you’re a Chiefs fan, that’s justice.

    Here’s the verdict:

    Edelman did NOT touch the ball, that means New England have it after KC downed it.

    Edelman fields the punt, but the ball bounces in front of him. Now Gehrig Dieter of KC is running into the endzone! Did Edelman touch the ball?

    The ruling on the field is that Edelman did touch the ball, and that it can’t be advanced by KC and that the Chiefs have the ball deep in Pats territory.

    Patriots 17-14 Chiefs, 8:40 4th quarter

    Mahomes in the shotgun, New England send everybody, and the pivot throws it away.

    Patriots 17-14 Chiefs, 8:51 4th quarter

    Well, after all this, KC have the momentum and the ball. Quickly however, it’s 3rd & 8 after Mahomes fires high over the hands of Williams.

    Patriots 17-14 Chiefs, 9:33 4th quarter

    Huge play, here we go.

    Patriots 17-14 Chiefs, 9:47 4th quarter

    Here’s a big 3rd & 2 and the crowd is up at Arrowhead.

    Patriots 17-14 Chiefs, 11:36 4th quarter

    Brady is rushed but he hits the fullback after a lightning quick release. That’s Devlin for nine yards as the clock ticks...

    Patriots 17-14 Chiefs, 12:36 4th quarter

    Michel is running again, and once more he has room up the middle. He runs for nine for a first down.

    Patriots 17-14 Chiefs, 13:35 4th quarter

    So here comes Tom Brady, bidding to reach his 42nd Super Bowl, looking to hold off this second half rush from Kansas City.

    Mahomes is rolling to his right and lets it go, right into the chest of Damien Williams in the corner of the endzone. Touchdown!

    It’s a three point game at Arrowhead! KC have upped their second half yardage production from 3o odd to 145.

    Patriots 17-7 Chiefs, 14:56 4th quarter

    Mahomes floats a ball towards Kelce but Jackson hits him too early and flags fly! It’ll be first and goal from the one for KC!

    Patriots 17-7 Chiefs, end of 3rd quarter

    Now Mahomes drops back and throws to his right to Williams who has room and is running downhill!

    Patriots 17-7 Chiefs, 0:57 3rd quarter

    On 3rd & 3, Mahomes is crushed, but not before slinging it sidearm to Watkins who has it for a first down!

    Patriots 17-7 Chiefs, 1:22 3rd quarter

    Mahomes is facing a blitz on 2nd down runs it himself, taking a hit on a nine-yard scramble up the middle after electing not to dive.

    Gostkowski drills it into the back of the net, and we’re back to a two-score game.

    That 12-yard loss on the Hill punt return was such a killer.

    Patriots 14-7 Chiefs, 4:19 3rd quarter

    White runs up the middle to the KC 30 on a draw play. It will be a 48-yard attempt by Stephen Gostkowski.

    Patriots 14-7 Chiefs, 4:38 3rd quarter

    Michel on first down, runs right, with little to no room for a gain of two.

    Patriots 14-7 Chiefs, 6:38 3rd quarter

    Now New England have a chance to keep the ball on the ground, kill some clock and get three points at least. But Brady goes to the air, complete on the near sideline to Hogan for a first down at the KC 28!

    Patriots 14-7 Chiefs, 7:38 3rd quarter

    Mahomes is sacked! That’s a pressure and coverage takedown.

    Patriots 14-7 Chiefs, 9:05 3rd quarter

    Play fake and a handoff to Williams who has room and plows up towards a first down. It’s their biggest run of the night: 10 yards.

    Patriots 14-7 Chiefs, 10:33 3rd quarter

    On 3rd & 6, Brady’s pass is batted down in the line by Chris Jones and the Pats have to punt!

    Patriots 14-7 Chiefs, 11:13 3rd quarter

    Burkhead struggles but has just enough, pushing for a first down. So the Pats drive continues.

    Patriots 14-7 Chiefs, 11:56 3rd quarter

    OK, so maybe I went a little far with the Super Bowl line predictions.

    As it happened

    The Kelce score right after the big gainpic.twitter.com/zYQCq0H3mH

    Mahomes finds Kelce streaking across the middle and just like that, KC are right back in it!

    That’s quite a change!

    Patriots 14-0 Chiefs, 14:27 3rd quarter

    It’s 3rd & 2 as Andy Reid tries to avoid yet another bone crushing playoff loss.

    KC need to make plays. Big plays. And a lot of them. They start on their 26.

    Most of us hope Brady retires after the game. @LengelDavid

    When will this ever end?

    Stats

    CBS TV here in the US provided us with this nugget before the half ended.

    Email

    Christopher Lee is back, and a bit perturbed.

    And that will do it for the first half, one thoroughly dominated by an old guy who is clearly finished.

    This may sound ridiculous, but even after that thrashing, KC are down just two scores and it’s still poss...well, ok, maybe that does sound ridiculous.

    Brady, has time and is throwing deep down the far sideline into the endzone...

    ...Phillip Dorsett is being manhandled by Steven Nelson but comes up with the football and has a touchdown!

    Patriots 7-0 Chiefs, 0:31 2nd quarter

    They can’t stop the run. White runs left now as Brady changes the play at the line of scrimmage, again. It’s a gain of nine yards to the Chiefs 29 and the Pats use their second timeout.

    Patriots 7-0 Chiefs, 0:41 2nd quarter

    Here’s a screen to White on the near side line and he has room - ACRES OF ROOM! Where is everybody?

    Patriots 7-0 Chiefs, 1:13 2nd quarter

    New England have little interest in stopping this clock. A play fake to Edelman and a toss to Michel goes for a yard.

    KC’s crowd are doing their best to energize the weathered defense, but New England’s running game is finding holes: Michel is at it again, finding gaping holes. It’s a nine-yard run for a first down and that takes us to the warning.

    Both teams have all of their timeouts, in case you were wondering.

    Patriots 7-0 Chiefs, 3:08 2nd quarter

    It’s 3rd and long for KC: Mahomes facing inside pressure and he’s wrapped up and sacked by Flowers!

    Patriots 7-0 Chiefs, 4:10 2nd quarter

    Mahomes throws deep to Hill who beats double coverage who has it! It’s a 42-yard huge play for Mahomes and KC, somehow down just seven in this game, are now on the NE 23.

    Patriots 7-0 Chiefs, 6:39 2nd quarter

    Big 3rd & 2 for KC as their offense tries to get on track. On their 11th play from scrimmage, Mahomes is in the shotgun, drops back, runs right, is nearly sacked by Van Noy, then fires complete! Watkins has a first down to keep the drive going.

    Email

    Thomas Wahl writes:

    Patriots 7-0 Chiefs, 7:39 2nd quarter

    On 2nd & 10, Brady fakes a throw to Patterson then hands to Michel who runs right up the middle for a gain of nine.

    Patriots 7-0 Chiefs, 9:07 2nd quarter

    On 2nd & 7, Brady is nearly picked again! A diving Eric Berry could not come up with the pill.

    I got nothing on that Tom Brady throw. I am baffled. @LengelDavid

    You got nothing, but now New England have the ball as the time of possession conquering continues.

    Patriots 7-0 Chiefs, 11:57 2nd quarter

    KC starts from their 20.

    Reggie Ragland picks off Brady in the center of the endzone, and he kneels for the touchback!

    And that’s the play the defense had to make!

    Big 3rd & 2.

    Brady in the shot gun, takes a step back and throws to the far sideline where Edleman is wide open. It’s a five yard gain down to the Chiefs five-yard line.

    Patriots 7-0 Chiefs, 1:13 1st quarter

    Brady throws right, Patterson has it and he has room! Big block by Gronkowski and it’s an 18-yard gain down the far sideline!

    Patriots 7-0 Chiefs, 2:19 1st quarter

    Brady comes out throwing, incomplete on the far sideline looking for Edelman.

    Email

    Christopher Lee writes:

    Patriots 7-0 Chiefs, 4:33 1st quarter

    Mahomes is sacked on 3rd & 10! Kyle Van Noy wraps up a perfect start for New England as they quickly force a punt following a methodical opening drive.

    Patriots 7-0 Chiefs, 5:28 1st quarter

    Williams is wrapped up by Roberts on 2nd & 5 for a loss of two, and on third down, Mahomes fires incomplete...but there’s a flag. Defensive holding keeps the drive alive for KC.

    The Patriots, smashing Chiefs mouths, cap a marathon drive with a Sony Michel following a James Develin block into the endzone.

    That’s 15 plays, 80 yards in 8:05. Can the Chiefs answer? It’s pretty quiet in KC.

    Patriots 0-0 Chiefs, 7:05 1st quarter

    Brady looking for White on a screen pass is incomplete, setting up a big 3rd & 7.

    Patriots 0-0 Chiefs, 9:50 1st quarter

    On 3rd & 1, White moves right, cuts left, and has a short gain for another first down.

    Patriots 0-0 Chiefs, 10:49 1st quarter

    Gronk is up and running, a nine-yard catch on the near side to their own 45...and now again, this time his catch is for five yards on the far sideline.

    It really happened!

    The Pats start from their 20 and begin on the ground, right up the gut, Sony Michel a first down and an 11-yard game.

    Happy recap

    That’s what this is, if you’re a Los Angeles Rams fan of course.

    Related: Rams beat Saints in overtime to make Super Bowl after 'missed' call

    National Anthem

    I usually keep national anthem ratings for the baseball World Seires, but Melissa Etheridge did a heck of a job and I’m giving the Kansas native an 8/10.

    Prediction

    Patrick Mahomes, the young, side-arm-throwing phenom is must-see TV and certainly a must-read live blog.

    Well, thanks to a 57-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein, the Rams move from one German dome to another: Los Angeles have made their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history, three seasons removed from their former home in St Louis.

    Who will they face in Atlanta? We’ll know soon enough.

    Fashionistas

    Snap poll, who won the pre-game fashion bowl?

    Highly doubt Tom Brady thinks Chiefs -3 is the right side todaypic.twitter.com/0XLAmzDIKH

    1️⃣5️⃣ has arrived. #LetsRoll pic.twitter.com/UyX8JfD0Rn

    Bundle up?

    There always seems to be a playoff game in the bitter cold and this year it’s in Kansas City. The Arctic blast is blowing over Arrowhead Stadium, a weather system which will bring temperatures to around 20 degrees Fahrenheit or -6 Celcius at game time, considerably warmer than its been in the region lately.

    Tom Brady is wearing his comically oversized coat again #LACvsNE pic.twitter.com/mFsgeeOp5H

    Perspective

    After years of tough-luck losses and ineptitude, the Chiefs would love to hoist the Lamar Hunt trophy. Others, not so much.

    Belichick’s trophy room has too many trophies in it.

    Proof: last year’s AFC Championship pic.twitter.com/NB6rpKwYrl

    Pregame thoughts

    OK, let’s just get something out of the way first: this is NOT a referendum on the state of Grandpa Brady and the Pats.

    Howdy folks, David Lengel here. Welcome to our live coverage of the American Football Conference Championship game between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. We’re glad to have you with us!

    Now get back to the NFC Championship game with Hunter Felt over on Guardian 1. I’ll post some content in the meantime but we’ll see you back in a little bit. Sound good? Excellent.

    Related: NFC Championship Game: Los Angeles Rams v New Orleans Saints – live!

    David will be here shortly, in the meantime here’s Hunter Felt’s preview of today’s game:

    What the Patriots need to do: Make Patrick Mahomes look like a playoff rookie. Mahomes had a successful postseason debut against the Indianapolis Colts, but he didn’t have a passing touchdown (although he did rush for one). That didn’t really matter in a comfortable 31-13 win, but that’s not going to cut it against Tom Brady and the Patriots. Every drive in which the Patriots defense can limit the Chiefs to a field goal (or less) will be crucial if this becomes a shootout similar to the teams’ previous meeting.

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