What a wild Championship Sunday it was in the NFL. Both the Rams and the Patriots got the job done in overtime to advance to the Super Bowl, giving us two of the most memorable conference title games of the past decade.
Former Volunteers John Kelly and Cordarrelle Patterson will each get their first chances at a ring.
Kelly played sparingly this year after being selected in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The rookie running back was stuck behind Todd Gurley for much of the season, then was pushed down the depth chart even more when the Rams opted to sign C.J. Anderson. Kelly totaled a little over 100 yards from scrimmage in his rookie season.
Patterson came into his own this season with the Patriots, doing a little bit of everything just like he did in Knoxville. His primary gig was at kick returner, but he offered New England versatility when times were thin due to injury. Patterson got several opportunities at running back, racking up 228 yards rushing. He added 247 receiving yards, along with five total touchdowns in his first season with the Patriots.
Other former Vols like Alvin Kamara, Eric Berry and Dustin Colquitt came up empty on Sunday night. For Kamara, it was his second straight season experiencing heartbreak in the playoffs. He saw the ‘Minnesota Miracle’ unfold last season, now he saw one of the most blatantly awful no-calls in NFL history rob the Saints at a chance at a title. He and the Saints are due for a change in playoff luck soon.
Super Bowl 53 will be played on February 3rd at 6:30 p.m. eastern on CBS.