Bears, Pats get a leg up

Chargers come up short as kicks finalize field

January 15, 2007

In Chicago and in San Diego, it came down to field goals.

The Bears made theirs, but the Chargers came up short, and that was the difference in yesterday's divisional playoff games.

With a 27-24 overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks, the Bears moved into the NFC championship game. The AFC's top-seeded Chargers fell to New England, 24-21, putting the Patriots into the conference title game.

The Chargers had a last chance to tie the game, but Nate Kaeding's 54-yard kick didn't have the distance.

Quarterback Tom Brady overcame three interceptions to lead the Patriots to 11 points within 3:26 in the fourth quarter, leaving New England one victory from its fourth Super Bowl in six seasons.

Stephen Gostkowski kicked the game-winner, a 31-yarder with 1:10 left.

Earlier, the Bears' Robbie Gould hit a 49-yarder 4:58 into overtime for the NFC's No. 1 seed.

"We win one game, we're in the Super Bowl, two wins away from having a ring on my finger for the rest of my life," Bears quarterback Rex Grossman said.

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