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Rob Gronkowski key down the stretch as Patriots beat Chiefs to reach third straight Super Bowl

NFL: AFC Championship Game-New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Gronkowski and the New England Patriots are heading to their third straight Super Bowl, after outlasting the Kansas City Chiefs 37-31 in overtime on Sunday in the AFC Championship Game.

Gronkowski caught six passes for 79 yards, including arguably the biggest catch of the night. Down four with 54 seconds left in regulation, the former Arizona Wildcat hauled in a 25-yard pass on third down to put the Patriots at the Kansas City 4-yard line.

Rex Burkhead rushed for a touchdown on the next play, giving the Patriots a 31-28 lead with 38 seconds left.

The Chiefs drove the field for a game-tying field goal to send the game to overtime, where Patriots quarterback Tom Brady engineered a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to seal the win. Gronkowski reeled in a 15-yard pass on 3rd-and-10 to extend the drive.

Gronkowski surpassed 1,000 career postseason receiving yards in the victory. One more win and the 29-year-old will add a third Super Bowl ring to his collection.

Standing in the way are the Los Angeles Rams, who beat the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. Super Bowl 53 is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 3 in Atlanta, Georgia.

It could be Gronkowski’s last NFL game. The nine-year veteran is expected to mull retirement in the offseason so he can possibly pursue an acting career.

Yes, that is a real thing: