FOXBOROUGH, Mass., Jan 22 (Reuters) – The New England Patriots beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 in the American Football Conference Championship on Sunday to book their place in the Super Bowl.
The Patriots will face the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons, who beat the Green Bay Packers 44-21 earlier on Sunday, in the National Football League’s showpiece on Feb. 5 in Houston.
New England, behind the potent passing attack led by quarterback Tom Brady, will be making a National Football League record ninth appearance in the Super Bowl, looking for their fifth championship.
Pittsburgh, who were also vying to become the first team to make a ninth Super Bowl appearance, stopped the Patriots’ running attack, but had a hard time containing Brady and his talented stable of receivers, most notably Chris Hogan.
Playing in his 11th conference title game, Brady completed 32-of-42 passes for 384 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, including first-half scoring strikes of 34 and 16 yards to Hogan.
Hogan also gained 39 yards on another connection that set up a 1-yard TD plunge by LaGarrette Blount in the third quarter as the Patriots scored the first 19 points of the second half to turn a tight game into a romp.
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