ANOTHER SUPER BOWL TRIP: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
ANOTHER SUPER BOWL TRIP: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Matt Slocum

Patriots and Falcons win to earn Super Bowl spots

NFL: The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons will face off in Super Bowl LI at Houston after easy wins in the conference championships.

The Falcons took out the NFC Championship defeating Green Bay 44-21 and in the AFC Championship game New England beat the Steelers 36-17 in Foxborough.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan took full advantage of a depleted Packers defence to take his team to a 26-0 lead at halftime.

League MVP front-runner Ryan threw four touchdown passes by the third quarter for a feat not seen in a conference championship game since Arizona's Kurt Warner in 2008. By the fourth quarter the Falcons were nearing 500 total yards to secure a new postseason record for the franchise.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was pressured throughout the game by Atlanta's defence.

Dropped catches on offense and in the secondary, as well as inaccurate kicking from Mason Crosby who missed a first quarter attempt, all didn't help the Packers' cause either as they battled to reproduce the form they showed in the lead-up to the NFC Conference Championship.

The New England Patriots earned their seventh trip to the Super Bowl in the Brady-coach Bill Belichick era.

Brady carved apart Pittsburgh's secondary, throwing for a postseason career-high 384 yards and three touchdowns without an interception.

This marked Brady's ninth postseason game with at least three passing touchdowns, tying Joe Montana for most in NFL history.


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