NFL: New England Patriots are headed to Super Bowl LI after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game 36-17. This will be the 7th appearance in the Super Bowl for the Patriots during the Bill Belichick era along with Tom Brady at quarterback.
Tom Brady’s performance was nothing short of spectacular, throwing a franchise playoff best 384 yards with three touchdowns to no interceptions. The Steelers defense had no answer for the Patriots, and Ben Roethlisberger could not get a flow on offense either.
Roethlisberger had a rough night in Foxborough, throwing for 314 yards but could only achieve one touchdown and had one interception, against a New England defense that flustered him the whole game. Coach Belichick’s defense worked on stopping the run, primarily keeping Le’veon Bell in check until he was injured late in the first quarter.
Star wide receiver Antonio Brown had a sub par performance with seven receptions for only 77 yards. Malcolm Butler who was covering Brown for most of the game kept him in check for the most part. The Steelers were ill prepared and were missing assignments on defense. Head coach Mike Tomlin was unable to create a game plan that was threatening to the Patriots in this game.
The Patriots offensive line played efficiently, giving Brady time to get the ball to his targets. Chris Hogan had a breakout game posting 180 yards with 9 receptions and two touchdowns, one of the catches came on a flea flicker that was drawn up perfectly. Julian Edelman caught a key touchdown pass to put the Patriots up 34-9 and seal their fate to the Super Bowl.
The Patriots win was emphatic and simply reaffirmed that they are led by one of the greatest quarterback – coach tandems in sports history. Brady and Belichick have won 24 playoff games together, most in league history. A Super Bowl win would be the perfect ending to Tom Brady’s season, another Lombardi trophy would give him a total of five championships and further cement his legacy as the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.
The Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots are set for Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas.