■ Tom Brady set a personal postseason record with 384 passing yards in the Patriots’ A.F.C. championship victory, but he may have even more opportunities against a Falcons defense that had been weak all season until it delivered a shockingly-effective performance against Green Bay in the N.F.C. championship game.
■ The Falcons were able to pummel an injury Super Bowl Live Stream-depleted Packers defense, but will have a lot more trouble against a New England defense that traded away two of its biggest stars and seemed to only get better, holding opponents to an N.F.L.-low 15.4 points a game this season.
■ Both teams will be looking for more from their running games. The Patriots managed just 57 rushing yards and the Falcons, despite a pair of highly-regarded running backs in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, had just 101, with 23 coming from quarterback Matt Ryan.
■ While Brady and Ryan may not provide much Super Bowl Live bulletin-board material in the weeks leading up to the game, fans and journalists can look forward to extended access with the outspoken Martellus Bennett of the Patriots. And people may finally get a chance to appreciate just how great Julio Jones of the Falcons has been throughout his career.
Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story
■ The Patriots are certainly not lacking Super Bowl appearances, with this representing the seventh chance for a ring in the Tom Brady Era. The Falcons are in mostly uncharted territory for them, as the team has not appeared in a Super Bowl since the Chris Chandler-led 1998 team. Tevin Coleman, one of the team’s running backs, was only 5 when the Falcons lost to John Elway and the Denver Broncos.
Here’s how the Patriots and Falcons advanced to Super Bowl LI:
Tom Brady and Chris Hogan Too Much for Steelers
Tom Brady of the New England Patriots will get a chance to be the first quarterback to win five Super Bowls after a 36-17 dismantling of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the A.F.C. championship game.
From start to finish on Sunday, Brady and the Patriots offense had the Steelers’ defense on its heels. The 16-year veteran completed 32 of 42 passes for 384 yards and 3 touchdowns, overcoming a fairly pedestrian game by his team’s running backs, and the absence of Rob Gronkowski, in a total dissection of a defense that had been one of the toughest to score against in the playoffs.
Patriots-Steelers Box Score
Brady found Julian Edelman for a fairly typical 8 receptions for 118 yards, but it was Chris Hogan, a deep threat acquired via free agency this off-season, who proved to be the game’s dominant star, catching 9 passes for a franchise playoff record 180 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The star-studded Pittsburgh offense, meanwhile, struggled to do anything for much of the game. Star running back Le’Veon Bell missed most of the game with a groin injury, and the team was unable to get things going without their best player.
Ben Roethlisberger did manage a personal NFL super Bowl Live Stream 2017 postseason best 13 consecutive completions at one point, and threw for 314 passing yards, but he continued to struggle on the opponents’ half of the field, just as he had last week in a divisional round victory over Kansas City. If not for a garbage time touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, he would have gone consecutive postseason games without a touchdown pass for the first time in his career.
New England, which overcame a four-game suspension to Brady at the beginning of the season, will now head to Houston to face the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. It is the team’s ninth Super Bowl appearance, with Brady accounting for all four of the team’s wins and two of their losses (both to the Giants). Brady will be looking to join Charley Haley as the only players with five Super Bowl rings, and would break a tie at four for the most wins by a quarterback, a record he currently shares with Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.
In an on-field interview after the game, an ebullient Brady said hello to his family before addressing the difficult start to the season in an indirect way.
“This team showed a lot of mental toughness over the course of the year,” he said. “It was a great win tonight.”
Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons offense kept their feet on the gas for an entire game, resulting in a fast-paced 44-21 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the N.F.C. championship game. The lopsided victory punched Atlanta’s ticket to Super Bowl LI, where they’ll play either the New England Patriots or the Pittsburgh Steelers.
From the start, the injury-depleted Packers defense did not stand a chance to even slow down Ryan and the Falcons. The Pro Bowl quarterback completed 27 of 38 passes for 392 yards and 4 touchdowns, exploiting mismatches all over the field, with Julio Jones leading the way with 9 catches for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns.
It was the eighth consecutive game that Atlanta has scored a touchdown on their opening drive, and the Packers lost one more defensive back as Kentrell Brice was hurt while defending on the opening kickoff.
In a televised interview following the game, Ryan was all smiles as the crowd made “M.V.P.” chants.
“This guy next to me is a war hero,” he said of Julio Jones. “He’s a beast.”
The Packers made a valiant effort in the second half to close what had been a 24-0 deficit at halftime, but the huge lead for Atlanta, and the Falcons’ unwillingness to take any plays off, made that impossible.
After the game, Packers Coach Mike McCarthy admitted his team was outplayed. “We ran into a buzz saw,” McCarthy told reporters. “Those guys performed great. We didn’t have enough to keep up with them.”
The frustration on Aaron Rodgers’ face was a NFL 2017 constant as he was repeatedly let down by his receivers and spent most of the game having drives end with nothing to show for them even when they put up plenty of yardage. Rodgers finished the game with 287 yards and 3 passing touchdowns, but it was not nearly enough to keep pace with Ryan.
Part of the problem for the Packers was a complete lack of a running game, with Rodgers managing 46 yards but the rest of the team combining for just 33.
The Falcons defense, which struggled Super Bowl Live Stream to limit scoring during the season, did enough to win the day, as Atlanta outgained Green Bay 493 to 369 in terms of total yards and the Falcons forced two turnovers while the Packers were unable to force any.[source]