The New England Patriots are returning to a record ninth Super Bowl after blowing past the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, 36-17. Tom Brady threw for a franchise playoff-best 384 yards and three touchdowns in the team's sixth consecutive AFC Title Game. Chris Hogan was Brady's top target, catching nine passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns on the night. The Steelers took a big blow early, as Le'Veon Bell left the game with a groin injury. He was originally listed as questionable to return, but did not because he felt he would be holding the team back. After the Patriots went 3-1 during Brady's suspension to begin the season, the future Hall of Fame quarterback picked up where he left off, losing just one game, and is now competing for another championship.
Falcons Roll Past Packers to the Super Bowl
Matt Ryan out-played Aaron Rodgers in every possible way on Sunday, throwing for 392 yards and four touchdowns, two of which went to Julio Jones, in a 44-21 Atlanta Falcons' rout of the Green Bay Packers. The Falcons advance to their second Super Bowl in their 51-year history, and the first of Ryan's career. "Matty Ice" also got in done on the ground, running for a 14-yard score, which was his first rushing touchdown since 2012. Jones caught nine passes for 180 yards, as Atlanta snapped the eight-game win streak of Green Bay in the final game in the Georgia Dome. They advance to Super Bowl 51 in Houston on February 5th against New England, who opens up as the three-point favorite.
Mavericks Hand Lakers Record Loss
After a shocking quick start for the Los Angeles Lakers' season, Luke Walton's team has come back down to Earth, and dropped even further, especially on Sunday. The Lakers suffered their worst loss in franchise history, getting pounded by the Dallas Mavericks, 122-73. The 49-point deficit is the largest in Laker history, as they fell to 5-19 away from the Staples Center. Justin Anderson had 19 points, while Dirk Nowitzki added 13 in the dominating win for a struggling Dallas team. The 49-point loss for the Lakers beats out two 48-point losses, one of which took place against the Utah Jazz in March of 2016. The Lakers have now dropped six of their last seven overall, and the past 13 to the Mavs. At 16-32 on the season, Los Angeles sits in dead last in the Western Conference.