Patriots defeat Steelers 36-17, will face Falcons at Super Bowl LI

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) after throwing a touchdown pass during the second half of the AFC championship NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

NEW ENGLAND (AP) — A season that began with Tom Brady serving a four-game suspension will end with him in the Super Bowl, where his New England Patriots will take on Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.

While most of the attention between now and the NFL championship game on Feb. 5 in Houston will be focused on Brady vs. Ryan, the truly key matchup could be Atlanta’s score-at-will offense, which produced the most points during the regular season, against the unheralded defense of New England, which allowed the fewest.

Brady and coach Bill Belichick will be seeking their — and the Patriots’ — fifth Lombardi Trophy, and second in three years. This will be the franchise’s league-record ninth appearance in the Super Bowl.

The Falcons have never won the Super Bowl; this is the club’s second trip to the big game. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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