It was apparently too much to hope the Steelers could take out the top seed Patriots and prevent another trip to the Super Bowl. A close game early turned into a blowout with the Patriots leading 33-9 by the end of the third quarter. From there it was a slow march to the inevitable.
In the NFC Championship game, it was the Falcons high-powered offense that ended the Packers’ late winning streak behind Matt Ryan who was on fire, throwing for 392 yards with 5 touchdowns (4 passing, 1 rushing) and Julio Jones’s 9 catches for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns. This one was over early, with the Falcons leading 24-0 at halftime, then cruised to a 44-21 win.
So, it’s Patriots and Falcons who have set a date in Houston in two weeks for Super Bowl LI.
Here is the updated schedule:
Wild Card Round
GAME 5: Atlanta Falcons 36, Seattle Seahawks 20
GAME 6: New England Patriots 34, Houston Texans 16
GAME 7: Green Bay Packers 34, Dallas Cowboys 31
GAME 8: Pittsburgh Steelers 18, Kansas City Chiefs 16
Conference Championship round
GAME 9: Atlanta Falcons 44, Green Bay Packers 21
GAME 10: New England Patriots 36, Pittsburgh Steelers 17
Sunday, February 5 -- Houston TX
New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons
Time: 3:30pm Pacific (6:30 pm ET)