BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots are on to Super Bowl LI.

The Patriots are heading to the Super Bowl for the ninth time in franchise history after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 in Sunday’s AFC Championship at Gillette Stadium. New England becomes the first franchise in NFL history to make it to nine championship games in the Super Bowl era.

The Patriots will take on the Atlanta Falcons on February 4 in Houston, after the Falcons beat the Green Bay Packers 44-21 in the NFC Championship on Sunday afternoon.

Postgame coverage:

Hurley: Patriots, As Ever, The Class Of The NFL

Four Ups, Four Downs From Patriots’ AFC Title Game Victory

Tom Brady Says He Didn’t Hear ‘Where Is Roger?’ Chants

Belichick, Patriots Claim They Didn’t Know Falcons Won NFC Championship Game

Martellus Bennett Dances With Patriots Cheerleaders In Celebration

It will be the record seventh Super Bowl for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who threw three touchdown passes against the Steelers, and the 10th Super Bowl overall for Bill Belichick (seven as a head coach, three as an assistant). With Sunday’s AFC Championship victory, Belichick moved out of a tie with Don Shula for most conference titles by a head coach in the Super Bowl era.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet. Every week has always been one day at a time, one game at a time,” Brady said after the win. “It’s unbelievable. It’s unbelievable.

“I mean, we’re going to the Super Bowl, man. [Shoot], you gotta be happy now,” added Brady.

Patriots 5th Quarter: Brady On Another Super Bowl Berth:

Belichick didn’t care to discuss history after the victory.

“The numbers are nice, but it’s really about this team this year and this group of guys. I’m really happy for our coaching staff, our players, all the guys on the practice squad,” he said. “It was a good team victory.”

In two weeks, Brady and Belichick will go for their fifth Super Bowl championship in their 17 seasons together. While the quarterback and coach have made it a habit to be in the Super Bowl, some players will be enjoying it for the first time. Tight end Martellus Bennett never thought he’d get a chance to play in the big game, but now it’s a dream come true.

“I was talking to my wife this morning. I’m like, ‘I don’t really know how to feel about going into this game.’ I always dreamed about going to the Super Bowl but it never really felt like an attainable goal in the past because we lost so many games and we were never really in position,” said Bennett, who celebrated by dancing with New England’s cheerleaders after Sunday’s victory. “You’re just hopeful to go to the playoffs. So this is very special—it’s a dream come true.”

Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett dances with cheerleaders after the team's AFC Championship victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett dances with cheerleaders after the team’s AFC Championship victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

“I think it means a little something different to everybody,” said defensive end Chris Long, who is also heading to his first Super Bowl. “But we are all in it together and we’ve all earned this right to play one more game. We come from different backgrounds and we come from different teams a lot of times so there are different circumstances getting here. It’s a melting pot in that way and there are just unselfish guys in this locker room.”

“It’s an honor to get to go and play in this game,” said receiver Julian Edelman, who caught the game-winning touchdown in New England’s Super Bowl XLIX victory in 2014. “This is what you fight for. This is what you train for. This is what you get hurt for. This is what you get yelled at for, and prepare for, and go through the ebbs and flows of a season. It’s to get an opportunity to play in this game. It’s definitely something not to take lightly.”

The Patriots open as early three-point favorites over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI, a game between Atlanta’s top-ranked scoring offense and New England’s top-ranked scoring defense.

Patriots 5th Quarter: Reflecting On New England’s Run:


Comments (40)
  1. Tim Mcgauley says:

    Seriously, who cares!!!! This has nothing to do with the average man or woman on the street. These people are not going to pay your bills, or give you a job. Actually they want YOU to do those things for them. America really needs to withdraw from this non-sense, and get out of play-time mode….

    1. Don Rhudy says:

      It appears you never played football. People love the pro football teams because they are the absolute best football players in America. I love ’em the same way I love classical music, Bluegrass, Western Swing, hunting dogs, and cats.

      1. Jim Maddux says:

        What?!? You don’t like hunting cats!?!

    2. Jim Maddux says:

      Hey, Tim. Lighten up. It’s Monday!

    3. boltuprite says:

      Well, if it isn’t Meryl Streep.

    4. You need to ‘withdraw’ from American Culture since You are not part of it.

  2. Joe Jaymes says:

    Brady is like Trump, all they do is win and hang with beautiful women.

    1. Don’t think they will be able to squeak by the Falcons like they did the ‘Hawks.
      The cry baby, Brady, will be pouting after the SB.

      1. His balls will be so Deflated after the big game.

  3. And guess what Tom Brady……… Mat Ryan’s going to hand you your ass on a silver platter!

    1. Michael Daxe says:

      So you are putting money on David slaying Goliath? Sounds like you like high risk investments…good luck with that!

  4. Don Rhudy says:

    I don’t normally care for any (that’s a-n-y) Yankee team, but I love the Pats anyway. I’ll be rooting for them for sure, but if they lose to an awfully good Falcon team, I’m still happy—its from the south, like me!

  5. Arfy Warfy says:

    A well played game by New England.

    Sadly, once again, the Steelers offense was completely PREDICTABLE. Hey Patriots…. guess what we’re going to do again and again and again… we’re going to run right up the middle. Well, Tomlin’s time has come, new coaching is needed for the Steelers.

    1. Joe Tonelli says:

      Lilly Tomlin of the old TV show Laugh IN would have done a better job coaching this team.

  6. The NFL is rigged. It’s a show. Like professional wrestling, it’s “entertainment.” Dallas was pumped up this year to promote their new QB The Dallas/Green Bay matchup was pre-determined because nobody would have been watching Dallas/Detroit.

    The league sets up match-ups, story lines, etc. all for ratings, gambling, quid-pro-quos among the owners. It’s a big racket.

    And if you this is bunk, I have two words for you: “Tuck Rule.” 2001 – 2002 – 9/11 just happened. Everyone is feeling patriotic – who better to win the Super Bowl than the Patriots? But to win it, you have to get there – and if the refs have to make up a rule on the spot to make sure you do, they will.

    It’s a scam. Stop watching it! Besides – Lady Gagme is singing at halftime… pathetic.

    1. boltuprite says:

      Who in the heck is going to tune in to watch the Atlanta Falcons?

  7. Vox Veritas says:

    Conference Championships were both runaway routs.

    Patriots vs. team from Atlanta which was shellacked by the lowly, formerly homeless, nomadic Chargers.

    Which team will win? I wonder — not.

    1. ben (@neaon) says:

      LOL the cheatriots got shut out by the Bills and embarrassed by the Giants =D hahahaha good luck in the SB with your puff AFL meaningless wins ;)

  8. Mike says:

    Brady is a cheater. Nuff said.

    1. Kyle Ortiz says:

      I’ve heard it said, takes one to know one.

      1. Mike says:


        Admit he’s a cheater, and that he will never be as great a QB as he could have been. History will paint him and his coach for what they are. Live with it. Tom Brady cheats, and therefore will never be among the greats in the NFL. Just won’t happen.

  9. Herb Rapoza says:

    Pats played so well it makes you wonder how they’re cheating.

  10. Did Brady use an under inflated football to work his magic?

  11. Michael Daxe says:

    Hope nobody is planning their Super Bowl party according to this article because the big game is on the 5th, NOT the 4th!

    1. Joe Tonelli says:

      The education system in this country is so bad that they don’t teach PROOF reading any more. Hundreds of times I see SIMPLE errors in words written by these reporters who should be fired for making so many mistakes. Of course the game in Feb 5th. Just another brain dead media person. Probably voted for Killery.

  12. Just another boring SuperBOwl that I WONT WATCH, F*CK I hate the Patriots!!! the SUCK D*CK

  13. JC Williams says:

    I used to love Tom Brady but the more he’s won the less humble he’s become….Go Mat Ryan…hope Atlanta knocks them down a notch….if it becomes a shooting match..Atlanta wins

  14. Another Superbowl with the New England Patriots… * sigh *

  15. Kevin Baucom says:

    The SuperBowl is February 5, not February 4!

  16. Come get some. #RiseUp! #Brotherhood #2MVP #2POY.

  17. Tell Tommy not to forget to bring his Ball Deflator.

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