Two more blowout Playoff games have decided that the AF Champion New England Patriots and NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons will meet in Houston for Super Bowl 51.
The Patriots beat down the Pittsburgh Steelers, who went without star running back Le’Veon Bell for most of the game following a rib injury. The Steelers seemed to be barely holding on through the first half, keeping the score somewhat manageable at 17-9, but the Pats scored 16 unanswered points in the third quarter that put the game out of hand, with the Patriots coming out on top 36-17, with Chris Hogan having a career game as he caught 9 passes for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tom Brady will be looking for the ultimate revenge on Commissioner Roger Goodell after the DeflateGate scandal: making the man who went after him full force hand him the Lombardi Trophy.
The bigger blowout came in the final football game at the Georgia Dome before the Falcons move to their new home across the street.
The Green Bay Packers were coming in with a bit of a disadvantage, as a flu had swept through the locker room, effecting many of the players, including QB Aaron Rodgers. Star wide receiver Jordy Nelson was also a near-last minute decision, as he attempted to play through two broken ribs suffered during the thrilling last second win over the Dallas Cowboys the week prior. Some pointed to the draining game against Dallas as another contributing factor.
The Pack did not score a single point in the first half, while Likely MVP Matt Ryan and the Falcons scored 24. The Green and Yellow scored 15 in the third quarter, but it wasn’t enough to stave off a thrashing, as the Falcons sent their old home away with a resounding 44-21 win and a trip to the Super Bowl. The Falcons will be looking to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
Ryan and Brady have spoken about their mutual respect for each other, and it’s very likely that one of the two will be named the NFL MVP at the NFL Honors the night before the Big Game.
The annual commercial extravaganza that is surrounded by a football game takes place in two weeks on February 5.