|Jim Rogash/Getty Images|
For a record ninth time, the New England Patriots will play for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The Patriots defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 at Gillette Stadium and will face the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
The Patriots used a 16-point third quarter to distance themselves from Ben Roethlisberger and company after a close first half.
Tom Brady was excellent, completing 32 of 42 passes for 384 yards and three touchdowns, two of them going to an injured Chris Hogan. Hogan hauled in nine passes for 180 yards and the two scores. Seven of his nine catches came in the first half.
Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell, who the Patriots put a big emphasis on stopping early on, left the game in the second quarter with a groin injury and only played one snap in the third
quarter before leaving the game for good.
This will be the Patriots' seventh Super Bowl appearance in the Brady-Belichick era, and are the last team to win a Super Bowl in Houston, where the upcoming game will be played.
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