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The NFL Post-Season

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Rachel Alibozek ’17

More stories from Rachel Alibozek '17

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January 14th and 15th held the second round of the post-season playoffs for the NFL. The Atlanta Falcons knocked out the Seattle Seahawks, winning 36-20. The New England Patriots knocked out the Houston Texans, winning 34-16. The Dallas Cowboys were knocked out after losing 34-31 to the Green Bay Packers. The last game of the second round consisted of the Pittsburgh Steelers barely beating the Kansas City Chiefs 18-16.

In this weekend’s games, the Green Bay Packers fell 44-21 to the Atlanta Falcons in Georgia on Sunday night. The game began with a touchdown by the Falcons after a 2-yard pass from Matt Ryan to Mohamed Sanu. The quarter ended with Matt Bryant scoring a 28-yard field goal for the Atlanta Falcons to make the score 10-0 Falcons going into the second quarter. The second quarter was also dominated by the Falcons, who scored two touchdowns. The first was a 14-yard run by quarterback Ryan and the second was a result of a 5-yard pass from Ryan to Julio Jones. In the third quarter, the Green Bay Packers put themselves on the scoreboard, scoring two touchdowns. These were credited to Davante Adams after a 2-yard pass from quarterback Aaron Rodgers and to Jordy Nelson after a 3-yard pass from Rodgers. However, the Falcons also scored two more touchdowns. These were credited to Jones after a 73-yard pass from Ryan and to Devonta Freeman after a 4-yard pass from Ryan. The third quarter ended with score 37-15 Falcons. In the fourth quarter, Tevin Coleman scored a touchdown after a 3-yard run and to end the game, the Packers scored a touchdown credited to Jared Cook after a 1-yard pass from Rodgers.

This victory puts the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl on February 5th. This year marks the second time the Falcons have reached the Super Bowl and, if they win, it will be the teams first Super Bowl victory. This game also marks an important place in history, as it was the last game to be played in the Georgia Dome. By the time the next season starts, it will have been torn down and replaced by the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The other game this weekend was the New England Patriots against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Patriots took a victory 36-17 over the Steelers to clinch their record-breaking ninth trip to the Super Bowl. If the Patriots win the Super Bowl, the team will set yet another record, being the first team to win five Super Bowls. A Super Bowl victory would also name Tom Brady as the second man to receive five Super Bowl rings along with Charles Haley. In the first quarter, kicker Stephen Gostkowski kicks a 31 yard field goal to get the Patriots on the scoreboard. This is followed by Patriots’ Chris Hogan scoring a touchdown after a 16 yard pass from quarterback Tom Brady to end the quarter with a score of 10-0 Patriots. The Steelers put themselves on the scoreboard in the second quarter with a touchdown and a field goal. The touchdown was scored by DeAngelo Williams after a 5-yard run, but the extra point was declared no good. In response, the Patriots scored a touchdown of their won, scored by Hogan after a 34-yard pass from Brady with Gostkowski scoring the extra point. The quarter ended with Steelers’ kicker Chris Boswell scoring a 23-yard field goal to make the score 17-9 Patriots. The third quarter was beneficial to the Patriots, scoring sixteen points and keeping the Steelers at bay. The quarter started with a 47-yard field goal by Patriots kicker Gostkowski. This was followed by two touchdowns; the first credited to LeGarrette Blount after a 1-yard run and the second was credited to Julian Edelman after a 10-yard pass from Brady, but Gostkowski went wide to miss the extra point. This led to the quarter ending with score 33-9 Patriots. The fourth quarter was not as exciting in terms of scoring, but the Patriots’ kicker Gostkowski was able to score a 26-yard field goal. The Steelers responded with a touchdown by Cobi Hamilton after a 30-yard pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and a 2-point conversion by Williams to end the game with a score of 36-17 Patriots.

The Patriots’ honorary captain, Teddy Bruschi, accepted the American Football Conference trophy and head coach Bill Belichick received the title of being the first coach to bring a team to the Super Bowl seven times. It was also announced that Brady broke a record by becoming the first quarterback to go to the Super Bowl seven times with the same team.

The results of these two games determined who is going to make an appearance in the Super Bowl this year, so on Sunday, February 5, 2017, the New England Patriots will be facing the Atlanta Falcons for the title of Super Bowl LI. The half-time performer has already been announced as Lady Gaga.  

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