NFL play-offs: The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons reach Super Bowl

The New England Patriots reached a record ninth Super Bowl with a 36-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Quarterback Tom Brady threw a franchise play-off best of 384 yards as the four-time champions won the AFC Championship game - their ninth consecutive victory.

Chris Hogan scored two touchdowns and Julian Edelman added eight receptions.

They will face the Atlanta Falcons in Houston on 5 February, after they thrashed the Green Bay Packers 44-21 to reach their second Super Bowl.

New England are attempting to win their fifth NFL title with Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as coach, while the latter's seventh appearance in a Super Bowl will be a record for a head coach.

"It's been a long journey, but I've worked really hard to get to this point," said Brady, who was suspended for the first four games of the season for his role in the 'Deflategate' scandal.

"We won a lot of different ways under a lot of different circumstances. Mental toughness is what it is all about and this team has got it. We'll see if we can write the perfect ending."

Jones scores spectacular 73-yard touchdown

The Falcons, who were beaten by the Denver Broncos at the 1999 Super Bowl, put in a clinical display in their final game at the Georgia Dome.

Matt Ryan threw four touchdown passes and ran for another to condemn the Packers to their second NFC Championship game defeat in three seasons.

The Falcons led 24-0 at half-time, and Ryan found Julio Jones to score a 73-yard touchdown after the break.

Ryan completed 27 of 38 passes to throw for 392 of the 493 offensive yards they racked up, picking out Jones for nine of those completions as the pair combined for 180 yards and two touchdowns.

"We played great in all three phases," said Ryan, referring to their dominance on offence, defence and special teams.

"We showed up. We did exactly what we've been doing all year. It feels really good."

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