patriots topple texans falcons advance to nfc title game
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Patriots topple Texans, Falcons advance to NFC title game

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Arab Today, arab today Patriots topple Texans, Falcons advance to NFC title game

Dion Lewis of the New England Patriots is tackled in the second half against the Houston Texans
Los Angeles - Arab Today

The New England Patriots advanced to the AFC title game for a record sixth straight time as Dion Lewis scored touchdowns three different ways in a 34-16 win over the Houston Texans.

Lewis on Saturday became the first player in National Football League history to score on a kickoff return, pass and run in a playoff game to help set up a conference title showdown against either the Kansas City Chiefs or the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"You gotta give these guys a lot of credit. We didn't play particularly well but we hung in there and ended up making enough plays to win," said coach Bill Belichick.

In the other playoff game Saturday, Matt Ryan carried high-powered Atlanta to the NFC title game as the Falcons defeated the Seattle Seahawks 36-20.

Lewis scored on a 98-yard kickoff return, caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady and ran for a one-yard touchdown in the final quarter.

Lewis's kickoff return score was the first in Patriot's playoff history. He was also guilty of fumbling away a kickoff, leading to a Houston touchdown, and he fumbled on a running play in the fourth quarter.

The only other players to score on a kickoff return, run and pass are Chicago Bear's legend Gale Sayers (1965) and Kansas City's Tyreek Hill, who did it earlier this season.

Brady finished 18-of-38 for 287 yards with two interceptions, for the Patriots who are seeking their fifth Super Bowl championship in franchise history.

Brady said the games are going to get more difficult going forward.

"We got to learn from this game," he said. "This team did a good job playing against us. You add our poor execution and the interceptions on top of that.

"It doesn't feel great because we worked pretty hard to play a lot better than we played. We got to fix some of the things we saw tonight and play better next week."

Julian Edelman caught eight passes for 137 yards.

Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler finished 23-of-40 for 198 yards and had a touchdown pass to C.J. Fiedorowicz.

In Atlanta, Ryan led the offense by throwing for three touchdowns as the Falcons outgunned the Seahawks.

Ryan has now won both his playoff games against the Seahawks but is winless in four postseason starts against other NFL teams.

He completed 25-of-36 passes for 334 yards and went without an interception for the fifth straight game while engineering drives that produced points on five of the team's first six possessions at the Georgia Dome stadium.

- Ryan leads aerial attack -

"He was on it like he has been all year," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said of his quarterback.

The Falcons, who had lost 26-24 at Seattle in the regular season, will play either Dallas or Green Bay on January 22 for a berth in the Super Bowl.

Saturday's win earned the Falcons their fourth NFC Championship game in franchise history and equaled a second round win over Seattle in 2012 that served as Ryan's only previous postseason win.

Julio Jones caught six passes for 67 yards and a touchdown before sitting out most of the fourth quarter after re-injuring his foot.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson completed 17-of-30 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns, but was sacked three times and intercepted twice.

Seattle was unable to run the ball against the Falcons as Thomas Rawls rushed for just 34 yards after gaining 161 against Detroit a week earlier.

"They do a lot of things well," Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said of a Falcons offense. "The quarterback gets the ball out quick and he doesn't turn it over. That will do it."

Ryan's three-yard touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu clinched the victory with less than four minutes remaining.

Wilson was intercepted by Deion Jones and the Falcons took a knee at the one-yard line to run out the clock and end the contest.

Source :AFP

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patriots topple texans falcons advance to nfc title game patriots topple texans falcons advance to nfc title game

 



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