JAN 26 - How Did The New England Patriots Get To Super Bowl 51

How Did The New England Patriots Get To Super Bowl 51

Written by on January 26, 2017

The Patriots have made a habit of marching to the Super Bowl in recent years, as this will be the 7th appearance in the big game in the Tom Brady era. Their trip to Super Bowl 51 has been particularly impressive, with only 2 losses during the regular season. This is a team that is on a roll heading into the big game, and they also just happen to be in possession of the best defense in the NFL. We will break down Super Bowl 51 free picks in great detail over the next week, but for now, let’s take a look at how the Patriots once again made it to the championship game.

How Did The New England Patriots Get To Super Bowl 51


Regular Season

New England had to start the season without Tom Brady under center, as he was forced to serve a 4-game suspension for his alleged part in the whole Deflategate fiasco. Jimmy Garoppolo started the first 2 games, and looked solid in getting the win in both. Injury knocked him out of Week 3 and 4, with rookie QB Jacoby Brissett called into action. The young man wasn’t asked to do very much, and managed to escape his two starts with a 1-1 record. Week 5 saw the return of Tom Brady, and the start of this team being considered a legitimate favorite to win it all. Brady only took one loss all season long, a 31-24 loss to Seattle in Week 10. The Patriots locked things down after that, and remained unbeaten the rest of the way, finishing with a 14-2 record, and the #1 seed in the AFC.

Divisional Round

The Divisional Round saw the Houston Texans head into Foxborough as a very heavy underdog. The 34-16 win by the Patriots was a good deal more dominating than the score suggests, with the defense doing a lot of the heavy lifting. Texans QB Brock Osweiler was held under 200 yards on 40 passing attempts, and was picked off 3 times. Brady was not particularly at his best, going just 18-38 for 287 yards and 2 INT’s, although he did also add in a pair of TD passes. This was a game where you never really felt as though the outcome was in doubt. Not a particularly stunning performance from the Patriots, but one that was efficient enough to move them on to the next round.

AFC Championship

The Conference Championship game saw the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town after they knocked off the Dolphins and the Chiefs. The Steelers game plan came undone very early on when RB LeVeon Bell was forced to sit out the remainder of the game after aggravating a groin injury. The Patriots could smell the blood in the water at that point, and Tom Brady went to work, completing 32 of 42 passes for 384 yards and 3 TD’s. Brady was as close to flawless as it gets, and Chris Hogan proved to be a big target, hauling in 9 catches for 180 yards. The 36-17 win was about similar to the Texans win in that it was a good deal more comfortable than the score suggests.