Steelers Ousted, Patriots to Face Jaguars in AFC Championship Game

The New England Patriots will play the Jacksonville Jaguars next weekend for a chance to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

The Jaguars shocked the favored Pittsburgh Steelers 45-42 on Sunday, despite a last-minute touchdown by running back Le'Veon Bell.

The third-seeded Jaguars will face the top-seeded Patriots next Sunday at 3 p.m. at Gillette Stadium after jumping on Pittsburgh early, then holding on late. Jacksonville raced to a 21-point lead, fended off a Steelers rally and responded every time Pittsburgh challenged.

Rookie running back Leonard Fournette ran for 109 yards and three touchdowns for the Jags, with Blake Bortles adding 214 yards passing and a vital fourth-quarter score.

Ben Roethlisberger threw for 469 yards and set a franchise record with five touchdown passes for the Steelers, but was also intercepted once and had a fumble returned for a score.

All-Pro Antonio Brown caught seven passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns in his return from a left calf injury. Le'Veon Bell had 155 yards of total offense and two scores.

But Pittsburgh's vaunted "Killer Bs" just couldn't keep pace with Jacksonville.

The Jaguars are playing in the conference title game for just the third time in franchise history, and first since losing to Tennessee during the 1999 season. Jacksonville is also one of four franchises to never play in the Super Bowl.

The Patriots have made it to the AFC championship game for seven straight seasons, clinching this trip with a 35-14 drubbing of the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night. New England has advanced to the Super Bowl in three of the past six seasons. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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