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NFL playoffs bracket and schedule 2017: Patriots headed to 6th straight AFC Championship

Regardless of who wins between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs, the Patriots will return home to face one of them in the AFC Championship.

Divisional Round - Houston Texans v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The New England Patriots advance to their sixth consecutive AFC Championship after beating the Houston Texans, 34-16, in the Divisional Round.

In the first half, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady engineered a two-play, 65-yard drive and capped it off with a 13-yard touchdown pass to running back Dion Lewis. New England took a 7-0 lead. The Texans answered back with a Nick Novak 33-yard field goal.

Late in the first quarter, Lewis struck again with a 98-yard kick off return for a touchdown to give the Patriots a 14-3 lead. When it looked like New England was going to turn this game into a laugher early, Texans cornerback A.J. Bouye caught an interception in Patriots territory.

Houston couldn't capitalize on that turnover and had to settle for three points. On Lewis’ next kickoff return, though, he fumbled the ball and Houston recovered. That turnover led to a C.J. Fiedorowicz touchdown. At halftime, New England led 17-13.

In the second half, New England increased its lead with a 19-yard touchdown reception by running back James White. Houston’s offense began to struggle, and quarterback Brock Osweiler threw an interception to Patriots safety Devin McCourty in the third quarter.

With a 24-13 lead late in the third quarter, Brady threw an interception to safety Andre Hal, which led to a 46-yard field goal by Novak.

Osweiler couldn't avoid turnovers, and the Patriots’ offense capitalized on them by scoring points. Lewis’ 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter sealed the game for New England.

The Patriots will return to Foxborough for the AFC Championship, and they will either play the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Kansas City Chiefs.

Wild Card Round

Saturday, Jan. 7

GAME 1: Houston Texans 27, Oakland Raiders 14

GAME 2: Seattle Seahawks 26, Detroit Lions 6

Sunday, Jan. 8

GAME 3: Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Miami Dolphins 12

GAME 4: Green Bay Packers 38, New York Giants 13

Divisional Round

Saturday, Jan. 14

GAME 5: Atlanta Falcons 36, Seattle Seahawks 20

GAME 6: New England Patriots 34, Houston Texans 16

Sunday, Jan. 15

GAME 7: Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:40 p.m., FOX

GAME 8: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 8:20 p.m., NBC

Championship Round

Sunday, Jan. 22

NFC Championship: Atlanta Falcons vs. Cowboys/Packers, 3:05 p.m., FOX

AFC Championship: Chiefs/Steelers vs. New England Patriots, 6:40 p.m., CBS

Super Bowl LI

Sunday, Feb. 5

AFC champion vs. NFC champion, 6:30 p.m., FOX


Dion Lewis was unstoppable against the Texans