Thousands of fans give Patriots raucous send-off to Houston

CBS announcer Jim Nantz, right, interviews New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, second from right holding the AFC championship trophy, beside team owner Robert Kraft, left, honorary captain Tedy Bruschi, second from left, and head coach Bill Belichick after the AFC championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots defeated the the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Thousands of New England Patriots fans gathered outside Gillette Stadium to give the team a raucous send-off to the Super Bowl.

With a shout of “Let’s go!” from quarterback Tom Brady, the team on Monday boarded buses after the rally on the way to Houston for Super Bowl 51.

“Now it’s starting to feel like the Super Bowl,” Brady told the crowd.

Coach Bill Belichick said the Patriots were excited to take on the Atlanta Falcons, “the best team we’ve played all year.”

The crowd also heard from owner Robert Kraft, special teams captain Matthew Slater, and former Patriots Jermaine Wiggins and Ty Law.

The Patriots won their ninth conference championship with a 36-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Jan. 22. They will face the Falcons on Sunday.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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