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American Football: Perfect Patriots reach Super Bowl

The New England Patriots kept up their pursuit of a perfect season by beating the San Diego Chargers 21-12 in Foxborough yesterday to advance to the Super Bowl as American Football Conference champions.

The Patriots made it a record 18 straight wins for the season to set up a meeting with the winner of last night's National Football Conference title game between the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants in Arizona on 3 February.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady overcame a slow start and some errant passing in windy conditions with a pair of second-quarter touchdown drives and a fourth-quarter touchdown strike to Wes Welker, which made amends for three stunning interceptions earlier in the contest.