FOXBOROUGH, Mass. –New England is going back to the Super Bowl. The Patriots rallied from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to knock off the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 in the AFC Championship Game. The Patriots are heading back to the Super Bowl for the 10th time and the eighth during the Brady-Bill Belichick era.
Playing with an injured right hand, Tom Brady completed yet another fourth quarter comeback in the playoffs for the eighth time in his career. He finished Sunday’s game completing 26-of-38 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns. Both touchdown passes came in the fourth quarter to the former The Woodlands standout Danny Amendola.
Amendola finished with 84 yards receiving on seven catches. He also completed a 20-yard pass on a trick play that helped New England find their way back into the game.
The Jacksonville Jaguars got off to a strong start during the game. After giving up an opening drive field goal to New England, Blake Bortles marched the team the Jags down the field for two strong straight touchdowns: a 4-yard touchdown pass to Marcedes Lewis and a 4-yard run by Leonard Fournette.
After a late first half punt, Brady moved the Patriots quickly down the field in just over a minute as James White scored a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 14-10 Jacksonville at the half.
The Jaguars were able to put two more Josh Lambo field goals on the board to give them a 10-point lead but that’s when the Patriots were able to find a way to rally as they shut down the Jacksonville offense in the fourth quarter.
Amendola made the go-ahead touchdown catch with 2:48 remaining which set the stage for Blake Bortles to make one last comeback. Bortles led Jacksonville inside New England territory, but had a pass intended for Cameron Yoe alum DeDe Westbrook broken up by Stephon Gilmore.
Bortles finished with 293 yards passing on 23-of-36 completed passes and the one touchdown.
New England was able to run the ball with Dion Lewis to put the game away and send the Patriots back to the Super Bowl for the second straight season.
Tony Venegas is an assistant editor with TexasHSFootball, covering prep football in the El Paso region and collegiate and professional football throughout the state. Follow him on Twitter, @advenegas, and read more of his content here.
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