- The New England Patriots beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 24-20, on Sunday to advance to the Super Bowl.
- The Patriots trailed 20-10 in the fourth quarter before completing yet another postseason comeback.
- While Tom Brady and Danny Amendola were crucial to the comeback, the defense was vital in shutting down Jacksonville’s offense in the fourth quarter.
The New England Patriots did it again.
On Sunday, the Patriots beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 24-20, and advanced to the Super Bowl after completing a 10-point fourth-quarter comeback.
Not unlike in their Super Bowl comeback over the Atlanta Falcons last year, the Patriots were simply getting outplayed through much of Sunday’s game. The possibility of the Patriots losing – to quarterback Blake Bortles and the upstart Jaguars, of all teams – began to seem real.
The Patriots, however, authored a comeback slowly and steadily.
Trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter, the Patriots fumbled on a long run from Dion Lewis, but instead of crumbling they held the Jags to a three-and-out. On the ensuing drive, Tom Brady threw for four first downs, getting one huge completion on third-and-18, before eventually hitting Danny Amendola in the end zone and making it 20-17.
The Patriots’ defense was just as vital to the mission as Brady and the offense. After forcing the fumble on Lewis with 13:53 left in the game, the Jaguars ran just 17 plays, punting three times and turning the ball over on downs once.
Gifted a short field with just under five minutes left, Brady masterfully carved his way to the goal line and eventually hit Amendola for a second touchdown, with Amendola pulling off one of the best and most important toe-taps the NFL has ever seen.
Bortles had a chance to create his own comeback. Trailing 24-20, the Jaguars got into field-goal range but decided to go for it on fourth down with 1:47 to play. Bortles’ deep pass was tipped by Stephon Gilmore, the Patriots’ expensive offseason cornerback acquisition.
Now the Patriots will return to the Super Bowl for the third time in four years, hoping to continue to build out their legacy.
“Amazing,” a speechless Brady told CBS after the game of the comeback. Indeed, no team routinely overcomes such odds as the Patriots.