Thumbs up: Patriots advance to Super Bowl with stirring comeback
- Author: Arturo Norris Jan 22, 2018,
Jan 22, 2018, 5:50
On late Sunday morning, the website took to Twitter and weighed in on the conference championship between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots. 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.
But when the game was over, CBS cameras caught Bortles as he appeared to be crying on the sideline.
LB Myles Jack had sack, INT and three pass defenses in first two playoff games.
Brady has faced a top-2 scoring defense in the playoffs three times, going 3-0 with a passer rating of 100-plus in each game.
The Patriots got off to an ugly start that was reminiscent of Super Bowl LI. T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant each had 248 rushing yards. Amendola had a 21-yard catch on third-and-18 from the Patriots 25 early in the drive.
The Jaguars' speed locked down New England receivers - there was no one open deep and no yards after the catch underneath.
LB Telvin Smith tied career high with 16 tackles and returned fumble for TD last week. The Jags pushed their lead to 20-10 on field goals of 54 and 43 yards by Lambo.
Amendola once spent a training camp with the Eagles in 2009 up at Lehigh University before being cut, but he has long since emerged as a favorite target of Brady, the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
And, with the game - and the season - possibly on the line, the Patriots star came up big again. The Jaguars are for real with great defense that could probably derail the entrance of the Patriots to another bid for the Super Bowl. The Jaguars even noticed this week how much praise the Patriots were piling on.
But the penalty knocked the Jaguars out of range, and Bortles would be sacked on the third-down redo. The Jaguars gave up 42 points last week, 44 to the Niners in their second-to-last game, 27 in a loss to the Blaine Gabbert-led Cardinals before holding the punchless Titans to 15 points in the season finale.
Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the most obvious momentum changer of the second half.
The Patriots snapped out of their funk, which included three scoreless possessions, with a quick score inside the two-minute warning, but it was a costly drive. New England was forced to punt for the second time in the first half.
The Jaguars used the running game to move in the red zone.
The Vikings surrendered just 83.6 yards per game on the ground in 2017, which ranked second in the National Football League, and that number is a big reason why the Eagles might have to rely on Foles this week. Safety Barry Church was charged with an unnecessary roughness penalty which moved the Patriots upfield 15 yards.