Patriots advance to Super Bowl LII with win over Jaguars

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Danny Amendola
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Danny Amendola /

The New England Patriots are advancing to yet another Super Bowl after defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game.

Danny Amendola, clutch. Tom Brady, clutch. The Patriots defense in the second half, clutch! New England started slowly on Sunday, and for a little while it looked like the Jaguars would actually win this one.

Man, we were all crazy to doubt Brady and the Patriots. They dominated the second half, mostly with their play in the final quarter, to take down the Jags 24-20. Now, they will head to Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII. This will be the 10th Super Bowl appearance for the franchise, and the 8th for QB Tom Brady.

New England scored first in this one, as Stephen Gostkowski nailed a field goal on the team’s opening drive. The Jaguars responded quickly though with a great drive that went 76-yards in 7 plays. It ended with a Blake Bortles touchdown pass to tight end Marcedes Lewis. Seven minutes later, the Jaguars found the end zone once again. A Leonard Fournette rush put Jacksonville ahead 14-3 with 7:06 left to play before the half.

Vintage Tom Brady showed up on the Patriots final drive of the first half as the offense went up-tempo. They went 85-yards in 6 plays, finishing it off with a James White touchdown run. The ga,e went into the break with Jacksonville on top 14-10.

In the third quarter, it looked like the Jaguars defense was going to shut Tom Brady and the Patriots offense down. The only score in the quarter was a Josh Lambo field goal to push the Jacksonville lead to 7. Just seconds into the 4th quarter, he drilled another and the Jaguars were up 10 in the final frame. Now, the focus shifted to Tom Brady and the offense. After a few drives of struggles, they finally were able to turn things around. Danny ‘Playoff’ Amendola showed up for New England, and from then on the Jaguars had no chance.

Amendola came up with big play after big play as he and Tom Brady led the Patriots comeback effort. With 8:44 to go in the game, Dola caught a pass from Brady in the red zone and ran it in for a 9-yard score. The Jaguars then led by only 3-points, and New England’s defense had to make a play. They did, forcing a 3 and out, but the Patriots offense stalled at midfield and they were forced to punt.

New England’s defense made yet another stop, and they got Brady the ball back with a chance to win the game. The punt return was key though. Amendola had a 20+ yard return to set the Patriots up deep in Jaguars territory. Of course, he also scored the winning touchdown. Amendola made one of the best and most clutch catches that you will ever see in the back of the end zone to put the Patriots ahead 24-20.

The Patriots defense had to make a stop again. Blake Bortles made some great throws, but in the end, the defense shut him down. James Harrison had a strip sack, but the Jags recovered. On 4th down, with the game on the line, Stephon Gilmore broke up a Bortles pass attempt. It was an all-time great Patriots play.

One negative in the Patriots win is the injury to Rob Gronkowski Jaguars safety Barry Church made helmet to helmet contact with Gronk and he left the game with a concussion. Let’s hope he’s back in two weeks!

It’s the team’s 10th trip to the Super Bowl and 9th under Robert Kraft. They have a chance to win their 6th Lombardi Trophy.

Next: Ranking the Patriots previous 11 AFC title games

New England will face either the Minnesota Vikings or Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII on February 4th. The game will be played in the Vikings home stadium, so let’s root against them in the NFC Championship Game. That game is coming up on FOX, so tune in. Also, make sure you keep on coming back to Chowder and Champions for more Patriots coverage leading up to, and during, Super Bowl LII.