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Rapid Recap- Brady leads Pats comeback to end Jaguars playoff run

Florida Football Insiders

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that lived up to the build up, the Jacksonville Jaguars stood toe to toe slugging with the defending champion Patriots in the AFC Championship Game but came up short, as the New England won 24-20 to advance to Super Bowl LII.

Just like a week ago in Pittsburgh, the first half belonged to Jacksonville.

Even though QB Tom Brady, playing with an athletic bandage on his injured right hand, led an opening field goal drive for a New England 3-0 lead, the Jags took over from there.

Blake Bortles played brilliantly throughout the first three quarters and the Jags scored on two drives to take command of the game. The first drive was 76 yards in just seven plays and culminated with this TD pass to TE Marcedes Lewis:

The four yard score is the first of Lewis’ career in the post season and gave Jacksonville momentum.

Then after forcing the Pats to punt, another drive of 77 yards in 10 plays with Bortles using screen passes and RB Leonard Fournette running well between the tackles, they were right back in position to score.

And the rookie took care of it himself:

It was Fournette’s fourth post season TD and it put the Jags in front 14-3. He would finish with 76 yards on 24 carries.

But, you knew that Brady and company would not be kept down and they responded late in the half with a TD drive that came at a hefty cost. After a personal foul hit by Jaguars safety Barry Church up high on TE Rob Gronkowski knocked him out of the game with a concussion, the Pats capitalized.

After a pass interference call set them up with first and goal, James White did the rest:

The Jaguars led 14-10 at the break and built the lead to 20-10 on 54 and 43 yard field goals by Josh Lambo to lead 20-10 early in the 4th.

However, Brady, who finished 26-38 for 290 yards, led an eight play 85 yard TD drive that culminated with this:

The TD to Danny Amendola cut the lead to 20-17.

And, then Jacksonville could not move the ball to work the clock or get anymore points.

And, then Amendola briefly, took the game over. His 20 yard punt return set the Pats up at the 30 yard line of Jacksonville with 4:58 left.

And, Brady in an all too familiar situation, took New England in for the go ahead TD score on this great throw/catch to Amendola:

That gave New England their first lead of the game at 24-20. Amdendola finished with 84 yards on seven catches and the two TDs.

The Jags had one last chance, but after driving into New England territory, Bortles, who finished 23-36 for 293 yards was sacked on second down and fumbled, but the Jags recovered at the two minute warning.

Still it was third and 18 and after a short four yard completion, Bortles fourth down throw was broken up on a leaping play by Stephon Gilmore to turn the ball over on downs.

The Jaguars had their three timeouts remaining, and tried to stop the Patriots to get the ball back, but on third down, Dion Lewis ran 18 yards and a first down to seal the win.

Thus, the Jaguars amazing turnaround season comes to an end and the Patriots advance to the Super Bowl for the third time in four years and the eighth time under Brady and Belichick.

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