Raiders

Back again: Patriots rally past Jags, head to eighth Super Bowl since 2001

amendola-touchdown-patriots-jags-ap.jpg
AP

Back again: Patriots rally past Jags, head to eighth Super Bowl since 2001

BOX SCORE

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Give `em a hand: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are heading back to the Super Bowl.

Brady shook off a hand injury and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with 2:48 remaining , rallying the Patriots to a 24-20 comeback victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC championship Sunday.

Brady, wearing a black bandage on his right hand after hurting it during practice earlier in the week, showed no signs of being hampered.

And, with the game - and possibly the season - on the line, the Patriots star came up big again.

"I've had a lot worse," Brady said. "I didn't know that on Wednesday. It was a crazy injury. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday was a little scary. Then I started getting some confidence and today we did just enough to win."

Brady finished 26 of 38 for 290 yards and two touchdowns for the Patriots (15-3), who'll play the winner of Sunday night's game between Minnesota and Philadelphia in Minneapolis on Feb. 4.

It's the eighth Super Bowl appearance for Brady and coach Bill Belichick, who have won five times - including last year's 34-28 overtime rally against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Jaguars (12-7) led 20-10 early in the fourth quarter, but couldn't hold against the defending champions.

Jacksonville - looking to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history - had one more shot, but Bortles' throw on fourth-and-15 to Dede Westbrook was knocked away by Stephon Gilmore.

The Patriots then ran out the clock, with Dion Lewis' 18-yard scamper with 90 seconds remaining sealing the victory. And they did it mostly without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who left the game late in the first half and didn't return.

Brady's hand was the most-scrutinized body part in Boston since the quarterback's right ankle before the 2008 Super Bowl, and Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's right ankle tendon - the bloody sock - in the 2004 playoffs.

Brady was listed as questionable after he hurt his right hand during practice earlier in the week. He was limited Wednesday, sat out Thursday and was limited again Friday because of the injury.

That caused some panic among the Patriots faithful.

Turns out, it was nothing to fret about.

Brady came out for warmups without a glove on his hand, and he came out throwing. He completed his first six passes - including a 20-yarder to Amendola on fourth-and-1 from the Jaguars 30 - for 57 yards to march the Patriots down the field. The drive stalled when Brady was sacked by Dante Fowler Jr., and New England settled for Stephen Gostkowski's 31-yard field goal.

A wide-open Marcedes Lewis gave the Jaguars a 7-3 lead 45 seconds into the second quarter with a 4-yard touchdown catch from Blake Bortles, who was 5 for 5 for 66 yards on an impressive and efficient seven-play, 76-yard drive.

Leonard Fournette gave Jacksonville a 14-3 lead midway through the second quarter with a 4-yard TD run, hushing the crowd at Gillette Stadium.

The Jaguars made some big mistakes that hurt them just before halftime. Bortles completed a 12-yard pass to Lewis on third-and-7 from the Patriots 44, but Jacksonville was called for delay of game - after New England called a timeout.

That wiped out a first down, and Bortles was sacked by Adam Butler on the next play to force a punt.

With just over two minutes left before halftime, New England's offense took over and the fans chanted "Bra-dy! Bra-dy!"

And their quarterback delivered - with some help from the Jaguars on two long penalties.

On first-and-10 from the Patriots 40, Brady threw a long pass for Gronkowski, who was injured when he got popped by Barry Church just as the ball was arriving. Church was called for unnecessary roughness, putting the ball at Jacksonville's 45.

A.J. Bouye was called for pass interference on the next play on an incomplete throw for Brandin Cooks. The 32-yard penalty put the ball at the Jaguars 13. After a 12-yard catch by Cooks, James White ran it in from the 1 to make it 14-10 with 55 seconds left.

Josh Lambo gave Jacksonville a 17-10 lead 4:37 into the third quarter with a 54-yard field goal. He added a 43-yarder 8 seconds into the fourth quarter to make it a 10-point game.

But Brady & Co. were just getting started.

Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner 'questionable at best' vs. Bengals

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AP

Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner 'questionable at best' vs. Bengals

ALAMEDA – The Raiders emerged from their miniature bye week with nearly a full squad. That doesn’t mean they came out of Thursday night’s victory over the L.A. Chargers healthy, though. 

Not by a long shot.

Starting strong safety Karl Joseph was placed on injured reserve Friday, a brutal loss for an opportunistic unit.

He won’t return again this season. Slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner might at some point, but it isn’t expected right away. The starting slot cornerback and defensive mainstay missed Wednesday’s practice with a hamstring injury that could keep him out for a little bit.

It seems highly unlikely he’ll be able to play Sunday against Cincinnati at the Coliseum, a point solidified by Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.

He said Joyner is “questionable at best” for Week 11, making it highly likely we’ll see Nevin Lawson in the slot with Daryl Worley as a Plan B. That also means we may see more three linebacker sets, considering Joyner often would remain on the field during some running downs where the offensive formation wasn’t particularly heavy.

The rest of the 53-man roster was working. That included defensive end Josh Mauro, who missed Thursday’s game with a groin strain. He was limited alongside four others.

That list includes center Rodney Hudson and right tackle Trent Brown, though both guys should go against the Bengals. Running back Josh Jacobs and reserve offensive tackle David Sharpe also were limited to some degree in a Wednesday workout that is more of a walk-through in the current Raiders practice schedule.

[RELATED: Jordan ready to work to realize full potential with Raiders]

Here’s the full Raiders participation report:

Raiders practice report

WEDNESDAY
Did not practice
CB Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring)

Limited practice
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)
OT Trent Brown (knee)
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
DE Josh Mauro (groin)
OT David Sharpe (calf)

Full practice
WR Dwayne Harris (foot)
LB Tahir Whitehead (shoulder)

Raiders give Dion Jordan what could be final shot to realize potential

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USATSI

Raiders give Dion Jordan what could be final shot to realize potential

ALAMEDA -- For Dion Jordan, the past seven years haven't gone as planned. But now a Raiders, Jordan is certain he's where he is supposed to be. 

"It all just fell in place, man," Jordan said Wednesday after practice. "I feel like every day or every hour that I've been here, I'm reminded that I made the right decision. I'm just very thankful that it happened the way it did. There's no stress on me. It's all football."

It hasn't been all football for Jordan thus far in his career. 

Jordan was reinstated by the NFL on Tuesday after serving a 10-game suspension for Adderall. He had a therapeutic exemption to use the drug for his ADHD, but it expired and Jordan took the medication anyway. 

That suspension was just the latest speedbump in what many thought would be a promising career.  

Drafted with the No. 3 overall pick by the Miami Dolphins in 2013, the Oregon product struggled to make an impact during his first two seasons in Miami. Jordan totaled just three sacks and seven quarterback hits in his first 26 games, 

Before the 2014 season, Jordan received a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. He violated the policy again in September of 2014, receiving an additional two-game ban. A diluted urine sample during the following offseason gave Jordan his third strike for violating the policy and he was suspended for the entire 2015 season. While reinstated before the 2016 season, Jordan did not play a down of football and was cut by the Dolphins in March of 2017 after failing a physical. 

Still loaded with potential, Jordan was signed by the Seahawks and played five games for Seattle in 2017, notching four sacks and 10 tackles. He played 12 more games for the Seahawks in 2018. 

Now, Jordan joins a Raiders team in need of pass rush help after Arden Key went down with a broken foot. He's still just 29 years old. Still filled with the talent that tantalized the Dolphins to trade up with the Raiders to make him the highest Duck drafted since Joey Harrington in 2002. 

Jordan spent his suspension working out in San Francisco. He's in the best shape of his life --- down to eight percent body fat -- and turned down a few offers from other teams to stay by his support system and help a Raiders team that has its eyes on the playoffs

"The same thing I bring everywhere: Just effort," Jordan said about what he brings to the Raiders. "Effort and the will to want to win. I know that's what this organization's all about and I'm just trying to be apart of that." 

Jordan starred as both a tight end and a defensive end at Chandler High School in Arizona and was the No. 10 tight end in the country coming out of high school. After redshirting in 2008, Jordan made the switch permanently from tight end to defensive end in 2010. During his final three seasons at Oregon, Jordan recorded 119 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks. 

He had some great moments at Oregon, but never took over games the way top draft picks are expected to. There was some surprise when he shot up draft boards and was taken at No. 3 overall.

The talent was never the issue. But can he put everything together and realize his potential? 

Jon Gruden hopes Jordan, with a support system around him, will become everything so many teams thought he would while he was laying the wood in Eugene. But it's on Jordan, not the Raiders, to make that happen. 

"They extended the offer for me to come here, that was it," Jordan said of what the Raiders must do to help him be what he has the talent to become. "I feel like the environment and the people that [Gruden] set up around this place is proven that I have that opportunity [to reach his potential]. It's all up to me like it is with everything else. It's up to the individual, it's up to me to go out there and work hard at practice, dive into the playbook and to treat people with respect and type of loyalty and love that they deserve."

Jordan joins a young and talented defensive line that is coming into its own after a Thursday night win over the Chargers. Rookies Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby have been tasked with leading the pass-rush unit. Ready to hit the ground running, Jordan feels like this unit suits what he brings to the table.

"A lot of young guys who just know how to go," Jordan said of his new teammates. " I feel like I fit right in with these dudes. That's how I play. I just go."

[RELATED: Seven prospects for Raiders to target with Bears' high pick]

Jordan has his support system, one the Raiders are helping him with. He's ready to help his new team in any way, shape or form. The Silver and Black need another pass rusher. Ferrell, Crosby and Benson Mayowa have a lot on their shoulders, and Jordan, a No. 3 overall pick, has the talent to step in and create havoc in the backfield. 

He's no longer expected to be the defensive cornerstone the Dolphins drafted him to be. He's just here to play a role. 

But he's happy to be given an opportunity to put on a helmet and go to work every day. To dive into the Raiders' playbook, stick his hand in the dirt on Sundays and be apart of a playoff push. 

The expectations that come with being a high draft pick still follow him. Maybe because he puts them on himself. Maybe because the talent and potential still are there.

He's in a good place mentally and physically. He's back playing the game he loves, is ready to seize an opportunity afforded only to those with immense talent and make the most of what might be his final opportunity to become what many believed he would when his name was called in 2013.