The Best & Worst from the AFC Championship
FOXBORO --- Here's a look at the best, and the worst, of the Patriots' 24-20 victory over the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game.
Tom Brady had choice words for a photographer as he and Brian Hoyer were trotting onto the field before the game. He also wasn’t happy with camera positioning on the sidelines.
Tom Brady’s pregame machinations were closely scrutinized from his hand protection (black kinesiotape) to his velocity (good) to accuracy (very good).
THAT ANSWERS THAT
Brady ripped a 31-yard completion to Brandin Cooks over the head of a Jaguars defender on the second play of the game to allay fears that his injured hand would prove to be a major issue for him.
Brady’s first throw of the second quarter was a screen to Dion Lewis that Brady overthrew incomplete, leading to a three-and-out.
Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” played after the Patriots third possession. Mike was famous for wearing one glove while performing. Among other things.
Consecutive throws from Brady early in the second quarter sailed high – one to Dion Lewis and another to Chris Hogan – leading to a Patriots punt.
ROOM TO ROAM
Jacksonville had seven plays of 10 or more yards in the first 21 minutes of play. They were getting the Patriots on the ground and in the air and there was no pressure on Blake Bortles.
The Jags got out near midfield as the first half drained down but the Patriots used a timeout before the two-minute warning, the Jags took a delay of game prior to a third-and-7, then took a sack sending the Patriots the ball with plenty of chance to score.
QUICK ANSWER WITH A COST
The Patriots ran off a six-play, 85-yard drive in 67 seconds with the key plays being a defensive pass interference on A.J. Bouye and a 15-yard unnecessary roughness flag on Gronk for a helmet-to-helmet hit. The Patriots scored on a short James White run but Gronk was forced into the concussion protocol by the hit from Barry Church.
FLOWERS BRANCHES OUT
Defensive end Trey Flowers got a paw out and knocked down a third-and-4 rollout pass to end the Jags first drive of the second half and force Jacksonville to settle for a 53-yard field goal.
FIELD POSITION GAME
After the Jaguars field goal, the Patriots had a pair of drives ending in punts that stuck the Jaguars back deep in their own end. The first time, the Patriots kept them there. The next time, Jacksonville got off their goal line and chewed some time and moved out near midfield.
FLEA FLICKER AND FLEE
The Jaguars got a key 15-yard gain when they ran a flea-flicker that the Patriots sniffed out but Blake Bortles was able to turn into a scrambling completion to Allen Hurns.
DOUBLE PASS DOUBLE TROUBLE
The Patriots executed a wide lateral to Danny Amendola back to Dion Lewis who was en route to a very good gain before he was stripped by Myles Jack on a tremendous play giving the ball back to Jacksonville. It wiped out a 22-yard completion to Lewis.
GREAT TRADE AFTER ALL
The Patriots were flagging offensively early in the fourth when they ran a flea-flicker to under-used Phillip Dorsett (actually not the primary) and picked up a key chunk of yardage.