Marqise Lee was denied an opportunity to play in Super Bowl LII when the New England Patriots beat his Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2017 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium, but the veteran wide receiver still relished the experience.
The Patriots trailed 20-10 in the fourth quarter of that matchup before quarterback Tom Brady led New England on another thrilling playoff comeback. The Pats scored two touchdowns in the final nine minutes to escape with a 24-20 victory and a 10th conference title in franchise history.
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Lee came away impressed with the Patriots on that day, and after signing a one-year contract with them in free agency last month, he's excited to embrace the franchise's winning culture.
"Yeah, that game was crazy. I ain’t going to lie to you, I enjoyed it," Lee told reporters Wednesday when asked about the 2017 AFC title game. "Of course, New England came out on top. But it just showed the resiliency of New England in my eyes. We’ve seen them in a lot of opportunities just as far as games where they’ve been down and they just fought and came back.
"I can honestly say one vivid memory on that sideline with Jacksonville, I remember thinking, ‘All right, we’ve just got to finish this out and we’ll be fine.’ Even knowing what they had over there, you could just see it in their eyes they’re not giving up. They’ll continue to fight and continue to rock out. That’s what I’m looking forward to. I don’t feel like none of that left from that team, regardless of who’s here or not. I feel like everybody on this team is willing to fight and that’s just their mentality. I’m the same way. I’m just coming in and trying to help."
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Lee caught four passes for 41 yards against the Patriots on that Sunday. Unfortunately for the veteran wide receiver, his career has been derailed by injuries ever since.
The 28-year-old wideout missed the entire 2018 season because of a major knee injury, and he only played in six games last season due to a shoulder injury. When healthy, Lee was a productive wide receiver for the Jaguars.
Lee is hoping to revive his career in New England, where a chance to make a real impact in the offense and get back to the playoffs are both possible.