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Dublin: 0 °C Wednesday 23 January, 2019

The Jags run them close, but the Patriots are going back to the Super Bowl

The AFC Championship game went down to the wire in Foxborough.

Two fourth quarter touchdowns from Danny Amendola secured the win.
Two fourth quarter touchdowns from Danny Amendola secured the win.
Image: UPI/PA Images

Jacksonville Jaguars 20 @ New England Patriots 24

THE NEW ENGLAND Patriots have a chance to become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since they achieved the feat in 2005 after overcoming a plucky Jacksonville Jaguars side in Foxborough on Sunday.

The Jags actually led for most of the game but Tom Brady and company produced a masterclass late on to come from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to seal a four-point win and book their place in Super Bowl LII in two week’s time.

In a tense first quarter, the only score was a Steve Gostkowski 31-yard field goal after the Patriots went for it on fourth down earlier in the drive.

After Blake Bortles marched his side down the field to close out the opening stanza, it took just two plays of the second quarter for the Jags to find the end zone for the game’s first touchdown; Mercedes Lewis making the grab on a four-yard pass.

UPI 20180114 Fournette celebrates his first touchdown of the day. Source: UPI/PA Images

It was 14-3 midway through the second quarter, Leonard Fournette’s four-yard run capping a 10-play, 77-yard drive.

After Rob Gronkowski was knocked out of the game when he was hit in the head as a defenceless receiver, the Patriots took advantage of a suspect pass interference call for James White to find the end zone and make it a four point game with 55 seconds left in the half.

On the opening drive of the second half, the Patriots held Jacksonville to a 54-yard Josh Lambo field goal and, on their next offensive drive, converted their first third down of the day, but still ended up punting and the score remained 17-10 Jacksonville at the end of the third quarter.

However, eight seconds into the fourth quarter, it was a 10 point game as Lambo scored his second field goal of the game, this time from 43 yards.

Jacksonville’s lead was reduced to three points with 8.44 remaining in the game, after Brady marched his team 85 yards down the field — including a 3rd-and-18 conversion — before finding Danny Amendola for the score.

He went back to number 80 with 2.48 remaining as the Patriots took a four point lead, Amendola making an athletic play at the back of the endzone.

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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