3 things the Jags have to do to defeat the Patriots

Carla Harmon
January 22, 2018

Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone and his team prepared all week to face the reigning Super Bowl MVP in Sunday's AFC Championship at Gillette Stadium, despite him being listed as questionable in the Patriots' injury report.

It may surprise some to know that this is the fifth playoff meeting between the Jaguars and Patriots. Since Jacksonville entered the National Football League in 1995, it is 1-10 against the Patriots, including playoff games.

This is Game Day! They proved they're going to be every bit the Super Bowl contender in the AFC over the next several years that the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers have been for the past 20.

Tom Brady's injured right hand looked fine on the Patriots' opening drive in the AFC title game. Plus, Brady was dealing with a sprained ligament in his throwing hand.

Brady got his mojo back after Adam Butler sacked Bortles on third-and-13 just shy of the two-minute warning, giving the Patriots the ball at their own 15 yard-line.

Brady's former teammate said he loves playing against him. "I am more concerned about how he plays (as) opposed to what he says", Brady said during his appearance on WEEI. It is not a team built for winning shootouts against a powerhouse like the Patriots and the odds are not in the Jags favor that they can even keep this thing close let alone shock the world.

Brady's hand was the most-scrutinized body part in Boston since his ankle before the 2008 Super Bowl, and Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's right ankle tendon - the bloody sock - in the 2004 playoffs. The LSU product rushed for more than 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Rex Burkhead and James White combined for 435 yards and five touchdowns. Bortles (23 of 36 for 293 yards) drove the Jaguars down the field and hit tight end Marcedes Lewis for a 4-yard touchdown.

They marched 85 yards on eight plays to cut it to a three-point deficit on Amendola's 9-yard TD catch with 8:44 left.

Without Gronkowski, the Patriots relied on Danny Amendola to get back in the game. "I'm ready to be a victor with Jacksonville and the Jaguars!". And this Jaguars' defense does bear some resemblance to those pass-rushing squads that came up big in Super Bowls XLII and XLIV.

Is Tom Brady's finger an issue?

The Jaguars belonged in the AFC Championship Game, and they're not going away.

OUR PREDICTION: The Jaguars are first in defensive points allowed per game, first in yards allowed per drive and first in fist downs allowed per game.

The Jaguars held a 20-10 lead in the fourth quarter as Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles played one of the best games of his career.

Other reports by iNewsToday