The quarterback many call the Greatest of All-Time did it again. New England’s Tom Brady rallied his team from a three-point deficit with under three minutes left to send New England to Super Bowl 52 by beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20.
CBS play-by-play man Jim Nantz called it a “David vs. Goliath matchup,” and for most of the game, David was winning, as Jacksonville, behind quarterback Blake Bortles and the hard running of Leonard Fournette, kept a lead over the defending NFL champion Patriots.
But Brady kept relentlessly moving his team, including completing a third-and-eighteen pass to keep one drive going. His team, sluggish in the first half, finally found its groove in the third quarter, and scored on a short touchdown to wide receiver Danny Amendola with under three minutes left to take the lead for good. Brady wound up with 138 yards passing in the fourth quarter alone, a remarkable showing after he sustained a hand injury during this week’s practice.
The Patriots now move on to Super Bowl 52, which will be held on Sunday, Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Patriots will be making their 10th Super Bowl appearance, the most of any NFL team.
Minneapolis last hosted a Super Bowl in 1992. The game will be hosted by NBC, with Al Michaels doing play-by-play and Cris Collinsworth as the analyst. Michele Tafoya and Heather Cox are the sideline reports.
New England (15-3), the defending Super Bowl champion, was favored by 7.5 points heading into its seventh straight conference title game. But the Jaguars, hoping for their first Super Bowl berth, provided stiff resistance, its defense swarming Brady and executing well with a short passing game.
Brady was limited in workouts during the week after sustaining his hand injury, and actually sat out the Thursday before the game. But Brady has never missed a playoff start during his 18-year career, and although he had problems with Jacksonville’s tough defense at times, ultimately prevailed.