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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Danny Amendola had two regular-season touchdowns for the New England Patriots during the regular season. He matched that total on Sunday in the AFC championship game.
24-20.,The 32-year-old receiver played a huge role in the Patriots’ comeback against the Jacksonville Jaguars, with five catches for 56 yards and two touchdowns as well as a key punt return in the fourth quarter, as New England won its 10th AFC title in franchise history
then overthrew Chris Hogan on a deep ball on second down.,Amendola was part of the play that turned the tide for New England: with 10:49 to play and the Patriots trailing, 20-10, they were facing third-and-18. Brady had taken an 8-yard sack on first down
and Amendola made an impressive catch in traffic for a 21-yard gain.,On third down,
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, he looked to Amendola down the middle of the field
“I think I had a little bit of an option route in the middle of the field and I saw that there was room,
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,” Amendola explained. “I had pointed out the line [to gain the first down] before the snap,
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, so I knew where I had to go and Tom had a laser and it was perfect.”
Four plays later, lined up in the slot, he caught the first touchdown from Brady.
staying inbounds for what was the winning score., he set up the game winner. Jacksonville punted from near its own goal line, and returned it to the Jaguars’ 30. On second down from the 4,Less than five minutes later, Amendola caught the ball at midfield, he caught Brady’s pass at the back of the end zone
we don’t win. It was an incredible play.”, and I saw he got one foot in and I just saw it up on the big screen one time, he’s made so many big plays for us,“He’s made so many big catches,” Brady said. “He’s got great hands and just a great sense of about where he’s at on the field. I mean,
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, and this was huge. Without that
The Patriots lost Julian Edelman for the season in August,
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, after he suffered a torn ACL in a preseason game. And on Sunday,
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, the team lost tight end Rob Gronkowski for the remainder of the game after Gronkowski suffered a brain injury on a helmet-to-helmet hit from the Jaguars’ Barry Church.
though he said he didn’t feel any additional pressure once Gronkowski was knocked out of the game.,
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,Amendola stepped up during the season,
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, his second-highest total since joining the Patriots in 2013, with 61 catches, and his 659 yards were his best with the team. And he stepped up again on Sunday night
“Every play I’m competing my tail off to try to win the route,
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,win the block or whatever my job is on that play,” he said.
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