Patriots
Jaguars
24 - 21 Final
  for this game

Pats edge Jaguars, clinch fourth straight AFC East title

Dec 24, 2006 - 11:13 PM JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Tom Brady and the New England Patriots can celebrate another division title. Safety Rodney Harrison returned just in time to join the fun.

Defensive end Jarvis Green swatted the ball away from quarterback David Garrard and Harrison recovered the fumble with 1:46 left in the fourth quarter as the Patriots held on for a 24-21 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Patriots (11-4) clinched the AFC East crown for the fourth straight year and fifth time in six seasons under coach Bill Belichick.

"Our team did a nice job today and this win was well earned," Belichick said. "This was really physical, just like we expected. Jacksonville is a real good football team. We're happy to get out of here with the win and the division. It took a real strong effort."

The loss was a damaging one for the Jaguars (8-7), who need to win at Kansas City in the regular-season finale next week to keep their playoff hopes alive.

"It's disappointing," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "It was a real physical game out there and they just made some more plays than we did."

Jacksonville pulled within 24-21 on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Garrard to Matt Jones with 3:03 left in the fourth quarter.

After the defense forced a three-and-out, the Jaguars took over at their own 45 with 1:55 remaining. But on the first play, Garrard began to scramble to his left when he had the ball knocked away by Green.

"It hurts to have that last drive come out the way it did," said Garrard, who was 17-of-23 for 195 yards. "When the guy (Green) hit me, it did feel like my arm was going forward, but when he hit me it made me lose control of it."

Harrison, who returned after missing the last six games with a broken shoulder blade, recovered the fumble at the Jacksonville 46 to seal the win.

"When you get Rodney back, he can do things that give you confidence as a team," Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi said. "The defense feeds off of him and he's a very emotional player."

Brady, a three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, completed 28-of-39 passes for 249 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown to rookie tight end David Thomas.

Brady has been the quarterback for the Pats' five division crowns since 2001. Included in that is three Super Bowl titles from 2001-04.

"We earned every yard in this game," Brady said. "That's one of the most physical teams in the league. They rush the passer pretty well and play the run tough. We're happy to walk out of here with the division title."

The key to the latest division crown was a 6-1 road record. The Pats close the regular season next week at Tennessee.

The Jaguars made the playoffs last season and were beaten in the wild-card round by New England, 28-3. Now it appears this loss to the Patriots may prevent them from making the postseason.

Jacksonville played without 1,000-yard rusher Fred Taylor, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury. That forced Maurice Jones-Drew to carry the load and the rookie responded with 131 yards on 19 carries, including a 74-yard touchdown, and six catches for 41 yards.

Jones-Drew's touchdown run was the highlight-reel play of the game. The 5-7 back fell to the ground after bumping into the back of tight end Kyle Brady, but got back on his feet before being touched by a Patriot, broke a tackle by Harrison and raced 74 yards for Jacksonville's longest touchdown of the season.

Jones-Drew's score gave Jacksonville a 7-3 lead with 12:59 left in the second quarter.

But Brady directed a 14-play, 82-yard drive that consumed nearly 7 1/2 minutes. He completed 6-of-7 passes for 37 yards and scrambled twice for 14 yards before Corey Dillon capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown run with 1:17 left in the half.

"He (Brady) did a better job today of moving around the pocket than what we saw on tape," Del Rio said.

Brady engineered a seven-play, 78-yard drive to start the second half, capping it with a 22-yard touchdown to Thomas, who made a diving catch in the end zone with 11:24 left in the third quarter, giving the Patriots a 17-7 lead. Thomas finished with season highs of five catches for 83 yards.

The Pats appeared to be on the verge of pulling away when linebacker Mike Vrabel intercepted a pass by Garrard at the Jacksonville 42 with four minutes left in the third quarter. But Pro Bowl defensive end Richard Seymour was called for roughing-the-passer, negating the interception.

On the next play, Garrard connected with Ernest Wilford on a 41-yard pass down the right sideline. Jones-Drew then scored on a one-yard run with 3:06 left in the quarter, pulling the Jaguars within 17-14.

Jacksonville failed to score on its next two possessions and paid the price when rookie Laurence Maroney scored on a 27-yard run around left end with 4:36 left in the fourth quarter, increasing the lead to 24-14. Maroney had missed the last two games with a rib injury.








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ENGLAND 0 10 7 7 24
    JACKSONVILLE 0 7 7 7 21 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: NWE - FG, STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI 48 YD, 1:41.
    Drive: 8 plays, 38 yards in 4:13.
    Key plays: Maroney 1-yard run plus
    15-yard face mask penalty on
    Jaguars' Henderson to Jacksonvil

    Dec 24 4:11 PM
  • 50
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 10 roots

    Patriots vs. JaguarsDec 24 4:04 PM


  • NFL
    TD JAC
    MATT JONES 33 YD PASS FROM DAVID GARRARD
    (JOSH SCOBEE KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 24
    JACKSONVILLE 21 3:03 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Patriots vs. JaguarsDec 24 3:58 PM
  • 50
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 40 roots

    Patriots vs. JaguarsDec 24 3:58 PM


  • NFL
    TD NWE
    LAURENCE MARONEY 27 YD RUN
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 24
    JACKSONVILLE 14 4:36 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Patriots vs. JaguarsDec 24 3:52 PM
  • 50
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 2 roots

    Patriots vs. JaguarsDec 24 3:52 PM
  • 50
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 2 roots

    Patriots vs. JaguarsDec 24 3:44 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ENGLAND 0 10 7 17
    JACKSONVILLE 0 7 7 14 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: NWE - FG, STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI 48 YD, 1:41.
    Drive: 8 plays, 38 yards in 4:13.
    Key plays: Maroney 1-yard run plus
    15-yard face mask penalty on
    Jaguars' Henderson to Jac

    Dec 24 3:22 PM


  • NFL
    TD JAC
    MAURICE JONES-DREW 1 YD RUN
    (JOSH SCOBEE KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 17
    JACKSONVILLE 14 3:06 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Patriots vs. JaguarsDec 24 3:15 PM


  • NFL
    TD NWE
    DAVID THOMAS 22 YD PASS FROM TOM BRADY
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 17
    JACKSONVILLE 7 11:24 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Patriots vs. JaguarsDec 24 2:51 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ENGLAND 0 10 10
    JACKSONVILLE 0 7 7 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: NWE - FG, STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI 48 YD, 1:41.
    Drive: 8 plays, 38 yards in 4:13.
    Key plays: Maroney 1-yard run plus
    15-yard face mask penalty on
    Jaguars' Henderson to Jackson

    Dec 24 2:26 PM


  • NFL
    TD NWE
    COREY DILLON 1 YD RUN
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 10
    JACKSONVILLE 7 1:17 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Patriots vs. JaguarsDec 24 2:19 PM


  • NFL
    TD JAC
    MAURICE JONES-DREW 74 YD RUN
    (JOSH SCOBEE KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 3
    JACKSONVILLE 7 12:59 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Patriots vs. JaguarsDec 24 1:52 PM


  • NFL
    FG NWE
    STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI 48 YD
    NEW ENGLAND 3
    JACKSONVILLE 0 13:19 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Patriots vs. JaguarsDec 24 1:42 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ENGLAND 0 0
    JACKSONVILLE 0 0 END, 1ST QTR

    Dec 24 1:37 PM