Jaguars
Patriots
20 - 31 Final
  for this game

Brady guides Patriots past Jaguars

Jan 13, 2008 - 6:04 AM FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- While the New England Patriots were far from perfect, quarterback Tom Brady was pretty close.

Brady threw three touchdown passes and carved up Jacksonville's defense with surgical precision to lead the Patriots to a 31-20 victory over the gritty Jaguars in an AFC divisional playoff game Saturday night.

Named the league's Most Valuable Player following a record-setting regular season, Brady was brilliant, completing 26-of-28 passes for 260 yards and no interceptions to send New England into next Sunday's AFC championship game against either Indianapolis or San Diego.

"It was a little disappointing, the two (passes) he missed," quipped coach Bill Belichick. "He's been a great quarterback for us and his whole career here he's been great in big games and outstanding tonight. I thought he managed the team well. ... Of course, he threw the ball well."

It will be the fifth conference title game in seven years for the Patriots, who had a bye week after registering the first 16-0 regular season in league history.

The two-time Super Bowl MVP connected on his first 16 passes to help the Patriots stave off a gutty effort by the Jaguars, who moved the ball at will against New England's defense.

"Those guys when they are open like that, that's my job to hit them," Brady said. "They were open every time. It's easy when you have receivers that are open all the time and an offensive line that never lets anyone touch you. It makes it fun to play."

Brady's 93 percent completion percentage was the highest ever in an NFL postseason game and came, remarkably, with star wide receiver Randy Moss limited to one reception for 14 yards. Wes Welker had nine catches for 54 yards and a TD while tight end Ben Watson had two receptions - both for touchdowns.

"Brady was very, very good today," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "He's been great all year. He was patient. We made him be patient. He was very patient. We didn't give him much over the top, willing to take the short stuff and nibble."

Running back Laurence Maroney rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries for New England (17-0), which matched the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only NFL team to go 17-0 in one season.

David Garrard was superb for the Jaguars, finishing 22-of-33 for 278 yards, two touchdowns and a late interception by strong safety Rodney Harrison that sealed the outcome.

"It was a valiant effort by this whole team," Garrard said. "I think all year long these guys played fabulous. I was very proud to play with these guys. Tonight was another good example of that. Everybody played with their hearts and everybody left nothing in the tank. They poured it all out."

Brady, who set an NFL record with 50 touchdown passes this season, helped the Patriots pull away from a 14-14 halftime tie with a pair of third-quarter scoring passes.

On New England's opening drive of the second half, Brady moved the Patriots 82 yards in 11 plays, connecting with Welker from 6 yards out on a fake statue-of-liberty play. At that point, Brady was 16-of-16 passing.

"Yeah, I'm looking for my Academy Award on that play," Brady said. "We worked on it the other day and for the first time we just kind of put it in on Friday and thought we had a shot on it."

After Jacksonville pulled within 21-17 on Josh Scobee's 39-yard field goal, the Patriots went 76 yards on just six plays to take a 28-17 lead as Brady threw his second TD pass to Watson from 9 yards out with 49 seconds left in the third quarter.

"It was just my chance to make some plays," Watson said. "I'm just glad Tom found me in the end zone. That's what you work for, that's what you work for all those weeks, just the chance to come out here and play. I think we put forward a great team effort."

The Jaguars came right back as Garrard directed a 13-play, 86-yard drive that stalled at the 7-yard line, forcing them to settle for Scobee's 25-yard field goal that cut the deficit to 28-20 with 9:44 to play.

"We knew every time we got into the red zone we knew we had to score touchdowns and in the second half they held us to two field goals," Del Rio said.

Brady, who improved to 7-0 in home playoff games, then gave the Patriots some insurance, hitting Donte Stallworth for a 53-yard pass down the right sideline to set up Stephen Gostkowski's 35-yard field goal for a 31-20 cushion with 6:30 left.

"When we got into the red zone, we made it tough on ourselves a couple of times where we didn't score touchdowns," Garrard said. "We wanted to make sure to make an emphasis all week long to get six, seven points just so we could stay up with them because we knew they were going to be themselves, the Patriots. They score points."

In the first half, the Jaguars sandwiched a pair of lengthy scoring drives around two touchdowns by the Patriots to forge a 14-14 tie at intermission.

The quarterback play was stellar on both sides, with Brady finishing 12-of-12 for 120 yards and a touchdown and Garrard 12-of-14 for 149 yards and two TDs.

"When you have a group of receivers and a quarterback that work well as these guys do, that's not unexpected," Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light said of Brady's accuracy. "That's the kind of the way it is around here. You know, number 12 is pretty good."

Del Rio showed his team would not be intimidated on the opening drive, gambling on 4th-and-1 at New England's 43-yard line. It paid off when Garrard hit tight end Marcedes Lewis for 34 yards.

That set up an 8-yard scoring pass to Matt Jones, giving the Jaguars a 7-0 lead and marking the first time an opponent had scored on its opening drive against the Patriots in 15 postseason games under Belichick.

Brady brought the Patriots back on their first possession, capping a 10-play, 74-yard drive with a 3-yard scoring pass to Watson for a 7-7 tie.

New England forced the game's first turnover when Ty Warren sacked Garrard and linebacker Mike Vrabel recovered at the Jacksonville 29-yard line.

The Patriots needed seven plays to cash in as Maroney powered in from the 1-yard line for a 14-7 lead on the first play of the second quarter.

"Turnovers were big in this game. We got two of them," Brady said. "And Coach really stressed that all week. They had an incredible percentage of wins when they won the turnover battle so we came away ahead."

Undaunted, the Jaguars answered with an 11-play, 95-yard scoring drive, utilizing the running of Fred Taylor and receiving of Maurice Jones-Drew. Garrard lofted a 6-yard scoring pass to Ernest Wilford to tie it at 14-14 midway through the second quarter.

New England had a chance to take the lead into halftime, but Gostkowski missed wide right on a 35-yard field-goal attempt inside the final minute.

"The thing you look at is the way that you come back," Harrison said. "Obviously, we wouldn't want to come out and play a (bad) first half, but sometimes it happens and you have to step up in the second half."






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  • DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    JACKSONVILLE 7 7 3 3 20
    NEW ENGLAND 7 7 14 3 31 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: JAC - TD, MATT JONES 8 YD PASS FROM DAVID
    GARRARD (JOSH SCOBEE KICK), 4:10.
    Drive: 9 plays, 80 yards in 4:10.
    Key plays: Garrard 23-yard pass to
    Lew

    Jan 12 11:03 PM
  • MaxOmuS Well, it was fun while it lasted... Go Indy!

    Jaguars vs. PatriotsJan 12 10:56 PM


  • DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    FG NWE
    STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI 35 YD
    JACKSONVILLE 20
    NEW ENGLAND 31 6:39 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Jaguars vs. PatriotsJan 12 10:41 PM


  • DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    FG JAC
    JOSH SCOBEE 25 YD
    JACKSONVILLE 20
    NEW ENGLAND 28 9:44 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Jaguars vs. PatriotsJan 12 10:32 PM


  • DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    JACKSONVILLE 7 7 3 17
    NEW ENGLAND 7 7 14 28 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: JAC - TD, MATT JONES 8 YD PASS FROM DAVID
    GARRARD (JOSH SCOBEE KICK), 4:10.
    Drive: 9 plays, 80 yards in 4:10.
    Key plays: Garrard 23-yard pass

    Jan 12 10:23 PM
  • MaxOmuS Jags need to come out strong or there done

    Jaguars vs. PatriotsJan 12 10:21 PM


  • DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    TD NWE
    BENJAMIN WATSON 9 YD PASS FROM TOM BRADY
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 17
    NEW ENGLAND 28 3:15 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Jaguars vs. PatriotsJan 12 10:21 PM


  • DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    FG JAC
    JOSH SCOBEE 39 YD
    JACKSONVILLE 17
    NEW ENGLAND 21 4:04 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Jaguars vs. PatriotsJan 12 10:09 PM
  • fbjunkie Patriots got the momentum now

    Jaguars vs. PatriotsJan 12 9:56 PM


  • DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    TD NWE
    WES WELKER 6 YD PASS FROM TOM BRADY
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 14
    NEW ENGLAND 21 8:49 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Jaguars vs. PatriotsJan 12 9:54 PM
  • MaxOmuS Ah man, hope we don't have a repeat 2nd half fall out this week...

    Jaguars vs. PatriotsJan 12 9:45 PM
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  • DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    JACKSONVILLE 7 7 14
    NEW ENGLAND 7 7 14 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: JAC - TD, MATT JONES 8 YD PASS FROM DAVID
    GARRARD (JOSH SCOBEE KICK), 4:10.
    Drive: 9 plays, 80 yards in 4:10.
    Key plays: Garrard 23-yard pass to


    Jan 12 9:30 PM
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  • DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    TD JAC
    ERNEST WILFORD 6 YD PASS FROM DAVID GARRARD
    (JOSH SCOBEE KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 14
    NEW ENGLAND 14 7:46 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Jaguars vs. PatriotsJan 12 9:08 PM
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  • DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    TD NWE
    LAURENCE MARONEY 1 YD RUN
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 7
    NEW ENGLAND 14 14:57 LEFT, 2ND QTR

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  • DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    JACKSONVILLE 7 7
    NEW ENGLAND 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: JAC - TD, GREG JONES 8 YD PASS FROM DAVID
    GARRARD (JOSH SCOBEE KICK), 4:10.
    Drive: 9 plays, 80 yards in 4:10.
    Key plays: Garrard 23-yard pass

    Jan 12 8:47 PM
  • MaxOmuS And so it begins...

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  • DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    TD NWE
    BENJAMIN WATSON 3 YD PASS FROM TOM BRADY
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 7
    NEW ENGLAND 7 5:01 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Jaguars vs. PatriotsJan 12 8:36 PM
  • MaxOmuS Hell's yeah, if the jags can keep that pace going we may have a game...

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  • DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
    TD JAC
    GREG JONES 8 YD PASS FROM DAVID GARRARD
    (JOSH SCOBEE KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 7
    NEW ENGLAND 0 10:50 LEFT, 1ST QTR

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  • metsfan31 GIANTS ALL DA WAY !!

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  • metsfan31 the jaguars are done 4 da season in about 4 days

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  • chargois777 DUDE COME ON.... i smell an omen on patriots since the JAGS hav a Shula on their team and with garrad and the balanced team... plus a super bowl coach!!

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  • ekabrazi The Quest begins .... can they continue to man handle teams & cap off the NFL's Most Dominate Offensive team since the K-Gun offense of the late 80's/early 90's ... or will they sputter out & disappear when it matters most?!?!?

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