Despite an outstanding effort from the visiting underdog Jaguars—who few if any saw making it this far a few months ago—the New England Patriots won the AFC Championship on Sunday by besting Jacksonville by a score of 24-20.
While it wasn't nearly as big of a comeback as last year's Super Bowl victory over the Falcons (few games are), New England had to overcome a 10-point 4th quarter deficit (with an injured quarterback) to advance to Super Bowl LII. This comeback task was made all the more difficult after Pats running back Dion Lewis was stripped by Jacksonville linebacker Myles Jack in the 4th quarter thanks to the fact A) He was carrying the ball in the wrong hand, and B) His three lineman escort failed to bother to block Jack:
However, as Matt Ryan and Julio Jones and a bunch of other guys in Atlanta know, New England wasn't quite done. The comeback kicked into high gear when (for my money) the turning point of the game came on a drive where Jacksonville failed to get pressure on Tom Brady, allowing him to keep the series alive on a 3rd and 18 (they would later go on to score a TD to pull within three points):
The deciding score was a super acrobatic back of the end zone catch by Danny Amendola for the final points of the game:
The Jags were almost able to pull off their own game-winning drive, but a Stephon Gilmore blanket prevented it on a 4th and 14 with about 1:50 left:
The final outcome was met with fans calling Tom Brady the G.O.A.T. to questioning the refs' involvement in the Pats win:
As an interesting side note, with the 'W' New England became the first franchise to make 10 Super Bowls, which is even more impressive considering they didn't make their first since the 1985-86 season.
Next up: either Philadelphia or Minnesota, and we'll know soon enough.