Jacksonville Jaguars season ends in AFC Championship loss to the New England Patriots: Quick Notes

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Blake Bortles
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Blake Bortles /

A remarkable season came to an end Sunday evening, as the Jacksonville Jaguars became the latest victims to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

This one hurts.

The Jacksonville Jaguars led 20-17 with less than 6 minutes to go in the AFC Championship game. They were minutes away from their first ever Super Bowl appearance.

And then Tom Brady happened.

Yes, the Jaguars’ season is over and their remarkable run finally ended in a 24-20 loss to the New England Patriots.

The Jaguars took an early lead and overall looked like the more talented team, but they just couldn’t stop Brady when it mattered.

Here are some quick notes from perhaps the most painful loss in franchise history:

  • At the end of the day, the game came down to what we all expected – Tom freaking Brady. Down 3 points late in the 4th quarter, Brady did what he’s done his entire career and led his team down the field for a game-winning touchdown drive. The defense played well most of the day, but they fell victim to the greatest quarterback of all time at his best. The 3rd and 18 he converted is one of those defining plays that makes Brady a generational force.
  • Overall, the Jacksonville defense played well considering what they were up against. If you want to criticize anything, you can probably point to the pass rush for not getting pressure consistently with only 4. The defensive line got good push early in the game and actually looked to be rattling Brady at points in the second quarter. Fatigue and injuries set in late in the game and Brady was able to stand in the pocket and make the throws he needed to win.
  • At the end of the day, Blake Bortles played well enough for the Jaguars to win. He was sharp most of the day, made good reads, and made relatively few errant throws. The focus as we look back will likely shift towards a delay of game right before halftime that negated a huge third down conversion. Blake took the penalty coming out of a timeout and that’s inexcusable. It forced the Jaguars to punt and gave Brady and the Patriots offense the opportunity to put up a touchdown before halftime. It seems like a small play, but it changed the dynamic of the game from a blowout to a tight contest.

We’ll talk more about this game in the future. For now, let’s just celebrate what was a terrific season for a talented team that shouldn’t be going away for a while.