Tom Brady reveals his thoughts on a heartbreaking moment in Jaguars history

• Tom Brady reveals what everyone knew about the 2017 AFC Championship game
Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Myles Jack (44)
Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Myles Jack (44) / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest What If moments in Jacksonville Jaguars history happened in the 2017 AFC Championship. Late in the game, the Jags came close to sealing a win but the referee crew made a puzzling ruling that robbed them of the opportunity to advance to Super Bowl 52. This moment is affectionately and infamously known as Myles Jack wasn't down, and just recently, Tom Brady conceded that the Pats wouldn't have recovered if the ruling on the play had been different.

Brady said during a recent appearance on the Pivot podcast that he doesn't think Jack was down. He added that the Patriots wouldn't have caught him if he had sprinted toward the end zone.

"No, I don't think he was down, Brady told Fred Taylor. "God, I don't think we're catching him either."

Early in the fourth quarter, linebacker Myles Jack forced running back Deion Lewis to fumble. He went to recover and had a clear path to the end zone, with several Jaguars defenders ready to plow the way for him. However, Jack was ruled down, and the ball was spotted where he picked it up. Had he made it to the end zone, Jacksonville would've been 27-10.

Instead, the Jaguars went three-and-out in their offensive drive and New England went on to win the game. While Jacksonville still had the lead and ample time to win the game, it's fair to say that the play swung momentum in the Patriots' favor.

Everybody knows Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack wasn't down

It's refreshing to hear Tom Brady acknowledge that Myles Jack wasn't down. It brings a bit of closure but it still stings because it was so blatantly obvious that the whistle shouldn't have been blown. What's worse is that Jacksonville hasn't come within striking distance of the Super Bowl again since then.

In fact, the Jags won only 15 combined games the following four seasons. What looked like a reason for celebration quickly turned into the moment things went sideways for Jacksonville. Fortunately, they've turned the corner and enjoyed a turnaround since then. It hasn't been easy, and the Jaguars have endured several rough moments along the way but they're in much better shape right now than they were after 2017.

For starters, the Jaguars no longer have to solely rely on their defense to win games. They have a franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence, who's helped the team come back from behind and come on top on several instances. The most memorable one came against the Los Angeles Chargers in the 2022 playoffs. Lawrence helped them overcome a 27-point deficit to win the game.

But Lawrence isn't the sole reason the Jaguars are in a position to succeed. The team's brass recognized they needed to help him and made upgrades across the roster in the offseason. On top of that, Jacksonville has a Super Bowl-winning coach in Doug Pederson.

Put all things together and the future is bright. Granted, "Myles Jack wasn't down" will still be a sour spot in franchise history, but the Jacksonville Jaguars can lessen some of the pain. Right now, they have a good shot at getting back to the AFC Championship in the foreseeable future, and you don't have to be Tom Brady to recognize it.

More Jaguars analysis here: