Game Balls & Goats: Patriots - Jaguars

The New England Patriots were able to pull away from the Jacksonville Jaguars who played well enough to keep the game close early, but lost ground late in the game. The Patriots defeated the Jaguars 31 - 20 to remain undefeated and advance to the AFC Championship game.


1) Tom Brady: New NFL record for completion percentage in a postseason game. 26/28 of 262 yards and 3 touchdowns. Classic academy award for the over the head fake play, TD to welker.

2) Laurence Maroney: 22 carries fro 122 yards and a touchdown. Maroney hit the hole with speed, and was able to break a few arm tackles to gain additional yardage. A good sign for those worried about the Patriots rushing attack.

3) Offensive Line: Sack on the first play from scrimmage on offense then they stepped it up. With Kaczur and Neal back, the Patriots were able to dominate the Jaguars at the edge. Paul Spicer was buried a couple of times, something that the Patriots probably focused on after his comments earlier in the week.

Honorable Mentions:
Ben Watson: 2 TDs. Good job blocking
Donte Stallworth: He said he was open earlier, and Brady finally found him.
Rodney Harrison: Nice pick for the old man.


1) Patriots Defense: (Only in the early part of the game) Team was gashed at times even though they knew it was coming. Gave up far too many over the middle type of plays to let Jacksonville sustain drives. The defense gave up 3 scoring drives of over 80 yards. Made bonehead penalties at the wrong time to allow Jacksonville to keep going. This defense will be a real concern against Indianapolis if the Colts win on Sunday.

2) Stephen Gostkowski: We've been saying that Gostkowski has a tendency to push his kicks. He had it in camp, and he's had it at times during the year. After his initial kickoff, the rest were short. The missed 35 yard kick at a critical juncture earned him a goat. Otherwise he played just ok.

3) Denis Northcutt: Too many drops when it mattered.

Honorable Mentions:
Refs: Horrible Unsportsmanlike Conduct call on Samuel. Despite getting the one right on Harrison, the officials showed up far too many times in this game. Missed the two facemask penalties (Welker and Maroney). Patriots got away with holding a couple of times, Jacksonville had some real reasons to complain.

Jax Rushing attack: 19 carries for 66 yards? Abysmal for the much vaunted Jacksonville rushing game. Maroney outgained them early and the competition was never close.


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