The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots huff and puff in a test of speed, agility, and survival of the fittest at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Televised by CBS, the first quarter began with a touchdown by Jaguars wide receiver Matt Jones (on their first possession to boot; Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard threw the ball to the end zone as he was being pulled down to the ground by Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel–from the instant replays, it appeared that the ball left Garrard’s hand at the same time or a couple of nano-seconds before his knee hit the turf). Of course, the Patriots weren’t going to take that kind of showmanship; they put their own TD (thanks to tight end Benjamin Watson) on the score board just after the middle of the first quarter.
The second quarter started with a touchdown by Patriots running back Laurence Maroney. The Jaguars retaliated with another TD by wide receiver Ernest Wilford in the middle of the second quarter. Jacksonville and New England both 14. The tie would hold through the end of the second quarter.
Come the third quarter, it took roughly seven minutes for the tie to be broken….by the Patriots with a TD by wide receiver Wes Welker. Jacksonville narrowed the point gap with a field goal towards the end of the third quarter. New England 21 and Jacksonville 17. With less than two minutes on the clock in the third quarter, the Patriots scored another TD (thanks to Benjamin Watson).
The fourth quarter ran six minutes and the Jaguars got a field goal. The Patriots made one as well on their next drive. New England 31 and Jacksonville 20. And that would be the final score. Was there any real doubt that New England would be victorious tonight and go onto the AFC Championship Game?
Observations & Miscellania:
2. Thinking back on two other games the Patriots played where they didn’t completely dominate their opponent in the first half–specifically
Against the Indianapolis Colts on November 4.
Against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 25–
tonight’s game against the Jaguars was probably the most unwieldy..in the sense that going into halftime, both teams were tied 14 to 14. Two touchdowns each.
3. No matter if the Jaguars made a mistake or executed a play well, whenever the camera cut to a close-up of Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio appeared anxious and a bit sad. Bill Belichick, th Patriots head coach, wore one expression too–something that signified skepticism and determination. His shots included more high angle medium shots, though.
4. Upon returning to the game from commercial break after New England’s field goal gave them 31 points, footage (possibly taken during the commercial) of Tom Brady petting Wes Welker’s head on the sidelines was aired. Brady must be letting that facial hair grow because of winter weather.
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