AP NEWS
Related topics

The Latest: Brady and Belichick headed 8th Super Bowl

January 21, 2018

The Latest on the NFL conference championships. (all times local):

6:47 p.m.

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are heading back to the Super Bowl.

Brady shook off a hand injury and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with 2:48 remaining , rallying the Patriots to a 24-20 comeback victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC championship.

The Patriots will play the winner of the NFC championship between the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles in Minneapolis in two weeks.

Brady rallied the Patriots from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to secure an eighth Super Bowl appearance for he and coach Bill Belichick.

Brady has won five Super Bowls, including last year’s 34-28 overtime rally against the Atlanta Falcons.

___

6:10 p.m.

A fight broke out in a parking lot near the Philadelphia Eagles’ home stadium as police tried to disperse tailgating fans hours before the NFC Championship game.

NJ.com reports a bloodied fan was taken into custody amid the chaos Sunday afternoon near Lincoln Financial Field .

It was not immediately clear what started the fight.

Philadelphia police officers and Pennsylvania State Police troopers tried to get the situation under control.

The Eagles are hosting the Minnesota Vikings in the championship game on Sunday night. The winning team will face the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

___

6 p.m.

The New England Patriots have taken the lead in the AFC championship game.

After trailing by 10 points early in the fourth quarter, the Patriots cut it to three on Tom Brady’s 9-yard pass to Danny Amendola and then went ahead on a 4-yard throw to Amendola in the back of the end zone with just under 3 minutes left. Amendola also had a 20-yard punt return that allowed New England to start the go-ahead drive at the Jaguars’ 30.

The Patriots have won the last three playoff games they’ve trailed by double-digits in, including a 25-point deficit they erased in last year’s Super Bowl.

___

5:55 p.m.

Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack had to be helped off the field, unable to put any weight on his left leg, late in the fourth quarter.

On the very next play, defensive lineman Marcell Dareus was slow getting up and needed attention from the trainers.

There was no immediate information about their conditions.

___

5:40 p.m.

The Patriots are looking for another comeback.

Less than a year after rallying from a record 25-point deficit to win the Super Bowl, the Patriots were trying to be the first team ever to overcome a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter of the AFC championship game.

Jacksonville led 20-10 early in the fourth quarter before Tom Brady drove New England 85 yards in eight plays, hitting Danny Amendola for a 9-yard touchdown pass.

The New England defense then forced Jacksonville to punt.

— Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts

(Corrects earlier item that Patriots would be first to overcome 10-point deficit in fourth quarter)

___

5:26 p.m.

Josh Lambo’s second field goal of the game has given the Jacksonville Jaguars a 20-10 early in the fourth quarter as the AFC title game turned into a defensive battle.

Jacksonville drove for a 54-yard field goal on its opening drive of the second half, then the teams traded punts.

The Patriots started one drive on their own 46-yard line after a punt, but went three-and-out. New England is one for eight on third down through three quarters.

The Jaguars then drove 66 yards to set up Lambo’s 43-yarder.

___

5:25 p.m.

The Patriots say Rob Gronkowski will not return to the game.

Gronkowski went to the locker room after he was blind-sided by Jaguars safety Barry Church on a downfield pass route. Church was called for unnecessary roughness on the play, and Gronkowski seemed woozy on his feet.

The team said he had a head injury and announced early in the fourth quarter that he would not return.

Gronkowski has only played 16 games in a season once in his career. He had season-ending back surgery last year and missed the final eight games of the regular-season and all of the Patriots’ run to their fifth Super Bowl title.

— Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts.

___

4:45 p.m.

The Patriots say tight end Rob Gronkowski is questionable to return to the AFC championship because of a head injury.

Gronk was left wobbly on a hit from Jaguars safety Barry Church on a downfield pattern late in the first half. Gronkowski headed to the locker room and sat out the remainder of the first half.

He did not appear to be on the New England sideline when the second half began.

Earlier in the second quarter, Gronkowski caught a 21-yard pass that moved him past Dallas Clark for first on the NFL’s all-time list for postseason receiving yards by a tight end, 848.

— Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts.

___

4:28 p.m.

Jacksonville has taken a 14-10 lead at halftime of the AFC championship.

The Jaguars were up 14-3 after an early touchdown pass from Blake Bortles to Marcedes Lewis and a run by Leonard Fournette.

Just before the half, Tom Brady led the Patriots on a six-play, 85-yard drive that included two Jacksonville penalties. The drive ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by James White .

Bortles completed 13 of 15 passes for 155 yards in the half. Brady was 12 of 17 for 124 yards.

The last three times the Patriots have trailed by double digits in a playoff game, they came back to win.

— Kyle Hightower, reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts

___

4:25 p.m.

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is being looked at after a hard hit from Barry Church left him wobbly.

Gronkowski was running downfield on a passing route, looking back for the ball, when Church put a shoulder into him late in the second quarter. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound All-Pro tight end seemed shaken, and he left the field. He did not return for the remainder of the drive, which was New England’s last in the first half.

There was no immediate announcement from the team about his condition.

Church was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty that gave the Patriots the ball at their own 40. A pass interference penalty on the next play put New England on the 13. Two plays later, James White ran it in to make it 14-10.

Jacksonville was also called for a delay of game that negated a first-down completion on their previous possession. In all, the Jaguars the Jaguars had five penalties for 62 yards in the first half; the Patriots had one for 10 yards.

— Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts.

___

4 p.m.

Leonard Fournette has given the Jacksonville Jaguars a 14-3 lead over the heavily favored New England Patriots in the AFC championship game.

Fournette bulled his way into the end zone from 4 yards out midway through the second quarter . He carried the ball five times for 23 yards on the 10-play, 77-yard drive.

Fournette ran for 103 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s divisional round playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is the first NFL rookie to surpass 100 yards rushing with three scores in a postseason game.

Fournette was limited in practice all week with a sore ankle. He was also involved in a fender-bender back in Jacksonville, but was not injured.

— Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts.

___

3:45 p.m.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have taken the lead early in the second quarter of the AFC title game.

Blake Bortles found Marcedes Lewis wide open in the end zone from 4 yards out to give the Jags a 7-3 lead. Bortles was 5 for 5 for 66 yards on the drive.

Running back Corey Grant caught two passes for 44 yards on the 76-yard drive. He had only 41 total receiving yards during the season.

Tom Brady’s only comeback wins in an AFC championship were from a four-point deficit against Baltimore after the 2011 season and a three-point deficit against San Diego after the ’07 season. The Patriots also rallied from a four-point hole against Miami en route to the 1986 Super Bowl.

— Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts.

___

3:20 p.m.

Tom Brady’s injured right hand looked fine on the Patriots’ opening drive in the AFC title game.

Brady was 6-for-6 for 57 yards on New England’s first possession against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He completed a 20-yarder to Danny Amendola on a fourth-and-1 to keep the drive going. But the Patriots settled for Stephen Gostkowski’s 31-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.

Brady reportedly injured his right hand and needed stitches when it was hit by a teammate’s helmet in practice. The five-time Super Bowl champion took the field on Sunday with a piece of black tape on the back of his hand.

The Patriots are in the conference championship game for the seventh straight year. They are hoping to go to their eighth Super Bowl of the Brady era.

— Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts.

___

2:45 p.m.

New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft says the team needs to guard against “jealousy and envy” from people who are trying to tear apart one of the most successful dynasties in NFL history.

Speaking on the pregame show before the Patriots played the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC championship game, Kraft said it’s only natural there would be some tension between him and coach Bill Belichick after 18 years together. Kraft says, “But when you’ve got something good going, everyone’s got to get their egos checked in and try to hold it together.”

ESPN reported this month that Kraft essentially vetoed Belichick’s plan to set backup Jimmy Garoppolo up as the successor to five-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. Instead, the Patriots traded Garoppolo to San Francisco for a second-round draft pick.

— Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts.

___

2:35 p.m.

The Super Bowl matchup will be set after conference title games featuring three teams that have never won the big game.

The other participant is a five-time Super Bowl winner, the New England Patriots.

The Patriots and Tom Brady, nursing an injured right hand, start conference championship Sunday playing host to the Jacksonville Jaguars and quarterback Blake Bortles.

The night game with Minnesota playing at Philadelphia features two 29-year-old quarterbacks, Nick Foles and Case Keenum, both of whom started the season as backups.

Keenum played most of the season after Sam Bradford was injured, and Foles came in after star Carson Wentz was hurt in Week 14.

___

For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

AP RADIO
Update hourly