Patriots fans in Waterbury elated over AFC win on Sunday

Dec 31 2017 Nashville TN USA Jacksonville Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson and safety Barry Church celebrate after a defensive stop against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

In Sunday night's other match, reigning National Football League champion Patriots overcame a stubborn Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 in the AFC title game.

"Guys are upset", said Bortles, who finished 23 of 36 for 293 yards and a touchdown in his first AFC title game.

"I mean, we didn't win, and that's what matters at the end of the day", Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey said. It didn't help matters that tight end Rob Gronkowski had to leave the game just before the half after a head-to-head collision with Jaguars safety Barry Church.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, 3-13 last season, executed a game plan that had them up 20-10 early in the fourth period.

"Physically, it's hard to throw with stitches in your thumb", said Amendola.

"If you're going to make a statement like that, you better be able to back it up", Patriots defensive tackle Adam Butler said. The Patriots took their first lead of the game with 2:48 remaining. Instead of being featured as a hot hand, Grant received just one carry for two rushing yards during the game's final two quarters. He threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns against one of the NFL's top defenses, including his 54th career game-winning drive.

Leonard Fournette gave Jacksonville a 14-3 lead midway through the second quarter with a 4-yard TD run. Meanwhile, the Jaguars were penalized 98 yards from six penalties.

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Dion Lewis had a sub-par game running the ball as he ended with just 34 yards on the ground, which isn't surprising as the Pats had to essentially abandon the run early on.

That wiped out a first down, and Bortles was sacked by Adam Butler on the next play to force a punt. The Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles are two huge-market, traditional teams.

In the Brady-Belichick era, the Patriots have been previously favored in the Super Bowl five times, with Super Bowl XLIX being officially listed as a pick'em game between New England and Seattle.

Beyond Brady, the Jaguars' defense also couldn't overcome a few untimely penalties.

Brady called the Jaguars the "toughest" foe the Patriots have faced, but Jacksonville linebacker Telvin Smith dismissed the praise on Twitter, saying, "Bruh this the oldest trick.pump us up in the media but in the buildin I kno what's really bein said". "Wanted to make sure we got that done knowing we were going in getting the ball back [to start the third quarter]".

They marched 85 yards on eight plays to cut it to a three-point deficit on Amendola's 9-yard TD catch with 8:44 left.

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