EPIC AFC PLAYOFF: Jags (20), Patriots (17)

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by Big D, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Big D

    Big D Walk On

    Oct 8, 2009
    EPIC AFC PLAYOFF: Jags (20), Patriots (17)

    A Game for the Ages: Jaguars Pick Off Patriots in Opening Round
    By: Harry Stone, Jacksonville Post-Intelligencer

    It's January in Foxborough at Gillette Stadium. There is an electricity in the air that is almost tangible. It was almost if everybody in attendance knew they were about to see something special, something historic.

    It's on days like these where heroes are made, where franchises are reborn, where history is written. The hype sometimes doesn't match reality, but for one special night it did. . .and so much more.

    The Jacksonville Jaguars went on the road trying to slay the beast that is New England. . .the team that has been as dominant in January as any franchise in NFL history. They defeated the Patriots 27-17 in Week 16 at Foxborough, but that seemed like ancient history. New England is always a different force in the playoffs, and tonight was no exception.

    On New England's first offensive play, they would run a screen to Randy Moss on the right side and he would explode down the sideline and race in for the 64 yard score. Just like that the Patriots looked like the juggernat of old taking a 7-0 lead with only 18 seconds elapsed in the first quarter.

    The Jaguars would need to answer to quiet the rowdy Gillette Stadium crowd. Just like the have so many times this season they methodically trudged their way down the field using a mix of Maurice Jones-Drew runs and David Garrard play action passes to set up a 1 yard touchdown run by fullback Greg Jones.

    As the all-pro rumbled into the end zone you could sense a huge sigh of relief coming from the Jacksonville sidelines. They were okay. They had taken the best uppercut from the champ on the chin, but they bounced back and jabbed their way to a first round draw. This fight wouldn't be a TKO, it would go the distance. It seemed like both 'fighters' knew that now.

    The Jaguars vaunted defense would now step up and force the Patriots into two consecutive punts. The second one would set Jacksonville up with nice field position and they would work the ball down into field goal range and settle for a 43 yard Rob Bironas field goal. Mere minutes later, after a Jacksonville interception, Bironas would get another try but this time he would miss keeping the score at 10-7 in favor of Jacksonville nearing the half.

    The Patriots would yet again be forced into a three and out and punt it to the Jaguars with less than two minutes on the clock. Instead of playing it safe and taking a lead into the locker room, Coach Dunlap would gamble and call a deep pass on first down. That gamble would backfire as Wes Woodyard would pick the pass off and return it inside the Jacksonville 40 yard line, seemingly putting the Patriots in great position for at least the tying score.

    But again, the Jaguars defense would answer the call putting pressure on Andrew Walter and forcing him into his second interception of the game, thwarting another Patriots scoring attempt. This time Coach Dunlap would indeed take the air out of the ball and safely head into the locker room with a 10-7 advantage.

    "I tell you, when the Patriots got the ball after the interception everybody on our sideline was really deflated. Honestly it looked like momentum had just swung to them," said Dunlap. "But our defense, as they've done so often just really picked us up forcing that big interception."

    The Patriots obviously went back to the drawing board at halftime as they came out firing on all cylinders to march down the field with precise passes by Walter and timely runs by Lawrence Maroney including a three yard scoring rumble. Midway through the third quarter New England did indeed seize the momentum and they were now up 14-10.

    On the ensuing kickoff disaster for the Jaguars. Troy Williamson, who has been so spectacular in the return game this season, would cough up the football on a controversial fumble. With challenges now banned in the league, there was nothing Jacksonville could do but watch as the Patriots would have a chance to really take control of the football game with their offense marching back onto the field. However after driving deep within Jaguars territory they would have to settle for another Gostkowski field goal, keeping Jacksonville within one score at 17-10.

    The Jaguars offense would continue to be stagnat, with Maruice Jones-Drew finding little running room and Garrard under constant pressure when he dropped back to throw. For the fifth consecutive drive Jacksonville would fail to get points and would punt the ball back to the Patriots early in the fourth quarter.

    This time there was no secret. If the Patriots could get any points, the game would essentially be out of reach. The Jaguars defense would be put to the test in a situation were they had to get a stop. After one first down, the defense would clap down, with cornerback Josh Wilson breaking up a third down curl route to Randy Moss on the right side to keep the Jaguars hopes alive.

    Now it was the offenses turn. They needed a touchdown. They needed Maurice Jones-Drew. He had been virtually non-existant against the Patriots in seven and half quarters this season but all that could be forgiven if he could carry them to a score here.

    "There's only one guy we want with the ball in cruch time and that's Maurice," said Dunlap. "We were either going to live or die with the ball in his hands on that drive."

    Jones-Drew would carry the ball six times on that drive and catch one pass to help put them into Patriots territory. A couple of plays that went for no yardage would bring up perhaps the most critical play of the football game; a 3rd and 10 from the Patriots 30 yard line. This season, the Jaguars have been awful in third and long situations, many times just electing to run the ball with Jones-Drew and hope for the best. However that wasn't an option here. What would they do?

    "Coach called a play we run a lot and usually look to the tight end on the right side of the field." Quarterback David Garrard however had other plans. "When the plays was called I looked at Troy (Williamson) and told him to be ready, because they were playing a lot of cover 3 and 4 in that spot."

    Look to Williamson he did, and with a laser of a throw Garrard threaded the needle between linebacker Adalius Thomas and safety Brandon Merriweather to strike Williamson in the numbers for a 13 yard gain and a critical first down. From there, the Patriots looked deflated and the Jaguars would eventually score on a 1 yard Greg Jones touchdown run, his second of the game.

    With just under 4:00 to play, the stage was set. A playoff tie at 17-17 where a hero would arise. Everybody in Gillette Stadium knew this. We just didn't know who it would be the most unlikely of heroes.

    With the Patriots magically weaving their way into field goal range with under 3:00 to play, they had a dillema. They could run the ball a couple of times and force the Jaguars to use their timeouts. However with this strategy there was a catch. To that point they had run the ball 11 times for 14 yards. They wouldn't get a first down. . .not against the Jaguars defense who had perhaps the most fearsome front four in the OMFL. So Coach Gaddy decided to roll the dice and call a pass, trying to get that first down that could bury the Jaguars.

    However, in this game of cat and mouse defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio had the answer.

    "I figured they wouldn't run against us, but we still had to get inside pressure just in case. Because I didn't think they'd run their tendency showed that they'd likely try something quick over the middle in that situation, and to that point our zone schemes hadn't been very effective against that type of throw. With the pressure and the situation I thought Walter might make a mistake if we combined that with man coverage on the inside, so we called it and hoped for the best."

    The best was perfect for the Jaguars, as Walter indeed hurried his throw and overthrew his receiver right into the hands of free safety Eric Weddle.

    "I couldn't believe it hit me right in the hands. I was so suprised I almost didn't know what to do with it, but then the adrenaline kicked in and I just looked up field and ran as hard as I could," he said.

    Weddle's return would set Jacksonville up near midfield nearing the two minute warning. Again they would go to Jones-Drew, running him two times for a first down into Patriot territory. Then the playcalling would become conservative. Two more runs produced nothing, and would set up a third and long at the 46 yard line.

    "In that spot I knew we had the best kicker in football in the wings. We didn't need a first down, we just needed some yards," Dunlap said.

    So instead of something downfield the Jaguars would let the clock tick down and line up with under 20 seconds to go. Garrard would drop back and find Warrick Dunn 8 yards upfield for a completion that would put the ball at the 38 yard line. Hardly a chip shot, but the stage was nevertheless set for Bironas. Yes he has a big leg, but never in his life had he attempted a kick like this, with so much on the line. The ball was spotted it was down. . .

    "When I connected with it I just knew. I didn't even watch it in the air, I started celebrating like a little kid!"

    Bironas' mammoth 55 yard field goal was good and Jacksonville had won one of the most thrilling playoff football games in history. The Jaguars, a franchise that has wallowed in mediocrity for the nearly two decades it has existed, got the win that perhaps will propel them to the next level.

    Even if it doesn't, that kick propelled them to the Divisional Playoffs where they have a date next week with their hated rivals, the Indianapolis Colts.



    Total Yards- 339
    Passing- 111
    Rushig- 130
    Time of Possession- 20:01
    3rd Down- 8/13
    Turnovers- 2

    NEW ENGLAND (12-5)
    Total Yards- 396
    Passing- 249
    Rushig- 14
    Time of Possession- 11:59
    3rd Down- 2/7
    Turnovers- 3


    D. Garrard- 15/21, 119 yards, 1 INT
    M. Jones Drew- 25 carries for 85 yards
    G. Jones- 2 carries for 2 yards, 2 TD
    M. Lewis- 3 receptions for 30 yards

    A. Walter- 17/27, 249 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT
    F. Taylor- 7 carries for 4 yards
    L. Maroney- 3 carries for 4 yards, 1 TD
    W. Welker- 5 receptions for 52 yards


    *Need to note that Gaddy disconnected during this game. . .he was up at the time 21-0 but I had the ball and was driving. We restarted and we agreed to let him get off to a 7-0 lead and still get the ball 1st in the second half. I also agreed that he could call a restart at anytime in the 1st half of our second game if he wanted. It is really unfortunate and I feel for him. . .if I had disconnected I just would have let him have the win, but things like this happen. Without it we wouldn't have had this EPIC playoff game!*
  2. Claven

    Claven OMFL-Redskins

    Oct 8, 2009
    Great right up and congrats on your win. I think there will be alot of great games this season in the playoffs.
  3. coachgaddy

    coachgaddy Mega 49ers, OMFL Pats

    Sep 22, 2009
    Patriots dominant on all levels in the first game but PSN kicked me out near the end of the 1st half. By that time everything was exposed and it was a big emotional drain. The second game was the complete opposite of the first as I really could not get into the same rhythm.

    GG GL the rest of the way.
  4. joseph201105

    joseph201105 OMFL- Oakland Raiders

    Jan 2, 2010

    Whats up with the network kicking people always in the second Q? I dont get it and it bugs a lot. One monre thing no chanllenges huh? Is that cause of the glitch? You know if u challenge a play and hit X the whole time it wont freeze just thought I would share that.
  5. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

    Oct 8, 2009
    Forgot to quote, but yes, Joseph, the reason our league is a no challenge league is because of the bug.
  6. mustang20241

    mustang20241 Walk On

    Sep 24, 2009
    wow GG

    sucks Gaddy, that may have been a totally different game!! but nonetheless I'm glad I dont have to see you.
  7. natedawg212000

    natedawg212000 New Orleans Saints

    Jul 29, 2009
    Joseph its the glitch that causes the games to d/c, not freeze.
  8. BRUCE80

    BRUCE80 Let the dirt just shower over you..

    Feb 11, 2009
    Great write up, dramatic ending to a very good close game.

    Fun to read stuff like this, congrats on the win and tough loss NE.
  9. maij17

    maij17 PSN: MAIJ17

    Oct 8, 2009
    congrats dunlap, missing you in SD gaddy
  10. cadepetty247

    cadepetty247 Walk On

    Aug 7, 2009
    dang gaddy...sounds like a good game guys
  11. bigox1337

    bigox1337 Walk On

    Oct 8, 2009
    Gaddy's "man friend" Tom Brady was seen on the sideline cheering his team to the victory.

  12. bigox1337

    bigox1337 Walk On

    Oct 8, 2009
    ...no wonder he lost.
  13. TRudethaDude

    TRudethaDude Walk On

    Jul 8, 2009
    damn gaddy what a heart breaking way to lose. Referring to the game disconnecting while dominating. nice writeup for this game dunlap

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