Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are going back to the Super Bowl in search of a sixth title.
They’ll face a Philadelphia Eagles team looking for their first Lombardi Trophy.
Brady led the Patriots (15-3) back from a 10-point Gabe Jackson Jersey , fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 in the AFC championship game Sunday.
Starting his 36th playoff game, Brady shook off an injury to his right hand and the loss of top target Rob Gronkowski to rally the Patriots to their record 10th Super Bowl appearance.
The Patriots will try to match the Pittsburgh Steelers’ six Super Bowl trophies when they face the Eagles (15-3) on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis.
Nick Foles, the backup QB who was thrust into the starting role when Carson Wentz blew out his left knee last month, led the Philadelphia to a 38-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game.
Foles threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns, showing poise and moxie in going 26 for 33.
The Vikings were hoping to become the first NFL team to serve as host to a Super Bowl in its own stadium, but they followed up their ”Minneapolis Miracle ” with a ”Flop in Philly.”
So, they’ll clear out their lockers long before the Eagles and Patriots and their fans take over U.S. Bank Stadium for Super Bowl 52 in two weeks.
Oddsmakers like the chances of Brady winning a sixth Super Bowl ring , making the Patriots nearly a touchdown favorite to beat the Eagles.
The Patriots and Eagles, who last won an NFL title in 1960, several years before the first Super Bowl, met in the Super Bowl after the 2004 season with the Patriots prevailing 24-21.
Hours after Brady’s game-winning 4-yard TD pass to Danny Amendola with 2:48 remaining in Foxborough Julian Edelman Jersey , the Eagles won for the fourth time in five tries under Foles.
It started out ominously, however.
The Vikings celebrated Kyle Rudolph’s 25-yard touchdown catch from Case Keenum on their opening drive by mimicking the Olympic sport of curling for their TD celebration.
It was the Eagles who had all the fun after that.
Patrick Robinson’s spectacular 50-yard interception return got Philadelphia started. Then Foles and his offense tore up the league’s stingiest scoring defense, with long TD throws to Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. LeGarrette Blount had an 11-yard scoring run when things were decided in the first half, and the Eagles were headed to an NFL title game the Vikings (14-4) hoped to be in at their own stadium.
”You know everyone was against us,” Foles said. ”Coming out here and stick together and (we) come away with an amazing victory against a great team.”
Blake Bortles and the stingy Jaguars (12-7) led New England 20-10 early in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hold against the defending champions.
The NFL’s second-ranked defense kept Brady and the Patriots at bay for most of the game, but lost linebacker Myles Jack and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus on consecutive plays on New England’s winning drive.
It was New England’s 13th win in 14 games since their 2-2 start. Their only stumble since September was a 27-20 loss at the Dolphins on Dec. 11.
Brady, wearing a black bandage on his right hand after needing stitches to close a cut that happened on a play during practice earlier in the week, showed no signs of being hampered.
And, with the game – and the season – possibly on the line, the Patriots star came up big again.
”I’ve had a lot worse Riley Dixon Jersey ,” Brady said. ”I didn’t know that on Wednesday. It was a crazy injury. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday was a little scary. Then I started getting some confidence and today we did just enough to win.”
Brady finished 26 of 38 for 290 yards and two touchdowns to Amendola.
It’s the eighth Super Bowl appearance for Brady and coach Bill Belichick, who have won five times – including last year’s 34-28 overtime rally against the Falcons.
”It’s pretty amazing,” Brady said. ”Just to be on a team that wins these kinds of games, it’s just a great accomplishment.”
Shutting down the Utah Jazz offense is proving easier said than done for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
For a second straight game, a late second-quarter surge by Utah carried over into the second half and it allowed the Jazz to pull away for a 113-96 victory Monday night. The Jazz used a 20-3 run spanning the end of the second quarter and the start of the third to break open the game.
Utah takes a 3-1 series lead back to Oklahoma City. Game 5 in the best-of-seven playoff is Wednesday night.
Donovan Mitchell had 33 points and seven rebounds to lead the Jazz to their third straight win in the series. Joe Ingles added 20 points, hitting five 3-pointers.
Mitchell’s willingness to attack the rim put the Thunder on their heels throughout the second half.
”He’s done a good job of getting in there and finishing or dropping it off,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ”It’s an important part of what we do. He’s our most dynamic offensive player.”
Rudy Gobert added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Ricky Rubio chipped in 13 points, eight assists and six boards. Derrick Favors also scored 13.
Paul George had 32 points and Russell Westbrook added 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Thunder, who shot 39 percent from the field.
”I thought we played downhill a lot more Kyle Juszczyk Jersey ,” coach Billy Donovan said. ”I thought we were at the rim a lot more. From there, we probably missed some opportunities to move the ball. I thought our ball movement was sporadic and sometimes it was very good.”
The Thunder opened a 26-19 lead late in the first quarter when Carmelo Anthony capped a string of three straight Oklahoma City baskets with an alley-oop layup. They held onto the lead for much of the second quarter until Utah finally woke up on offense.
Starting with Gobert cutting to the rim for a dunk with 3:45 left in the second quarter, the Jazz scored on 11 straight possessions. Ingles fueled the surge by hitting three consecutive 3s to put Utah in front 58-52 before halftime.
”These guys are great at telling me to shoot it as much as possible within the flow of our team and our offense,” Ingles said.
The surge Ingles kept going finally culminated in another dunk by Gobert that punctuated the decisive 20-3 run that gave Utah a 67-52 lead.
”The whole year, one of the things that we’ve wanted to do collectively is try to generate open shots,” Snyder said. ”You’re not always going to make them, but you want to keep taking them. Eventually, you’re going to make some. We hit some timely ones in the second half.”
The Jazz led by as many as 21 in the third quarter. Utah went up 87-68 when Mitchell drained a jumper and then fed Ingles for a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.
Physical play and heated emotions characterized the game. Both teams picked up two technical fouls before halftime. Jae Crowder was ejected after a technical foul with 5:30 remaining in the fourth quarter.
”That’s just what you’re going to get with a playoff team,” George said. ”It’s playoff basketball. It’s going to get chippy. It’s going to get physical. We’re in it for the fight.”
Thunder: Westbrook finished with his fourth consecutive double-double in the series. … Anthony went just 5 of 18 from the field. … Oklahoma City totaled one assist in the third quarter and finished with 10 for the game. … The Thunder shot 5 of 26 from 3-point range.
Jazz: Ingles is 10 of 21 from 3-point range over his last two games. … Utah forced 15 turnovers. … Royce O’ Neale finished with a career playoff-high nine rebounds. … Rubio is averaging eight assists per game in the series.
WESTBROOK VS. RUBIO
Westbrook publicly promised to shut down Rubio in Game 4 after the Jazz point guard notched a triple-double in Game 3. His aggressiveness ended up with Westbrook drawing four personal fouls in the first half. In the end, Rubio shot just 4 of 12 from the field, but he finished with two fewer assists (eight) than the Thunder tallied as a team.
Following the game Dontae Johnson Jersey , Westbrook did not want to discuss how he guarded Rubio.
”It wasn’t about me or him,” he said. ”Let’s get past that. We done with that.”
Mitchell set a postseason rookie scoring record for the Jazz, passing Karl Malone, who had 31 points on April 20, 1986, against the Mavericks. Mitchell is the first rookie to have a 30-point playoff game since Brandon Jennings did it in 2010. Mitchell is just the third rookie in the last 50 years to score 110-plus points in his first four playoff games, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan.
”It’s definitely an honor to have a record like that,” Mitchell said. ”Definitely an honor. No doubt about that, but we have one more game, so I’m focused on that.”
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