Hogan’s 2 Touchdowns, 180 Receiving Yards Lead Patriots to Super Bowl LI
Monday, January 23, 2017
"This didn't start at 6:40 tonight. This thing started in April. It really started before that in free agency when we were picking up guys like [Chris] Hogan and drafting guys like Malcolm Mitchell and guys who were in rehab like LG [LeGarrette Blount] and D-Lew [Dion Lewis] and Dev [James Develin] and Nate [Solder]. It's a lot of hard work. There are only two teams left standing and I'm happy we're one of them. That's what our goal is and it's nice to be able to achieve that," said Patritos quarterback Tom Brady after the game.
The Patriots beat the Steelers 36-17 in the AFC Championship on Sunday night at Gillette Stadium to advance to Super Bowl LI in Houston to face Atlanta.
"It was a good day. I mean, we're going to the Super Bowl, man sh_t. You've got to be happy now," Brady added.
Patriots Roll in Second Half
Leading 17-9 at the half at the half, the Patriots all but put the game away in the third quarter, outscoring the Steelers 16-0 in the period.
New England got a 47-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski on their first possession to take a 20-9 lead.
After the defense force a Pittsburgh punt, Tom Brady handed the ball to LeGarrette Blount for a one yard touchdown run to give the Patriots a 27-9 lead with 2:44 left in the third quarter.
On Pittsburgh's ensuing offensive possession, Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy forced a fumble that was recovered by Rob Ninkovich at the Pittsburgh 28 yard line, giving the Patriots offense the ball back. The turnover was the first of the game by either team.
On the Patriots ensuing possession, Brady hit Julian Edelman on a 10 yard touchdown pass to put the Patriots up 33-9 after Gostkowski missed the extra point. The touchdown was set up by a LeGarrette Blount in which he carried half of the Steelers defense with him, nearly into the endzone.
On carry-the-pile run by LeGarrette Blount to set up TD, right tackle Marcus Cannon and Co. made like bulldozer to help push Blount forward.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) January 23, 2017
Gostkowski would add a field goal to give the Patriots up 36-9 to seal the game.
The Steelers added a late touchdown.
Patriots Jump Ahead Early
With the Patriots leading 10-0 in the second quarter, Pittsburgh’s DeAngelo Williams took a hand off from Ben Roethlisberger and ran five yards into the end zone to cut the Patriots lead to four, 10-6 after Steelers kicker Chris Boswell missed the extra point.
On the Patriots ensuing possession, the Patriots used eight plays to get down to the Pittsburgh 34 yard line. On the ninth play of the drive, Brady took a flea-flicker from Dion Lewis and fired it 34 yards to the right side to Chris Hogan for a touchdown. The Patriots would go up 17-6 after a Gostkowski extra point was good.
"They were a little winded I thought. Got the pitch back from D-Lew [Dion Lewis] and I saw Hogs [Chris Hogan] burning up the field and just laid it out there for him. It was a great play," Brady said on the play.
With the touchdown, Hogan became only the second player in the 2017 post season to have two touchdowns and 100 yards receiving in a half. The other player is Antonio Brown.
Press-box announcement: First-ever multiple-TD game for WR Chris Hogan (regular season or playoffs).— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) January 23, 2017
Pittsburgh would kick a field goal before the half to cut the Patriots lead to 17-9 at the half.
Hogan led all receivers with 180 yards on nine catches while Julian Edelman hauled in eight catches for 118 yards and a touchdown.
"He's been incredible. I mean, to lead the league in average yards per catch is spectacular. He's made big plays for us all season, he made big plays in the biggest game of the year for us," Brady said about Hogan.
Brady completed 32 of 42 passes for 384 yards and three touchdowns.
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LeGarrette Blount Leaps Over a Dolphins Player
LeGarrette Blount took a toss from rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett and proceeded to make an Olympic hurdle type leap over Dolphins' defensive back Byron Maxwell and pick up the first down
Blount ran for 123 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.
Garoppolo Dominates Miami
In the Patriots home opener against the rival Miami Dolphins, Garoppolo was dominant, completing 18 of 27 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns, including this one to Danny Amendola.
Garoppolo would get injured just before halftime and the Patriots would hold on to win 31-24.
Hightower's big hit on Browns quarterback Cody Kessler knocked him out of the game. The next week, Hightower would sack Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in the end zone for a safety and change the momentum of that game.
So far this season, Hightower has 1.5 sacks, one safety, 14 solo tackles and one pass defensed in six games played.
Tom Brady Plays First Game Back at Gillette
Brady made his return to the Patriots in the previous game on the road against Cleveland, but his first game back at Gillette Stadium came against the Bengals.
Brady hit running back James White for his first touchdown pass of the day and New England won 35-17.
He finished the game completing 29 of 35 passes for 376 yards and three touchdowns.
Gronkowski Injured on Hit by Seattle's Earl Thomas
Near the end of the 2nd quarter of the Patriots game against Seattle, Earl Thomas hit Rob Gronkowski square in the chest. Just two weeks later, it would be announced that Gronkowski would be out for the season.
The Patriots lost to Seattle 31-24
Brady Nearly Fumbles Against Jets, Throws Touchdown to Mitchell
Trailing 10-3 and on the Jets five-yard line, Brady fumbled the snap picked it up and found Malcolm Mitchell in the back of the end zone for a touchdown to tie the game at ten following a Gostkowski extra point.
The Patriots would go on to win 22-17.
Shea McClellin Blocks Ravens Field Goal
The Ravens threatened to take the lead, 3-2, midway through the first quarter on a field goal attempt by kicker Justin Tucker, but New England's Shea McClellin jumped over the center and got the block. The Patriots offense scored a touchdown on their ensuing possession to take a 9-0 lead.
The Patriots would go on to win the game 30-23.
Blount Breaks Curtis Martin's Record for Rushing TDs in a Season
Running back LeGarrette Blount recorded his 15th rushing touchdown of the season in the Patriots win over Denver. With the score, he passed Curtis Martin for most rushing touchdowns in a season.
The Patriots beat Denver 16-3 to clinch AFC East.
McCourty's Hit on DeMaryius Thomas
On a fourth and 2, Devin McCourty put an end to Denver's come come back hopes with this hit on DeMaryius Thomas that forced him to drop the ball.
Had Thomas made the catch, the Broncos would have likely scored on the drive, making the final minutes a little more nervewracking.
Matt Lengel Catches First Touchdown Pass
Lengel came over to the Patriots from the Bengals practice squad and had never caught a touchdown pass in his career.
Already up 13-0, Tom Brady hit Lengel over the middle for an 18-yard touchdown pass to give the Patriots a 20-0 lead. It was Lengel's first catch, first target, and first touchdown.
The Patriots would go on to beat the Jets 41-3.
Michael Floyd's Block on Lippitt to Spring Edelman Against Miami
Michael Floyd's block on Miami's Tony Lippit to spring Julian Edelman's 77 yard touchdown is one of the greatest blocks in Patriots history.
The Patriots beat the Dolphins 35-14 to clinch the top seed in the AFC heading into the playoffs.
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