New England Patriots vs Jacksonville Jaguars: AFC Championship Game preview and prediction

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Tom Brady (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Tom Brady (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
FOXBOROUGH, MA – JANUARY 13: Fans display a sign in the AFC Divisional Playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /

Prediction and Preview

The Patriots have a legitimate injury concern with Tom Brady’s hand. However, if it just pain tolerance and not an issue with ligament damage or hindering his ability to throw the football accurately, the Patriots should be fine. Tom Brady is one of the toughest players in the NFL playing through injuries which rarely make it to the public.

Jacksonville is no easy defense to move the ball on and score against. Like the Seattle Seahawks defense (which the scheme is based upon), the Jaguars limit the downfield passing game and use their speedy linebackers to close on receivers in their Cover-3/Man scheme.

On offense, the Jaguars drove through the Steelers time and again last week. They had four drives of 61 or more yards and all four ended with touchdowns. That is the sign of an efficient and confident offense. The Patriots will need to be disciplined on defense and force the Jaguars to kick field goals when they get into the red zone.

It will likely be a close game early but the Patriots should have the firepower to put together drives and put up points. Getting a lead should take some air from the confident Jaguars. IF New England keeps Brady upright and they do not turn the ball over, they should be in good shape to grind out a win while at less than 100%.

Next: Patriots: 3 Keys To Victory vs Jacksonville Jaguars

FINAL SCORE: New England Patriots 27 – Jacksonville Jaguars 13