Once again, it was Danny Amendola saving his best performances for the big stage. Amendola–having been labeled a bust since signing a big contract in free agency in 2013 to replace Wes Welker and forced to take pay cuts nearly every season to stay on the roster–stepped-up in the playoffs to lead the New England Patriots and all of the playoff participants with 26 receptions for 348 yards and two touchdowns in three games.
In five seasons in New England Amendola has never had more than 65 receptions or 660 yards receiving. His high for touchdowns in a season in four. However, in the playoffs in New England he has 57 catches for 709 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games. When the pressure is the highest, quarterback Tom Brady does not hesitate to look to his trusted slot receiver.
2017 NFL Playoffs
Against Tennessee he had 11 receptions for 112 yards, versus Jacksonville he had seven catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns (and completed a 20-yard pass), and against the Eagles in Super Bowl 52 he had eight receptions for 152 yards and his pass to quarterback Tom Brady should have been a game-changer but clanked off the quarterback’s hands.
Cooks struggled in his first playoff game against Tennessee with just three receptions for 32 yards. However, against Jacksonville he was near unstoppable with six catches for 100 yards and another 60 plus yards in defensive pass interference penalties. He had one catch in the Super Bowl as he was knocked out of the game with a concussion after his 23-yard catch-and-run. His loss had a major impact on the New England Patriots offense in that game.