Former Patriots receiver, Danny Amendola, announced his retirement on Monday. But Pats fans will always remember why he earned the nickname Danny Playoffs.
On Monday afternoon, former Patriot Danny Amendola announced he would retire from the NFL after a 13-year career.
After leaving the Patriots in 2018, Amendola spent a season with the Dolphins before moving on to the Lions for two years. He finished his career with the Texans, playing eight games for them during the 2021 season.
Although it’s been five years since he last played for New England, Amendola will likely always be remembered most for his time there.
Amendola’s stats with New England from 2013-2017:
- Regular season: played in 69 games
Postseason: played in 13 games
- Regular season: 230/327 receptions for 70.3 catch%
Postseason: 57/81 receptions for 70.4 catch%
- Regular season: 2,383 yards
Postseason: 709 yards
- Regular season: 12 touchdowns
Postseason: 6 touchdowns
His regular season stats are not groundbreaking, but he became a fixture in Patriots history by earning the trust of Tom Brady through his incredible postseason performances.
2014 Divisional Playoffs vs Baltimore Ravens
The 2014 postseason had many iconic moments, the most important being the Patriots’ Super Bowl win after a 10-year drought. But their first game against the Ravens contains likely the most remembered play of Amendola’s career.
The game was back-and-forth all night long, with the Patriots needing to overcome two 14-point deficits against a very tough Ravens team.
The Patriots were able to accomplish that, with the second of the gaps being tied by the infamous Edelman to Amendola pass for a touchdown.
The score tied the game at 28-28 and New England went on to win 34-31. If not for this play, the Patriots would have struggled to keep the game within reach.
Amendola ended the game with 5/6 receptions for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns. And this would be the first of many games that earned him the “Danny Playoffs” moniker.
Super Bowl XLIX vs Seattle Seahawks
In one of their most difficult Super Bowl battles yet, Brady knew he could rely on Amendola when the team needed a big turnaround.
Midway through the 4th quarter, when New England was trailing Seattle 24-14, Amendola made a crucial catch in the back of the endzone, creating the path to erasing their 10-point deficit. This play inevitably led to the Patriots scoring once again to take the lead, and we know how that game eventually ended.
His stats for this game were not spectacular; 5/7 receptions for 48 yards and one touchdown, but when the game was on the line and Brady needed one of his most clutch players to make a play, he did just that.
Super Bowl LI vs Atlanta Falcons
If there was ever a game where the Patriots needed to step up and get the job done, Super Bowl 51 was that game.
Several moments throughout that night stand out, and Amendola owns a handful of them himself.
At the start of their comeback when down 28-3 in the third quarter, Amendola made a pivotal catch on 4th and 3 to give the offense a new set of downs. This play helped lead the team down the field to finally score their first touchdown of the game.
As the offense continued to steamroll through the Falcons, scoring another touchdown with less than a minute to go in the game, Brady turned to one of his most trusted players to convert on a 2-point conversion. Despite being hit right as he crossed the goal line, Amendola made the conversion to tie the game 28-28, forcing the first overtime Super Bowl in NFL history.
He would go on to make a big catch in the extra quarter, helping New England to eventually get the win and earn their 5th Lombardi.
2017 AFC Championship Games vs Jacksonville Jaguars
In what would be his last postseason run with the Patriots, Amendola racked up impressive numbers in all three games played; totaling 26/33 receptions for 348 yards and 2 touchdowns.
After they demolished the Titans in the divisional round (where Amendola had 11 receptions for 112 yards), they went on to play the Jaguars in the AFCCG.
The Patriots once again found themselves in the hole, trailing in the 4th quarter down 20-10. This is where Amendola helped lead the comeback when he made a big-time catch on 3rd and 18 from their own 25-yard line. The conversion led to a touchdown, and the Patriots were finally within range of winning.
One of the biggest catches of Amendola’s career happened next, with less than three minutes left in the game. It was 2nd and goal and Brady entrusted his guy with the pass, and ‘Dola made the catch on his tip-toes at the back of the endzone. This put the team up 24-20, and after Stephon Gilmore’s big pass-breakup, the Patriots went on to win and head to Super Bowl 52.
That Super Bowl would be Amendola’s last game in New England. And although they couldn’t get the job done, he once again put up an impressive performance, tallying 8/11 receptions for 152 yards.
It has been a handful of years since he suited up in a Patriots uniform, but New England fans will always be thankful for all of the incredible moments Amendola made for the team. Some of the most memorable highlights of the last decade happened with his help, and he will always be remembered here as one of the most clutch postseason performers ever.