The Patriots and Jaguars met in the AFC Championship Game once before, with New England defeating Jacksonville 20-6 on Jan. 12, 1997.
Drew Bledsoe was the Patriots’ starting quarterback in that game, and he’ll serve as New England’s honorary captain this Sunday when the teams square off at Gillette Stadium with a trip to Super Bowl LII on the line.
“Drew Bledsoe played such an integral role in our efforts to rebuild the Patriots,” Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a press release Friday announcing Bledsoe as New England’s honorary captain for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game. “He gave fans hope for the future by providing many memorable moments during his record-breaking career. For a franchise that had only hosted one playoff game in its first 35 years, winning the AFC Championship Game at home in Foxboro and taking the Patriots to the playoffs for three consecutive years were unimaginable goals prior to his arrival.”
Bledsoe, drafted first overall in 1993, spent nine seasons with the Patriots before being traded to the Buffalo Bills after New England won its first Super Bowl title in 2001 with Tom Brady under center.
Bledsoe will accompany the Patriots’ captains at midfield for the coin toss before this Sunday’s game.