Eagle-eyed Patriots fans might have noticed similarities between Danny Amendola’s game-winning touchdown catch in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game and a play New England used to win an even bigger game three years ago.
As explained in NFL Films’ “Turning Point,” the play Amendola scored on utilized the same route combination as Julian Edelman’s game-winning touchdown reception in Super Bowl XLIX.
Though there were some slight variations — Amendola’s came off play action, for example, while Edelman’s did not — quarterback Tom Brady’s read was the same on both plays.
Wide receiver Brandin Cooks played Edelman’s role Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, running a pivot route at the goal line. Brady looked Cooks’ way first but saw him covered by cornerback Jalen Ramsey. He then turned his eyes toward the back of the end zone and fired a seed to Amendola, who made an acrobatic play to get both feet down in bounds.
Amendola, who caught two fourth-quarter touchdown passes and converted a third-and-18 during the AFC title game, also scored on the same play during a blowout win over the Jaguars in 2015.
The full breakdown of the touchdown that sent the Patriots to Super Bowl LI begins at the 19:05 mark in the video below.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images