Patriots Survive Jaguars 23-16

Mike DussaultSenior Analyst IDecember 23, 2012

The Patriots overcame another slow start and another double digit deficit to dispatch the Jaguars,23-16.

Tom Brady threw two interceptions in the first quarter, and never truly found his rhythm, but the Pats made enough plays to hang one for the win.

The Jags put up 202 yards in the first quarter, gashing the Patriots defense through the air, but the Patriots flashed a little of the good ole' "Bend Don't Break" and held them to field goals after the two Brady interceptions.

The Jags also missed a field goal after taking a 7-0 lead on a Justin Blackmon touchdown.

The Patriots offense has come out flat for a second week in a row, but once again Danny Woodhead and Wes Welker proved to be the sparks that got the offense rolling, with Woodhead putting up the touchdown to tie it just before the half.

The Jags couldn't put together their early game magic together again to start the second half, but their defense held Tom Brady and the Patriots offense in check inside the red zone.

The Patriots finally broke through early in the fourth quarter, with Wes Welker's 2-yard touchdown reception putting the Pats up by ten.

But the Jaguars were driving at the end of the fourth quarter, down only by a touchdown, when Chandler Jones came through in a big way with a sack that forced an interception. He added another pressure on the next third down that forced an incompletion. Jones had been quiet since returning from an ankle injury so this is a positive sign for him to come through in two big spots.

Patrick Chung sealed the game with an interception in the Patriots end zone as the clock expired. Chung's two interceptions are huge for him. He's struggled and been hurt for most of the year. His good game could be one to build on for him.

The Patriots now wait to see if Cleveland can pull an upset of Denver to propel the Pats back into the second seed. And with the Texans losing to the Vikings the Patriots are just a half game behind them for the other bye.

They'll close the season out at home next Sunday at 1pm EST against the Dolphins.