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Last season’s AFC championship loss was a brutal one for the Jacksonville Jaguars and their fans.
The Jags had the mighty New England Patriots on the ropes, holding a 20-10 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Close call makes big impact on AFC championship
Then their defense did what their defense does. The Patriots ran a trick play that opened up the field for running back Dion Lewis. But Jags linebacker Myles Jack stripped Lewis at the end of a 20-yard gain and started to carry the ball for what looked like an easy touchdown to take a three-possession lead.
Except Jack was ruled down by contact after the strip. Jacksonville retained the ball, but the touchdown chance was thwarted.
New England went on to win, 24-20.
Bitter fans to fly a banner
The game and the play leave a bad taste for many Jacksonville fans who believe a premature whistle cost Jack a touchdown. It was bitter enough for some fans to raise $1,500 to hire a pilot to fly a banner this weekend for Sunday’s Jaguars-Patriots game in Jacksonville that reads “Myles Jack wasn’t down.”
A Jaguars fan site ran the campaign which sought funds via GoFundMe (of course) and met its goal of $1,500 after 11 days.
Fumble one of several critical plays
That one play, of course, did not determine the outcome of the game. Jacksonville played a lot of zone defense in the second half that allowed Tom Brady to find soft spots in the comeback, including a 3rd-and-18 conversion that might be more critical than Jack’s fumble recovery.
When you’re the losing team in that situation, all the plays hurt when thinking back.
”I was just starting to forget about that play,” Jack told the Associated Press last week when asked about the upcoming Patriots game. ”I can’t believe I have to relive that.”
A win Sunday won’t make the pain of the AFC championship go away. But it can go a long way in helping the Jaguars and their fans look forward.
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