The Patriots reach into their bag of tricks, hit a flea flicker for a touchdown

Shutdown Corner

The New England Patriots always seem to have the right play call for the right moment.

A couple years ago, Julian Edelman’s receiver pass to Danny Amendola was a huge turning point in a comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens in a divisional round game. The Patriots got tricky again in Sunday’s 36-17 AFC championship victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Tom Brady handed off to Dion Lewis, who turned and pitched it back to Brady. The handoff to Lewis froze the Steelers’ secondary, and Chris Hogan ran free to the end zone for a wide-open 34-yard touchdown.

It was a great call, and great execution by Hogan to act like he was blocking and then turn on the speed on a deep route. It gave the Patriots a 17-6 lead. Hogan had seven catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns after that catch, and it was just the second quarter. He finished with 180 yards on nine catches.

The Patriots went 14-2 in the regular season, and were clearly one of the best teams in football. But it doesn’t hurt to have a well-timed trick play every once in a while.

Chris Hogan caught a flea flicker touchdown from Tom Brady against the Steelers. (AP)
Chris Hogan caught a flea flicker touchdown from Tom Brady against the Steelers. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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