LUBBOCK, Texas – After New England's divisional round victory last weekend, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski tabbed former Texas Tech wide receiver Danny Amendola simply as "Danny Playoffs."
Amendola lived up to that nickname once again Sunday afternoon as he caught two fourth-quarter touchdowns, including the game-winner, as New England advanced to its second-straight Super Bowl with a 24-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium.
"(Returning to the Super Bowl) means a lot," Amendola told CBS' Jim Nantz immediately after the win. "We put a lot of hard work into each week of the season and coming out here and getting a win each week. We love playing at home. We love being in Foxboro."
Amendola hauled in seven catches for 84 yards in the win, possibly none more important than his four-yard touchdown grab in the back of the end zone with 2:48 remaining in the game. Tom Brady waited patiently in the pocket until he found Amendola streaking across the back of the end zone for his third playoff touchdown already this year.
Both of Amendola's two touchdown receptions came in the final quarter as Brady previously connected with Amendola on a nine-yard strike over the middle to cut into what was a 10-point deficit with just over eight minutes remaining.
Over two playoff games already this year, Amendola now has 18 catches for 196 yards and three touchdowns as the Patriots are heading to the Super Bowl for the 10th time in franchise history. It will be the third Super Bowl appearance in Amendola's illustrious pro career.
Amendola will be joined at the Super Bowl by fellow Red Raider La'Adrian Waddle, who was inactive for Sunday's victory after suffering an injury in New England's divisional win over the Tennessee Titans. Waddle earned his first career playoff start against the Titans before leaving with a leg injury in the third quarter.