FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — As Tom Brady completed his 19th victory in 27 postseason games, he set records along the way.
Brady threw three touchdown passes, raising his career postseason total to 46. That passed Joe Montana (45) and Brett Favre (44) for the most in NFL history. Montana played 23 postseason games, Favre 24.
With 367 yards — a franchise record for the postseason — Brady raised his postseason total to 6,791 to pass Peyton Manning (6,589) for the all-time lead. Manning is playing Sunday as the Broncos host the Colts in an AFC Divisional Playoff game.
With the Patriots trailing by two touchdowns in the first quarter, Brady ran for a 4-yard touchdown run. That was his fifth postseason rushing touchdown, tying him with Curtis Martin for most in franchise history. Martin compiled his touchdowns in three playoff games in 1996, while Brady has spread his touchdowns over 27 games. Brady has 14 regular season rushing touchdown, but none since 2012.
"Tom's a great clutch player with tremendous poise, vision, accuracy," coach Bill Belichick said. "He's done it with a lot of different receivers, a lot of different situations, against a lot of different defenses. I think that speaks to his greatness and his ability to perform consistently under pressure. There's no quarterback I'd rather have than Tom Brady."
Danny, Boy Does He Deliver
Danny Amendola was signed as Wes Welker's replacement last year — an expensive replacement, inking a five-year, $31 million deal. But as Julian Edelman emerged as Tom Brady's primary target and Amendola managed to catch just 27 passes this year, the signee was labeled a bust.
But in the biggest game of the season, Amendola stepped up. He had two touchdown receptions and compiled 81 yards.
"He played great today," Belichick said. "He's a guy who's been a real good player all year, real competitive. Nobody works harder in practice. He's made some huge plays for us. … Can't say enough about him, works hards, really works hard. Tough."
Amendola was on the receiving end of a pass from fellow receiver Edelman, who threw a 51-yard touchdown pass. It's a play the Patriots have practiced all season, but the coaching staff finally pulled it out of the playbook.
"You've got to unload everything you've got to win against a team like that, the Baltimore Ravens," Amendola said. "Our coaches, they've got the aggressiveness to call that. … We hit it in practice a couple times. Practice execution becomes game reality. We saw it in practice, we did it right, and we were able to do it again."
Edelman played quarterback in college at Kent State, but he had not thrown a pass in the NFL before Saturday. His last pass in a game came on Nov. 28, 2008, when Kent State was playing Buffalo.
Running back Jonas Gray, New England's leading rusher in the regular season, was among the inactives Saturday. Gray rushed for 201 yards in Week 11, but the Patriots signed LeGarrette Blount and Gray lost playing time before injuring his ankle late in the season. The injury has reportedly lingered. … Starting center Bryan Stork injured his knee and left the game in the first half. Guard Ryan Wendell shifted to center and Josh Kline replaced him at guard. … Ravens receiver Steve Smith, appearing in his 11th postseason game, surpassed 1,000 yards receiving with a catch in the first half. Smith entered the game with 957 career receiving yards. He is in his first season with Baltimore after 13 seasons with the Carolina Panthers. ... Belichick tied Tom Landry for the all-time NFL lead with his 20th postseason win, and he will coach in his ninth conference title game next week. Only Landry (10) has coached in more conference championship games. … The comeback from the 14-point deficit was the largest by the Patriots in the postseason. The previous high was an 11-point comeback at San Diego in a 24-21 win on Jan. 14, 2007. … Brady has seven 300-yard passing games in the playoffs, second to Manning's nine as the all-time NFL leader. … The last touchdown pass by a non-quarterback for the Patriots: kicker Adam Vinatieri's 4-yard touchdown pass to Troy Brown on Nov. 7, 2004. … Patriots owner Robert Kraft has 22 postseason victories, tying him with former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartalo Jr. for fourth-most in NFL history. The Rooney family (Steelers) lead with 33, followed by the Green Bay Packers Inc. (30) and the Mara family (Giants, 24).