FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- There are so many layers to dissect and analyze from Super Bowl LI, and there’s still more time to do it. With film review almost complete, here is one storyline that I think warranted more attention: The Patriots asked more of receiver Danny Amendola than any game this season, and he responded with his best performance.
Consider some of these points:
Amendola averaged 22.1 snaps per game during the regular season when he was active, usually as the No. 4 receiver. He played a season-high 45 in Super Bowl LI, as he was part of more three-receiver sets than the norm. For more context, Amendola played 21 against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC title game and had the same number of plays against the Houston Texans in the divisional round.
Amendola’s season high for receptions in a game was four, which came in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins. He finished Super Bowl LI with eight catches for 78 yards, with one touchdown and one successful two-point conversion. He also drew a defensive holding penalty. He finished the regular season with 23 catches for 243 yards.
Amendola had a 17-yard catch on fourth-and-3 in the third quarter, and he was the player the team trusted with the ball in his hands on the game-tying two-point conversion. That speaks volumes about the confidence coaches and teammates have in him.
In an appearance on “The Jimmy Kimmel Show” earlier this week, Amendola talked about the two-point conversion with 58 seconds remaining in regulation.
“I actually knew the play-call before we even ran the play, and we were running the guys on the field for certain personnel, and what they were doing defensively and matching up with us defensively throughout the game. I knew it was coming, and it was just a matter of executing," Amendola said on the show.
Asked if nerves played a role, Amendola said, “I ain’t got time for that.”
It certainly showed, as Amendola delivered when the Patriots needed him most.