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Jaguars DE Dante Fowler Jr.: We expected to beat Patriots

Ryan Hannable
September 16, 2018 - 8:43 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With all the chatter leading into it, it was clear Sunday's AFC title game rematch between the Patriots and Jaguars was a statement game for Jacksonville.

The home team jumped out to a 14-0 lead and really never looked back in its 31-20 win over the defending AFC champs.

While it was a different attitude in the locker room after the win than during the week, as there was a sense that they didn't just win the Super Bowl, but it was clear the game mattered a lot to them.

“We expected to win this," defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. said. "We turned the page. We understand that if we won this game we’re not going to the Super Bowl, so [we] just wanted to make a nice statement for them. If they have to see us again, they know what time it is and we’re just ready for next week against Tennessee.”

Related: Watch every Patriots game live online this season at fuboTV

Defensive lineman Malik Jackson flat-out called it a statement game.

“Yeah, I think it was [a statement game] for us because we were underdogs," he said. "Nobody really believed in us once again. They thought they were going to come in here and steam-roll us. So for us, it was a statement game for people to recognize us, especially at 4:25. The league has to give us Thursday night games. That is the only game we get primetime, so for us this year doing this, it was huge.”

As for what the difference was from last January? 

“Great coaching plan," he said. "Coach [Todd] Walsh did a great job of studying this job all offseason and we did a great job of locking in. That is really what beat them, us locking in and being focused for four quarters.”

The two teams are certainly among the best in the AFC and it would not be a surprise to see them meet again.

Related: 10 quick thoughts from frustrating loss