"He deserves it. Tom's a great, clutch player with tremendous poise, vision, accuracy," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "So, 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. No quarterback I'd rather have than Tom Brady."
Brady tied the mark on a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski on a slant route with 8:16 remaining in the third quarter. The Patriots threw another touchdown pass just 2:20 later in the third quarter, but it was wide receiver Julian Edelman connecting with Amendola on a trick play for a 51-yard score.
In the first half, Brady moved past Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for the most passing yards in postseason history on a 15-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Danny Amendola. Brady surpassed Manning's 6,589 passing yards in the postseason. Manning and the Broncos host the Indianapolis Colts in the divisional round Sunday.
Saturday's win was the 20th for Belichick in the postseason, tying him with Tom Landry for the most in NFL playoff history. Belichick deflected talk of the record, and instead credited the team for rallying from two 14-point deficits to keep the team's season alive.
"After this weekend we'll be one of four teams still playing," Belichick said. "It will be an honor to be in the AFC Championship Game this year, but yeah, it was a wild game. But I'm just thankful that our players hung in there and made the plays they needed to make to get us a victory. Hopefully we can build on that and coach better next week and play better next week."