Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Amendola Becomes a Champion; Former Rams Receiver Catches a Touchdown Pass as Patriots Rally; SUPER BOWL XLIX

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Amendola Becomes a Champion; Former Rams Receiver Catches a Touchdown Pass as Patriots Rally; SUPER BOWL XLIX

Article excerpt

GLENDALE, ARIZ. * In four seasons as a Ram, wide receiver Danny Amendola was part of teams that finished 17-46-1. None of those squads won more than seven games.

But as of now, he's on top of the world a Super Bowl champion after New England's dramatic 28-24 victory over Seattle at University of Phoenix Stadium.

"It's an amazing moment," Amendola said. "We work so hard throughout the year, offseason included. We've been dealing with a lot of adversity throughout the whole year regardless of what it was on or off the field. It feels good to be the best, for sure."

Amendola, a forgotten man for much of the year with the Patriots, played a big role in Sunday's victory. He finished with five catches for 48 yards. Four of those catches were in the first half, but the fifth helped spark New England's comeback from a 24-14 deficit.

Lining up in the slot, he got behind Seattle cornerback Byron Maxwell and then caught a Tom Brady pass in front of free safety Earl Thomas in the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown with 7 minutes, 55 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

The touchdown cut the Seattle lead to 24-21.

"I was the second read on that play," Amendola said. "Tom did a great job. I think he moved up in the pocket for a second and then got it there. That was huge."

Brandon LaFell was the first read.

"(LaFell) was coming underneath me, and then I was getting behind him in the back," Amendola said. "It was a play that was drawn up. We had it in all week, or (for) two weeks, and we knew it would work."

After catching just 11 passes in the first 12 games of the 2014 season, Amendola had 27 receptions over the final seven games encompassing the final four regular-season games and the team's three postseason games.

He had three TD catches in the playoffs this year, tying tight end Rob Gronkowski for the team lead.

GRAY SITS

Running back Jonas Gray, who led the Patriots in rushing during the regular season albeit with a mere 412 yards was among the pregame inactives for New England. …

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