Wes Welker caught 10 passes for 88 yards and a score and Patrick Chung had two interceptions in the fourth quarter to lead New England to a surprisingly difficult win at Jacksonville.
A week after dropping a wild 41-34 decision to San Francisco, the two-touchdown favorite Patriots had trouble getting its No. 1 ranked offense untracked against the Jaguars. But New England got a crucial goal-line stand with under four minutes left, keyed by Chandler Jones' hit on quarterback Chad Henne which led to Chung's first interception. Chung then picked off Henne in the end zone of the game's final play.
Welker had has 18th game of 10 or more receptions to pass Jerry Rice for the NFL record. He added a two-yard score early in the fourth quarter as New England rebounded from a rare December loss.
The Patriots, who are 6-0 all-time against the Jaguars, rallied from an early 10-point deficit to score 20 straight points. Jacksonville (2-13) jumped out to a 10-0 lead as Henne threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to rookie Justin Blackmon and Josh Scobee added a 41-yard field goal.
But New England (11-4) tied the game on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Danny Woodhead with 23 seconds left before the half and it took its first lead of the game on a 38-yard field by Stephen Gostkowski, his third of the game, on their first possession of the second half.
The Patriots made it 23-13 when Brady connected on a short scoring strike to Welker, who had a diving 25-yard reception earlier on the drive before scoring his fifth touchdown of the season.
Game notebook: Brady (24-for-41, 267 yards) extended his streak of throwing at least one touchdown pass in a game to 47 games. ... Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski was inactive. He is still recovering from a broken forearm but has practiced for the past two weeks. ... Henne finished 29-for-51 for 348 yards.