The New England Patriots will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday (Jan. 21), with a return trip to the Super Bowl on the line. The Patriots come into the game as heavy favorites, as they will be playing in their seventh consecutive AFC Championship Game. While the Jaguars run has been nice, the Patriots are a whole different animal, and you can believe that head coach Bill Belichick will have his team ready for the upstart Jags inside Gillette Stadium.

Brady injures his hand

As the Patriots began preparing for the Jaguars, injury struck the one person who cannot afford to miss Sunday's game.

According to USA Today, Tom Brady's right hand was injured during practice, and the injury forced him to miss his time with the media. That led to a firestorm of questions, as Brady was forced to meet with the Patriots' medical staff, instead of meeting with the media. Brady missed practice on Thursday (Jan. 18), fueling more speculation that he could miss the game, but the odds are he will be ready to go when it comes time for the game.

If Brady cannot go this Sunday, the Patriots will have to turn to Brian Hoyer, who was picked up before the trade deadline. Before that deadline, the team traded away backup Jimmy Garoppolo, who went on to win all five games he started for the San Francisco 49ers after the trade.

While Hoyer is a solid backup, he is nowhere near the caliber of quarterback Garoppolo is, though he did tell Zack Cox of NESN he is ready to go if called upon.

A sixth ring

Brady has been one of the best quarterbacks the game has ever seen since filling in for the injured Drew Bledsoe back in 2001, and he is chasing history this postseason.

If the Patriots can get past the Jaguars on Sunday, and then go on and beat the eventual NFC Champion in the Super Bowl, he will win his sixth Super Bowl Ring. Last season, Brady became the only quarterback with five rings, and with a win this season, he would pass Charles Haley as the only player with six Super Bowl rings during their NFL career.

During his time with the Patriots, Brady has led the team to 12 AFC Championship Games in 16 years as a starter. He has not only been very durable during his career, but he has done things that no player did before him. Adding a sixth Super Bowl ring would be the icing on the cake of a career that is certain to land him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot whenever he decides to hang them up. The Patriots need him under center if they want to win it all, and while hand injuries are always tricky, you can never count TB12 out.