FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Danny Amendola looked like he was sliding toward obscurity for the New England Patriots this season.

In six of the team’s first 12 games, the wide receiver wasn’t targeted a single time by Tom Brady. He hadn’t gained more than 35 yards in a game and produced just one touchdown. He was slightly busier in the final four games, with 16 catches, but his final totals of 27 receptions for a paltry 200 yards were head-scratchingly low.

Still, when Amendola was needed most in last weekend’s 35-31 playoff victory against the Baltimore Ravens, he responded with five catches, 81 yards and two touchdowns. It was his biggest performance in his two seasons in New England and one more thing the Indianapolis Colts will have to worry about Sunday in the AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium.

“You want to make as many plays as you can just to help your team to get points on the board. If that happens, you’re going to naturally gain confidence,” Amendola said.

Amendola took a short pass 15 yards to the end zone in the first half against Baltimore and was on the receiving end of the most talked-about play of the game – a 51-yard scoring pass lofted by fellow wide receiver Julian Edelman. The TDs enabled New England to tie the score after trailing by 14 points.

The 29-year-old Texan also returned five kickoffs for 125 yards.

“I love playing special teams,” Amendola said. “It’s like ‘Braveheart’ sometimes but it’s a lot of fun. I love every aspect of football so getting out on the field is fun for me.”

Amendola, who came to the Patriots after four seasons with the St. Louis Rams, also showed durability this year. It was only his second season appearing in all 16 games in a career that’s been dogged by injuries. The previous time he did so, in 2010, he caught 85 passes and scored three touchdowns.

So to finish with only 27 receptions this year was perplexing.

It didn’t seem to faze Amendola, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said, calling his big playoff game “a wonderful example of being ready when your number’s called, and producing and coming through for the team in a pressure situation.”

Brandon LaFell, the newcomer at wide receiver this year for the Patriots, said Amendola has been an asset in his adaptation to a new offense. LaFell, a fellow Texan, said he’s been following Amendola’s career since his junior year of high school, through his time at Texas Tech and with the Rams.

“When I first got here he was one of the guys I used to ask a lot of questions about the playbook,” said LaFell, who scored the winning touchdown Saturday. “Whenever I had a chance, I just pulled him aside and picked his brain about stuff because you know he’s a great receiver.”

In 2013, Amendola caught 54 passes in 12 games in his first year with the Patriots. His uncle, Bill Goddard of Yarmouth, was among those cheering him on.

Goddard made sure his neighborhood haunt, Pat’s Pizza, replaced Amendola’s autographed Rams jersey with a Patriots edition. He would drive to games, parking at Amendola’s condo, then walking the mile to and from Gillette Stadium.

Amendola is too young to remember the year he spent in Maine as a 2-year-old, when his dad, Willie, coached football at Massabesic High. Uncle Bill is his connection to Maine these days.

Goddard said he was watching last weekend’s game from his couch and was as shocked as anyone by the “double pass” play that produced his nephew’s 51-yard touchdown.

“I sent Danny a text right away and I said, ‘Awesome play, Bub!’ ” Goddard said. “I talked to his dad afterwards and his dad didn’t know that play either. What I gather is there’s a few more secrets coming up this weekend.

“He’s just done wonderful the last few games. He’s just come totally alive.”

Amendola’s touchdowns brought the Gillette Stadium crowd to life as well. The success was a long time coming but it clearly hasn’t gone to Amendola’s head. He was quiet and cautious in his interview with reporters this week, surprised to be the man surrounded by the cameras and microphones.

“We want to be the last team standing. It goes unsaid in this locker room,” he said of the team’s Super Bowl aspirations. “That’s what we’re working for.”