Two weeks ago I wrote a post expressing my concerns about the lack of aggression displayed by the Patriots offense. You’d think they would go out the window after a 52-28 win in which New England became just the second team in NFL history to have a pair of 100 yard rushers and a pair of 100 yard receivers on the same day. Their 45 second half points were also the most in any NFL game since 1972.
But in the first half they trailed 14-7, and the way the Pats handled their final possession was troubling to me. With 1:11 to go they had a 1st and 10 on their own 4 yard line. Ridley ran for 9 yards, then again for 5 yards, and New England let the clock run out. If you’ve got an offense capable of scoring 6 straight touchdowns in one of the most prolific halves the league has seen in 40 years, why not try to put up some points in that situation? Even after the two rushing plays they still had close to 30 seconds left, plenty of time to throw the ball downfield a few times. How do you not at least take a shot?
I have a fundamental issue with this in football; when teams kneel down and kill the clock on their own side of the field at the end of the half. I don’t care how much time is left, or how far you have to go. Unless you are literally throwing the ball out of your own end zone, I think on any given play there is always a greater chance that the offense is going to score than the defense. If anyone out there can actually come up with data to suggest otherwise, please enlighten me.
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