February 5, 2008

THE DANGER OF READING YOUR OWN PRESS CLIPPINGS:

Cause to kick themselves? (Mike Reiss, 2/05/08, Boston Globe)

The options seemed clear:
# Attempt a field goal of 48-49 yards.
# Go for it, figuring that even a completed pass short of the first down serves a similar purpose to a punt.
# Punt or pooch punt, with the idea of pinning the Giants inside their 10.

The percentages, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, indicate that Belichick and his staff should have sent kicker Stephen Gostkowski on to try a field goal.

NFL teams that went for it on fourth and 13 or longer this season were 4 of 22. There were three running plays and 19 passing plays - none of the runs made it and only four passes were successful. Overall, that's an 18.2 percent success rate.

On the flip side, kickers were 88 of 158 on field-goal attempts of that distance (approximately 47 yards) or longer, for a 55.7 success rate.

The Patriots went for it, and the play didn't have a chance.


It doesn't happen often, but Bill Belichick was thoroughly outcoached by another Bill Parcells acolyte.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 5, 2008 8:57 AM
Comments

One problem was that the Pats coaches seemed to believe all the hype about how the Giants had given it "their all" in the week 17 matchup. Sure, the Giants players went all out in that game, but the Giants coaches showed the Pats very little. The Pats however thought that was the best they'd see in the Superbowl.

Pats fans should've known it was all over when Belichick spent the whole 2nd quarter hunched on all fours on the sideline with his defense trying to make adjustments to stop the Giants. That look on his face then was fear.

That the Pats somehow stayed in the game, and almost pulled it out, despite being thoroughly outplayed and outcoached was a testament to the luck that's followed them this whole season.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 5, 2008 9:35 AM

He was thoroughly outcoached on Sunday but through their first 18 games New England's average margin of victory was 18.6 points, which might be a record. I felt they were only lucky against the Ravens, a game they definitely should have lost, and against the Chargers, who might have taken them had they been at full strength.

The Giant's whole season turned on the third game against the Redskins. Had they lost that one they'd have been 0-3 and Coughlin probably would have been gone before the end of the year.

Posted by: George at February 5, 2008 12:15 PM
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