February 6, 2017

THE REMATCH IS LIKELY TO BE A BETTER GAME:

We've Never Seen Anything Like This Patriots Super Bowl Win (Rodger Sherman, Feb. 6th, 2017, The Ringer)

[T]he Patriots scored on their final five possessions (excepting the one-play, three-second "drive" at the end of the second half when they tried a fake QB kneel in an attempt at winning in regulation). And they converted each of their two two-point attempts, which are generally only successful about half of the time. And the Falcons, who had the best offense in football, the league MVP, and an offensive coordinator who earned "genius" and "mastermind" labels all season long, didn't score after the midway mark of the third quarter. They got into scoring range, down to the New England 22-yard line with 3:50 to go and up eight points. Kneeling three times and kicking a field goal would likely have won them the game; instead, the best offense in football lost 23 yards on a tackle for a loss, a sack, and a holding penalty, forcing them to punt.

We can yell at win-probability formulas all we want. But I'm going to stand up for the computer that spit out those ridiculous numbers. Teams up 25 in the third quarter tend to win, and no team had ever blown a lead of more than 10 points in the Super Bowl. The Patriots achieving sudden perfection when there was no margin for error just as the Falcons become completely inept does seem like something that happens roughly 0.3 percent of the time. We won't find out unless they play this Super Bowl another 300 times, but I'd be happy to see them do just that.

Not this Super Bowl, next year's.  

Posted by at February 6, 2017 6:30 AM

  

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