The smartest play of all would've been for Belichick to have allowed the touchdown even earlier. The Patriots certainly could have done so on the play prior to Bradshaw's touchdown run, when he was stopped for a one-yard gain, forcing New England to burn its second timeout. In fact, they probably should have allowed a touchdown as early as the two-minute warning. That’s the point at which the Win Probability of receiving a kickoff down by four or six points (0.23) exceeds the Win Probability of trying to stop the Giants from bleeding the clock dry (0.2). The Patriots would have had almost two minutes, two timeouts, and all four downs available to get a touchdown and steal the win. The lesson: New England didn't lie down soon enough.
Yeah.. I don't buy it. There is no way to guarantee that they do score! Tom Brady has shown a significant dip since 2005 in postseason performance. And that night Brady AND the receivers were just not in sync. Brady mad some bad throws. Some receivers displayed poor ball handling skills, and dropped passes they shouldn't have. Suppose they go 3 and out. Suppose they don't score at all. Or there is a pick 6. Or a fumble. Or ANYTHING!! There is a MILLION possible outcomes after giving up a TD early. And last night, a perfect 2 minute drill was not a likely outcome. If they don't get the score, then this article is about why NOT lying down and allowing points is the smarter choice. Sorry, I disagree with this whole article
@NateWalton Uh, there's no certainty either way. The entire point is that the MOST LIKELY chance to win would be to do x, with x being letting the Giants score earlier. The article doesn't say nor suggest that doing x = Pats win.
One point I think the article as trying to make was that, given that Belichick DID decide to let the Giants score, he should have done so at least one play earlier (on 1st and Goal from the 9). Brady had shown he could drive the team downfield - he had gone 60 yards in 4:36, 96 yards in 3:55, and 79 yards in 3:40, and 48 yards in 5:31 (the last ending in a punt). Certainly there was no guarantee to score, but better to be down 4 with 2:00 or 1:09 and 2 timeouts to drive 80 yards, than likely down 1 with no time. That said, I WAS glad the Giants ended up scoring a TD; so much can go wrong on FGs!