Unlike his call on 4th-and-2, very few people disagreed with Bill Belichick's decision to let the Giants score inside the 10 with less than a minute to play. He was right on both calls but Harvard College Sports Analysis Collective does the extra legwork and unveils why the call was a good one and why the Giants should have taken a knee:
But no one knew that his score would decide the game. Before he ran the ball in, the Giants had 0.94 win probability (per Advanced NFL Stats). After the play, the Giants’ win probability dropped to 0.85. Had he instead taken a Brian Westbrook or Maurice Jones-Drew-esque knee on the goal line, the Giants would have had a 0.96 win probability. Assuming the Patriots used their final time out, the Giants would have had 3rd and Goal from the 1-yard line with around 1:04 left to play. At this point, the Giants could either attempt to score a touchdown or take a knee. Assuming the touchdown try was unsuccessful or that Eli Manning kneeled, the Giants could have let the clock run all the way down to 0:25 before using the Giants’ final time out. With 4th and Goal from the 2 with 25 seconds left to play, the Giants would have a 0.92 win probability, 0.07 higher than after Bradshaw scored the touchdown of his life.
If it's a tie game, then I'd wait on the FG. But when you're behind, let's get as many points on the board as possible. Going up 4 was huge. Do you think Tommy Boy wanted that safety back? (hee, hee, hee)
I dont care what the odds state, I've watched to many kickers miss xp type of kicks this year. Add in the preasure of having to make the kick to win or miss it and lose, and I'm taking my chances that the Pats horizontal passing game, which has no deep threat, cant drive the field to score a TD in less than a minute. Just me but I want the lead so I'm not in a position where I'm hoping nothing goes wrong on what would have been one of the most intense presure filled kicks you can have.
Of course I'm bias but Brady is now won 3 and lost 2 SB. Two of the three where won by Vinnys foot, not Brady's arm. When are people gonna start acknowledging that Brady isn't as great as he's made out to be. He's really good, just not my top 3.
I'll be honest - I'm glad they scored the touchdown, even with so much time left on the clock. I have seen far too many field goal attempts fail on "gimme" situations. Just think of the FG that should have tied the Ravens-Pats game just 2 weeks prior.
@LovinBlue Also, the WPA of .85 strikes me as low for being up 4 with less than a minute. I can't even remember that many games off the top of my head where a team lost in this situation (scoring to take the lead with under a minute left). Is there really a 15% chance in this scenario the trailing team gets a TD, especially know with touchbacks much more likely?
@LovinBlue Or a Romo bad hold situation.
I definitely think it is the right call for the Pats to let them score, but I don't know if I was Coughlin if I would tell Jacobs to take a knee. I would take definite points over even a 19 yard field goal.
@LovinBlue Indeed! + all it takes if the Giants make the FG is a great return by the Patriots, one completion by Brady to get them into FG range and the inevitable Vinatieri/Gostkowski game winner... like always
@aerichner@LovinBlue I was thinking the same thing. When he scored the TD, and Brady would get the ball back, I recalled seeing this scenario in the last SB. And recalled that Brady can't seem to take teams down the field for wins like that anymore (generalization). I, too, saw the Ravens miss that field goal. Too much of a chance of that happening. And don't forget how well the D was playing in general.
Was a mistake, but played out. However, the stats do seem to suggest that coaches are too conservative.