Patriots waited too long to let Giants score touchdown and it cost them

The Patriots allowed the Giants to score a touchdown with just under a minute left in the Super Bowl for one of the most bizarre TDs in the big game’s history. Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw burst up the middle before realizing the Pats were letting him score. He tried to kneel down but he lacked the presence to do so. The Giants’ defense bailed him out with a stellar series to win the game, but it was clear the team wanted to run out the clock and kick a field goal to win the game. And that’s where New England went wrong.

I’ve said so many times before that the right move for a team that’s about to lose by a short field goal with no time left is to let the opponent score a touchdown. You have to give your offense time to work with. Extra-point type field goals are converted at like a 99% rate. You don’t want the game to end on one of those — you’d rather give your offense a shot to win.

Folks on Twitter were talking about how Bill Belichick was gambling by letting Ahmad Bradshaw score. He wasn’t. That was the right call, but it was made too late. As I said on Twitter a few minutes before the Bradshaw TD, the Pats should have let Hakeem Nicks score instead of pushing him out of bounds after he got the first down. They would have had an extra 15 seconds on their final drive.

It wasn’t just poor execution on the field that kept New England from winning, it was also some bad coaching.

Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ON2Q3PFLNA6D7X45KFWMIQOTVY Eric Z

    Here I thought it was Brady’s mediocre performance that cost them.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    I thought he played well overall, but that wasn’t enough. He had to play very well to win the game and he didn’t. But they still had a shot at the end. Branch and Hernandez both dropped passes. Plus, if they let Nicks score, they would have had an extra 15 seconds on the final drive.

    I didn’t say this was the reason they lost; my point was to say they made a coaching error there.

  • Matt Moore

    I agree with you completely that defenses should intentionally allow go-ahead touchdowns in some late game situations. Do you know of any games where the team that allowed the touchdown came back to win? It’s proving to be a hard thing to google, and I can’t find anything but Super Bowl XXXII, when the Packers allowed the Broncos to score and then lost anyway.