At one point during Sunday's loss to the New York Jets, the New England Patriots were down 21-11 early in the fourth quarter. Taking over on offense after the Jets had scored to make it a two-possession game, Tom Brady and the Patriots methodically (and rather slowly) marched down the field.
Beginning on their own 18, they ran 14 plays -- mostly runs -- in 7:40, and didn't show any urgency in a time when many thought they should (the previous drive, the Patriots found success running a hurry-up offense). Eventually, the drive stalled and then ended when Deion Branch couldn't come up with the catch on 4th-and-13. But after the game on Monday, Brady defended the play calling while crediting the Jets' defense.
"They had a lot of dime groupings out there, six defensive backs, so it's hard to think that we're going to go out there and throw the ball all day on that grouping. We said, 'We're going to take advantage of this and still try to get the ball downfield.' We did, but when we got down to the 15-yard line, we just sputtered.
"If we were down 15 points, it's a different story. But being down 10 points, we thought we could score a touchdown. Then with two timeouts and four minutes left, we had plenty of time to get down the field and hope we could kick a field goal to send it to overtime."
Based on the reaction of the fans in Gillette Stadium, I don't think they'll agree with Brady on this one.