NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas
Through three quarters of play on Sunday evening, the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons found themselves in a 13-10 deadlock. But as the fourth and final frame opened up, the Patriots offense followed suit.
It had to.
After a pass to slot receiver Julian Edelman fell incomplete. After a Brandon Bolden rush netted a four-yard loss. And after a false start by right guard Dan Connolly backed the ball up another five yards, the Patriots’ climb to maintain a three-point lead had steepened. The Falcons defense had New England’s offensive attack on its heels for a 3rd-and-19 at the 12-yard line.
At that juncture, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels essentially had two choices: Play the field position with a run call to set up the punt, or play for possession with deep pass to the sticks.
The latter option was elected. (more…)