Monday, February 05, 2018

Well, that was certainly something

I've seen all LII Super Bowls, and that was, easily, the best.

More passes TO quarterbacks than punts? Incredible.

Also, incredible daring all around. No one backed off the entire game. Even though I don't care that much about football anymore, it was a real pleasure to watch.

Now, an issue.

There was a moment in the fourth quarter where New England absolutely and completely botched calling a timeout, and the reason I know that is because of gaming.

With 2:08 left in the game, Philadelphia has the ball. First down. They run the ball, and the Patriots call timeout with 2:03 left.

This is a terrible, terrible decision. Why?

If the Patriots let the clock run to the two-minute warning, when the clock stops anyway, then on second down, the Eagles have to run the ball if they want to be sure the clock will keep running. So the chances of the Eagles passing are essentially zero.

By calling timeout at 2:03, though, they guaranteed that the clock stops after the second down play, no matter what. So the Eagles could have called a pass play, knowing that it wasn't going to stop the clock from running down, because the clock was going to stop anyway.

The Eagles didn't pass, but the Patriots came out in a defense that wouldn't have been able to defend well, if they had, and the only reason the Eagles had that option is because the Patriots gave it to them with poor decision making.

Never give your opponent more options, because it gives you more to defend. Basic gaming battle strategy.

Also, I wonder if the Patriots lost the Super Bowl because they wanted to teach Malcolm Butler some kind of lesson. Your best cornerback, who played 98% of the defensive downs during the season, and he doesn't do anything but play on special teams because of "packages"? No way. That's gibberish.

Pretty expensive lesson.

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