Originally Posted by michael drums
I thought that "running up the score", with less than two minutes to go and up by 2 touchdowns, was absolutely class-less!
On the surface I'd agree with you that it was totally unnecessary. But one look at the situation should make you realize that they didn't have much of a choice. Here's what happened:
---Pats' Gostowski kicks the field goal with 3:59 left, putting them up 41-27
---on Dallas' next drive, Romo gets intercepted on the very first play. 3:45 left. Dallas' time of possession: 14 seconds
---Pats now have 3:45 to advance a whopping 20 yards to the end zone
---2:00 left, Pats are 1st and goal on the 9-yd line after Welker makes an 11-yd catch on third and 10
---Two plays later backup fullback Kyle Eckel scores on a 1-yard TD run
---Dallas gets the ball with 0:19 left
OVERALL: 7 PLAYS, 20 YDS, 3:26 TIME OF POSSESSION
Now short of expecting the Pats to go three-and-out on that series in the name of pity, I really don't know what other choices they had besides just working their way down the field as they did. Once again: 7 plays, 20 yards, 3:26... that's an average of less than 3 yards per play. Perhaps they could've been a bit more gracious in eating up the gameclock (realistically when would that ever happen??), but they didn't step onto that field with the intent of scoring quick with some flashy passing to Moss and rubbing it in Dallas' faces; rather they did the exact opposite and kept things as low-key as possible.
And come on, 20 yards to advance with 3:45 on the clock and a pliable Dallas defense (all those third down conversions!) -- who besides Miami or Saint Louis isn't going to make it into paydirt under those kind of circumstances? And it's not like Brady can start kneeling down with over three minutes left!
, here's some insight into why they put Eckel in on that last TD run:
"Bill Belichick wasn't paying back Wade Phillips or sending a message to the Cowboys when the Patriots celebrated their last touchdown with 19 seconds to go. Rookie backup fullback Kyle Eckel is a Navy product. Belichick's father, Steve, who died two years ago, was an assistant coach at Navy for 33 years. The touchdown -- Eckel's first in the NFL -- was to honor Steve Belichick, not rub the Cowboys' noses in the loss."