Sunday, January 13, 2008

Patriots 31-Jaguars 20

"In my opinion, every time you kick a field goal, especially in the second half, you're closer to losing." - Steve Young, Hall of Fame quarterback, commenting on one of his 49er team's losses to the Cowboys in the playoffs.

Not giving up the big play is a worthy goal. As Tom Brady illustrated last night, however, it is also a NEGATIVE goal. It prevents quick scores. It does not prevent scores themselves. Sooner or later, a defense has to make a positive play to alter the game, or its team will lose. The Patriots defense was no great shakes last night, and David Garrard burned them on several blitzes, but the Pats maintained an aggressive posture anyway, because one defensive play can negate 50 or more yards of territory surrendered, or even a past touchdown allowed.

The Jaguars did what they wanted to do, and lost anyway. This indicates that there were problems with what their goals were in the first place.

No one is going to beat these Pats without accepting they need to take risks that create the possibility they'll lose both quickly and badly.


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