Some crazy stats, and other thoughts.
Weird game. If you don't count the meaningless Jax drive and NE one-play at the end of the first half, and the last NE drive of the game, it was basically six possessions each. Patriots got 4 TDs and 2 FG attempts out of their six. Jags had two TDs, two FGs, and two turnovers.
Patriots only punt came in garbage time. Jags only punt came with seconds left in the first half -- also garbage time.
That was basically it. Six possessions each. There was not a single drive that was a three and out, except for the Jags' run-the-clock-out drive to end the first half. Even on their one-play drive to end the game they got a first down.
Special teams -- kickoff coverage in particular -- was great. Jax started their 6 drives at the 20, 18, 5, 31, 7, and 15. So, 5 out of 6 at the 20 or better. Huge story for the game.
Another huge story was the drive the Patriots put together at the end of the second quarter. I think it was the drive that helped ice the game. Ghost missed, but it took 7 minutes of the clock and left Jax without any real chance of scoring before half time. From 7:45 left in the second quarter until 8:55 of the third quarter -- so, nearly 14 minutes -- the Patriots' defense was only on the field for about 40 seconds. That break included half time. Our defense was more fresh in the second half.
Just not the way you see it play out that often.
Conventional wisdom before the game was that the Jags needed to limit the number of patriots' possessions. It seemed almost like our game plan was do the exacty opposit -- limit THEIR possessions, even if it meant limiting ours.
We played it almost like a college overtime. We're going to be more efficient in our 6 possessions than you in your 6.
Once again, Belichick went with the tried and true formula. Take away what they do best, and let them see if the other stuff can beat you. We took away the run, by and large, and kick returns. The rest was good -- the Jags are a good team -- but not good enough. Really really interesting game.
Another game where a turnover would have really hurt us -- even just one.
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