When thinking about this, I'm reminded of a story. I forget the source, so I'll paraphrase here. If you don't know what Mancala is, replace the word 'bean' with 'point', and you'll understand the story. I think this story provides a good basis to discuss how the Patriots play once they have established a lead and are attempting to protect it. Attempting to maximize the margin of victory may or may not be the best strategy for winning games. I'd argue that it is not, using the above story as an example. Take the end of the Jets game for example. The Patriots were not attempting to maximize the margin of victory. They were attempting to ensure that, after both teams had a turn (possession), the Patriots were ahead. In this case time was more important than points or yards.