While I hate to dig up old wounds - yesterday's game, above all of our losses in recent years, reminded me of our loss to the Giants more than any other. Advanced NFL Stats: Super Bowl XLII and Team Possessions An offense line that struggled. An offense that didn't capitalize when it had changes. An offense that went 3 and out to start the second half. But most importantly - a defense that allowed long drives. The above link is an interesting analysis of SB 42 - and the long and short of it is this: Consider - if a given team scores more points per possessions than you, on average, then the best way to defeat them is to force a statistical anomaly. To best way to force this anomaly is to reduce the sample size. The larger the sample size gets - the closer to norms everything will be. Reducing the sample size means long, plodding drives. And the problem is - the Patriots team, as constructed, is no longer better suited to shortening the game and reducing the sample size. Their offense, over time, will outscore its opponents. The longer the game feels, the better the Patriots chances of winning. Not only does this make statistical sense, it rings true in the tangible sense in the football world - fatigue has always punishes defenses more than an offense, and an offense can capitalize on that. The more an offense has the ball, the better it will be - perhaps even further enhancing the premise given by the link above: the longer the game goes the better chance the better team wins, and even more specifically in my eyes, the better chance the better offense team wins. Some things to consider about yesterday's offensive performance that oughta put it in perspective. No, it was not a great performance by any stretch, but as I said in another thread we have to consider a few things: Gost's field goal missed by inches. If it goes in, the Pats score 20 points yesterday. With that HYPOTHETICAL premise in mind, consider: 1) 20 points in 8 possessions (ignoring the hail mary fumble) = 2.5 points per possession 2) 2 three and outs in 8 possessions = 25% of the time Consider week 1 of this season versus Miami, when Brady had one of his best games of his career and the offense executed at a much higher level. 1) 38 points in 12 possessions = 3.1 points per possession 2) 4 three and outs in 12 possessions*(one of those was actually a 3 play drive ending in an INT) = 25% of the time Consider our victory over the Jets: 1) 30 points in 11 possessions = 2.7 points per possession BOTTOM LINE: The difference between the offensive performance in a game like our blowout of Miami in week 1, or the big victory over the Jets, and our brutal defeat in Pittsburgh yesterday PER POSSESSION was not nearly as great as one might think. The amount of times an offense touches the ball has an obvious - yet hugely underrated - affect on the game. If the defense could get off the field better - that would become more apparent.