The 28-3 comeback involved no less than 10 "make it or else" plays

2020 Patriots Season:
Upcoming Opponent:
Next Up: N/A

Current Patriots Twitter Feed:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Palm Beach Pats Fan

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
2019 Weekly Picks Winner
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
In rewatching this amazing game yet again last night, I kept a running tally of all of the times where all hope was lost, basically, unless the very next play were to pan out.

Some are obvious: the 4th down pass to Amendola when down 28-3, and the two 2 point conversions. But there seemed to be to be 10 plays in total that I'd put into that category, where not making a play would make winning nearly impossible. Most were 3rd and long conversions, or defensive plays to stop a FG attempt.

The list. Plays where the Patriots faced a do-or-die situation, on either offense or defense, where failure in that one play would make winning the game almost impossible:

1) Patriots 4th & 3 at NE 46 (6:04 - 3rd) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass short left to D.Amendola pushed ob at ATL 37 for 17 yards (D.Campbell). Failure would have meant turnover on downs, 25 points behind.

2) Patriots 3rd & 8 at ATL 35 (4:49 - 3rd) (Shotgun) T.Brady scrambles up the middle to ATL 20 for 15 yards (R.Alford). Failure would have meant 4th and 8 and a 53 FG attempt or a low percentage 4th down attempt.

3) Falcons 3rd & 11 at NE 42 (0:52 - 3rd) (Shotgun) M.Ryan sacked at ATL 49 for -9 yards (sack split by K.Van Noy and T.Flowers). Allowing even a short gain of 5 or more yards would have permitted a FG attempt with a reasonable chance of success.

4) Patriots 4th & Goal at ATL 15 (9:44 - 4th) Stephen Gostkowski 33 Yd Field Goal. Missing this would have meant a lead larger than 2 scores.

5) Falcons 3rd & 1 at ATL 36 (8:31 - 4th) (Shotgun) M.Ryan sacked at ATL 25 for -11 yards (D.Hightower). FUMBLES (D.Hightower) [D.Hightower], RECOVERED by NE-A.Branch at ATL 25. A.Branch to ATL 25. Conversion of 3rd and short would have cost 2+ minutes on the clock and would have cost 50+ yards of field position, relative to the fumble recovery.

6) Patriots 3rd & 11 at ATL 26 (7:03 - 4th) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass short left to M.Mitchell to ATL 14 for 12 yards (C.Goodwin). Failure would have meant 4th and 11 and a very low percentage 4th down attempt.

7) Patriots 2 point conversion attempt (5:56 - 4th). J.White rushes up the middle. ATTEMPT SUCCEEDS. Missing this would have meant 2 scores were required to win.

8) Falcons 3rd & 23 at NE 35 (3:50 - 4th) (Shotgun) M.Ryan pass short left to M.Sanu pushed ob at NE 26 for 9 yards (L.Ryan). PENALTY on ATL-J.Matthews, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at NE 35 - No Play. If Chris Long had not drawn holding, ATL would have had a 43 FG attempt. The hold, plus a sack on the following play, prevented even trying.

9) Patriots 3rd & 10 at NE 9 (3:17 - 4th) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass short right to C.Hogan to NE 25 for 16 yards (J.Collins). Failure would have meant 4th and 10 and a very low percentage 4th down attempt.

10) Patriots 2 point conversion attempt (0:57 - 4th) T.Brady pass to D.Amendola is complete. ATTEMPT SUCCEEDS. Missing this would have meant another score was required to win.

OT there were no 3rd down or 4th down plays. One could say that the coin flip was pretty important, though!

What are the chances of pulling off all 10 plays? Pretty low, I'd think.
 

102 Pat

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
9) Patriots 3rd & 10 at NE 9 (3:17 - 4th) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass short right to C.Hogan to NE 25 for 16 yards (J.Collins). Failure would have meant 4th and 10 and a very low percentage 4th down attempt.

If this is the play I'm thinking of, it was incredibly close to being picked off by Collins.
 

Tony2046

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
2019 Weekly Picks Winner
Some of those plays were determined by a fraction of an inch or second. They had to be perfect and pretty much were.
 

sb1

Pro Bowl Player
In rewatching this amazing game yet again last night, I kept a running tally of all of the times where all hope was lost, basically, unless the very next play were to pan out.

Some are obvious: the 4th down pass to Amendola when down 28-3, and the two 2 point conversions. But there seemed to be to be 10 plays in total that I'd put into that category, where not making a play would make winning nearly impossible. Most were 3rd and long conversions, or defensive plays to stop a FG attempt.

The list. Plays where the Patriots faced a do-or-die situation, on either offense or defense, where failure in that one play would make winning the game almost impossible:

1) Patriots 4th & 3 at NE 46 (6:04 - 3rd) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass short left to D.Amendola pushed ob at ATL 37 for 17 yards (D.Campbell). Failure would have meant turnover on downs, 25 points behind.

2) Patriots 3rd & 8 at ATL 35 (4:49 - 3rd) (Shotgun) T.Brady scrambles up the middle to ATL 20 for 15 yards (R.Alford). Failure would have meant 4th and 8 and a 53 FG attempt or a low percentage 4th down attempt.

3) Falcons 3rd & 11 at NE 42 (0:52 - 3rd) (Shotgun) M.Ryan sacked at ATL 49 for -9 yards (sack split by K.Van Noy and T.Flowers). Allowing even a short gain of 5 or more yards would have permitted a FG attempt with a reasonable chance of success.

4) Patriots 4th & Goal at ATL 15 (9:44 - 4th) Stephen Gostkowski 33 Yd Field Goal. Missing this would have meant a lead larger than 2 scores.

5) Falcons 3rd & 1 at ATL 36 (8:31 - 4th) (Shotgun) M.Ryan sacked at ATL 25 for -11 yards (D.Hightower). FUMBLES (D.Hightower) [D.Hightower], RECOVERED by NE-A.Branch at ATL 25. A.Branch to ATL 25. Conversion of 3rd and short would have cost 2+ minutes on the clock and would have cost 50+ yards of field position, relative to the fumble recovery.

6) Patriots 3rd & 11 at ATL 26 (7:03 - 4th) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass short left to M.Mitchell to ATL 14 for 12 yards (C.Goodwin). Failure would have meant 4th and 11 and a very low percentage 4th down attempt.

7) Patriots 2 point conversion attempt (5:56 - 4th). J.White rushes up the middle. ATTEMPT SUCCEEDS. Missing this would have meant 2 scores were required to win.

8) Falcons 3rd & 23 at NE 35 (3:50 - 4th) (Shotgun) M.Ryan pass short left to M.Sanu pushed ob at NE 26 for 9 yards (L.Ryan). PENALTY on ATL-J.Matthews, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at NE 35 - No Play. If Chris Long had not drawn holding, ATL would have had a 43 FG attempt. The hold, plus a sack on the following play, prevented even trying.

9) Patriots 3rd & 10 at NE 9 (3:17 - 4th) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass short right to C.Hogan to NE 25 for 16 yards (J.Collins). Failure would have meant 4th and 10 and a very low percentage 4th down attempt.

10) Patriots 2 point conversion attempt (0:57 - 4th) T.Brady pass to D.Amendola is complete. ATTEMPT SUCCEEDS. Missing this would have meant another score was required to win.

OT there were no 3rd down or 4th down plays. One could say that the coin flip was pretty important, though!

What are the chances of pulling off all 10 plays? Pretty low, I'd think.

At one point I assume before the comeback the Pats were +1600 to win. Imagine hitting on that... wow.
 

Wax Frog

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
The other night I reflected on the fact that this was actually better than the"signature" blowout I'd once wished the TB era Pats could have gotten. How raw the haters must have felt to see the Evil Ones overcome a late 4-score hole, and the drama makes it forever rewatchable. Yep, I'm more than OK with this "consolation prize".
 

cmasspatsfan

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
The other night I reflected on the fact that this was actually better than the"signature" blowout I'd once wished the TB era Pats could have gotten. How raw the haters must have felt to see the Evil Ones overcome a late 4-score hole, and the drama makes it forever rewatchable. Yep, I'm more than OK with this "consolation prize".
I think this was even better than a blowout, I remember reading other teams boards, pure gold.
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
4) Patriots 4th & Goal at ATL 15 (9:44 - 4th) Stephen Gostkowski 33 Yd Field Goal. Missing this would have meant a lead larger than 2 scores...
It's the least he could've done...Don't know if this really belongs on the list, except as a testimonial to Ghost's post-season shakiness that the success of what should be a near-automatic kick was actually in serious doubt...
 
Last edited:

Actual Pats Fan

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
4) Patriots 4th & Goal at ATL 15 (9:44 - 4th) Stephen Gostkowski 33 Yd Field Goal. Missing this would have meant a lead larger than 2 scores.
Thank you, definitely belongs on the list.

Having watched the game all my life, I never take the kicker for granted.

Ghost came back from the missed PAT and did his job. FG's, especially in big games, are never a given.

Every point we could get after halftime was precious.
 

Kdo5

Pro Bowl Player
In rewatching this amazing game yet again last night, I kept a running tally of all of the times where all hope was lost, basically, unless the very next play were to pan out.

Some are obvious: the 4th down pass to Amendola when down 28-3, and the two 2 point conversions. But there seemed to be to be 10 plays in total that I'd put into that category, where not making a play would make winning nearly impossible. Most were 3rd and long conversions, or defensive plays to stop a FG attempt.

The list. Plays where the Patriots faced a do-or-die situation, on either offense or defense, where failure in that one play would make winning the game almost impossible:

1) Patriots 4th & 3 at NE 46 (6:04 - 3rd) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass short left to D.Amendola pushed ob at ATL 37 for 17 yards (D.Campbell). Failure would have meant turnover on downs, 25 points behind.

2) Patriots 3rd & 8 at ATL 35 (4:49 - 3rd) (Shotgun) T.Brady scrambles up the middle to ATL 20 for 15 yards (R.Alford). Failure would have meant 4th and 8 and a 53 FG attempt or a low percentage 4th down attempt.

3) Falcons 3rd & 11 at NE 42 (0:52 - 3rd) (Shotgun) M.Ryan sacked at ATL 49 for -9 yards (sack split by K.Van Noy and T.Flowers). Allowing even a short gain of 5 or more yards would have permitted a FG attempt with a reasonable chance of success.

4) Patriots 4th & Goal at ATL 15 (9:44 - 4th) Stephen Gostkowski 33 Yd Field Goal. Missing this would have meant a lead larger than 2 scores.

5) Falcons 3rd & 1 at ATL 36 (8:31 - 4th) (Shotgun) M.Ryan sacked at ATL 25 for -11 yards (D.Hightower). FUMBLES (D.Hightower) [D.Hightower], RECOVERED by NE-A.Branch at ATL 25. A.Branch to ATL 25. Conversion of 3rd and short would have cost 2+ minutes on the clock and would have cost 50+ yards of field position, relative to the fumble recovery.

6) Patriots 3rd & 11 at ATL 26 (7:03 - 4th) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass short left to M.Mitchell to ATL 14 for 12 yards (C.Goodwin). Failure would have meant 4th and 11 and a very low percentage 4th down attempt.

7) Patriots 2 point conversion attempt (5:56 - 4th). J.White rushes up the middle. ATTEMPT SUCCEEDS. Missing this would have meant 2 scores were required to win.

8) Falcons 3rd & 23 at NE 35 (3:50 - 4th) (Shotgun) M.Ryan pass short left to M.Sanu pushed ob at NE 26 for 9 yards (L.Ryan). PENALTY on ATL-J.Matthews, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at NE 35 - No Play. If Chris Long had not drawn holding, ATL would have had a 43 FG attempt. The hold, plus a sack on the following play, prevented even trying.

9) Patriots 3rd & 10 at NE 9 (3:17 - 4th) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass short right to C.Hogan to NE 25 for 16 yards (J.Collins). Failure would have meant 4th and 10 and a very low percentage 4th down attempt.

10) Patriots 2 point conversion attempt (0:57 - 4th) T.Brady pass to D.Amendola is complete. ATTEMPT SUCCEEDS. Missing this would have meant another score was required to win.

OT there were no 3rd down or 4th down plays. One could say that the coin flip was pretty important, though!

What are the chances of pulling off all 10 plays? Pretty low, I'd think.
I was pretty much in shock when they pulled this one off. Once in a life time moment.
 

luuked

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
5) Falcons 3rd & 1 at ATL 36 (8:31 - 4th) (Shotgun) M.Ryan sacked at ATL 25 for -11 yards (D.Hightower). FUMBLES (D.Hightower) [D.Hightower], RECOVERED by NE-A.Branch at ATL 25. A.Branch to ATL 25. Conversion of 3rd and short would have cost 2+ minutes on the clock and would have cost 50+ yards of field position, relative to the fumble recovery.

There is a good chance the game would have been over right there if Hightower doesn't hit Ryan exactly at the perfect moment. Atlanta had someone (Sanu ?) open on a go with Ryan ready to hit him. Odds are this would have turned into a TD or a big play if Freeman does his job in pass-pro and HT arrives a fraction of a second later.

8) Falcons 3rd & 23 at NE 35 (3:50 - 4th) (Shotgun) M.Ryan pass short left to M.Sanu pushed ob at NE 26 for 9 yards (L.Ryan). PENALTY on ATL-J.Matthews, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at NE 35 - No Play. If Chris Long had not drawn holding, ATL would have had a 43 FG attempt. The hold, plus a sack on the following play, prevented even trying.

The similarly impactful play was the one before on second down where Flowers sacked Ryan for a loss of 10+ and turned the situation into long FG territory. Given how effectively we started to stop their run it forced them to drop back for third down. Also second down was where Long gave the ref a heads-up about Matthews holding only for it to become extremely important a snap later.

Finally the one facet of the third down play that rarely gets brought up is that it could have turned into offsetting penalties very easily because while Long was held by Matthews at the same time Logan Ryan and Sanu both blatantly face-masked each other on the sideline after the catch. Not saying it was a bad call but this could have easily turned out different.

Point being I think you could easily find about 15-20 50/50 things that had to go the Pats way to make it all work. And it somehow magically worked out.
 
Last edited:

Nikolai

Football Atheist
PatsFans.com Supporter
2019 Weekly Picks Winner
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
2) Patriots 3rd & 8 at ATL 35 (4:49 - 3rd) (Shotgun) T.Brady scrambles up the middle to ATL 20 for 15 yards (R.Alford). Failure would have meant 4th and 8 and a 53 FG attempt or a low percentage 4th down attempt.

I was watching the game with a buddy who is a Texans fan. When this happened, I turned to him and said "when the Pats somehow make this comeback, THIS play will be the reason why". Brady scrambling for 15 yards against the speed of THAT defense. Sheer will.
 

aluminum seats

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
It's the least he could've done...Don't know if this really belongs on the list, except as a testimonial to Ghost's post-season shakiness that the success of what should be a near-automatic kick was actually in serious doubt...
Don’t ever change, man.
 

farn

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
One of the most mentally tough sports teams of our age.

On more than one occasion, I said « yes, but they are still so far away... »
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top