WHY DID THE PATRIOTS LOSE?:
The final score was 24-20 with the Carolina Panthers extending their winning streak to 6 games. It was an exciting game with fans of both teams still hoping for a win at the final snap. In the end the New England Patriots lost and as is the custom we take a look at why the Patriots lost. We start with a look at the overall game stats. Each offense had only 7 possessions in the game (compare to Jets/Bills with 14 each) leaving not much room for errors. The penalty/non-penalty on the last play is being ignored to focus on the other 59:57 minutes of the game.
Patriots ran 67 offensive plays on 7 drives, an average of 9.5 plays with 8 plays being the least of any single possession They accumulated 390 yards of offense with 283 passing and 107 rushing. Tom Brady was 26 of 29 passing when starting the final drive with 59 seconds on the clock. The Patriots called 25 running plays for 107 yards at 4.3 per carry and six 1st downs. A pretty good day for the offense against a defense that has received a lot of praise lately.
The Panthers ran 54 offensive plays on 7 possessions accumulating 300 yards of offense, 197 passing and 103 rushing on 23 attempts of 4.5 YPC. Cam Newton ran 7 times for 67 yards extending drives when he needed to. Overall it was a good defensive effort by the Patriots. Facing only 7 offensive possessions they forced 3 and out twice and the Panthers ran just 2 plays when time expired at the half. Unfortunately the other 4 possession resulted in 3 TD’s and 1 Field Goal. Aside from Steve Smith’s 42 yard catch + 15 courtesy of Talib’s frustration the defense held together and they gave the offense enough chances to win.
So why did the Patriots lose despite good effort? Let’s blame Ridley’s fumble, it’s a good clean explanation and you can’t deny it hurt the Patriots. Otherwise we’re left with accepting the fact 2 teams played very well but one of them had to lose. I personally blame Tom Brady’s lack of rushing production. If he would occasionally take off and gain some yards like Cam Newton it would make a difference.
Whatever the reason it’s sure to be forgotten by the end of the day. With another Peyton/Brady match-up on the horizon the sports writers are preparing to make use of a decade of old material. Be prepared for a slew of old articles with new dates rehashing Brady and Manning stats and few futile arguments on determining the better QB.
With a shout out to Icyedout for recommending the featured picture as being appropriate for use with all articles on the Patriots