AFC and NFC Championship game thread

Spelunker

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Yes, good teams pay their premium veteran talent; it was rookies I was thinking about. I just don’t like the thinking that the only route to success in the NFL is to underpay premium talented players on rookie contracts, like how people discuss KC’s success being in part due to the fact that Mahomes didn’t cost his team a lot in the past. I like the Rams coming in and being all DGAF about that line of thinking
Well the Patriots' route wasn't either, if I recall correctly. They made hay with a robust middle class. An underpaid Brady helped, but they weren't living off of rookie contracts (which, as you mention, is only slightly less sustainable than free agents).
 

YTF

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9 minutes to go and only cost them 3. He’ll take a disproportionate share of the blame but, man, you just can’t drop that. Reminds me of that Denver safety who botched the Flacco deep ball in 2012 or so. Was far from over even if he does catch it but would have swung the odds quite a bit.
Only 3, but I can't help but wonder how big that next play weighs into that 3 points. No way of ever knowing for sure, but does Gay get a 40 FG attempt without the Ward penalty?
 

BaseballJones

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How sustainable is the usual approach to team building? The Rams have been decently successful for five straight seasons since Sean McVay came in, going to the playoffs 4 of those years and reaching the Super Bowl twice. During that time (2017 onwards) they have had zero first round picks. Sure, it might blow up in a couple of years, but even so have the results been any worse or shorter-lived than the conventional wisdom on how you “should” build a team?
Good point. The Patriots are an obvious exception to every rule there is, but it seems like teams like Baltimore - that draft really really well - have pretty good long term success. But I get that in the NFL, success is fleeting.
 

lexrageorge

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Good point. The Patriots are an obvious exception to every rule there is, but it seems like teams like Baltimore - that draft really really well - have pretty good long term success. But I get that in the NFL, success is fleeting.
It's kind of funny, but for all the talk about the Ravens being some model franchise of success, it helps to know that in the 9 seasons since they beat the 49'ers in the Super Bowl, they've yet to return to the AFCCG, and have missed the playoffs altogether in 5 of those seasons, with one 5-11 season thrown in for good measure.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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It's kind of funny, but for all the talk about the Ravens being some model franchise of success, it helps to know that in the 9 seasons since they beat the 49'ers in the Super Bowl, they've yet to return to the AFCCG, and have missed the playoffs altogether in 5 of those seasons, with one 5-11 season thrown in for good measure.
Right. But in that stretch of time they've almost never been BAD. One 5-11 disaster, and this year's 8-9 season, but otherwise .500 or better each of the other seven seasons. Plus four 10-win seasons in there. Just goes to show you how damned hard it is to win it ALL.

I mean heck, the Chiefs the past four seasons have won 12, 12, 14, and 12 games, and have won ONE Super Bowl. I know you're not even necessarily talking Lombardis, but even just getting to the AFCCG. But still...the point remains. It's really hard to get there even for franchises that sustain success like Baltimore.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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I have to confess to indulging in a little chiefsplanet reading this morning. :)

KC's first three possessions yesterday:
11 plays, 84 yards, TD
7 plays, 75 yards, TD
8 plays, 72 yards, TD

KC's last eight possessions yesterday:
7 plays, 80 yards, run out of time at the Cincy goal line (didn't seem big at the time but turned out to be HUGE)
5 plays, 16 yards, punt
5 plays, 17 yards, punt
2 plays, 7 yards, INT
3 plays, -2 yards, punt
3 plays, -4 yards, punt
14 plays, 49 yards, FG
3 plays, 0 yards, INT

So first three possessions: 26 plays, 231 yards (8.9 yds/play), 3 TD.
Last eight possessions: 42 plays, 163 yards (3.9 yds/play), 1 FG, 4 punts, 2 turnovers, one possession running out of time

I mean, I don't really know what happened, or how Cincinnati did it, but that's one hell of a turnaround by them on D, and one hell of a gag job by KC on offense.
 

jon abbey

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I have to confess to indulging in a little chiefsplanet reading this morning. :)

KC's first three possessions yesterday:
11 plays, 84 yards, TD
7 plays, 75 yards, TD
8 plays, 72 yards, TD

KC's last eight possessions yesterday:
7 plays, 80 yards, run out of time at the Cincy goal line (didn't seem big at the time but turned out to be HUGE)
5 plays, 16 yards, punt
5 plays, 17 yards, punt
2 plays, 7 yards, INT
3 plays, -2 yards, punt
3 plays, -4 yards, punt
14 plays, 49 yards, FG
3 plays, 0 yards, INT

So first three possessions: 26 plays, 231 yards (8.9 yds/play), 3 TD.
Last eight possessions: 42 plays, 163 yards (3.9 yds/play), 1 FG, 4 punts, 2 turnovers, one possession running out of time

I mean, I don't really know what happened, or how Cincinnati did it, but that's one hell of a turnaround by them on D, and one hell of a gag job by KC on offense.
Why wouldn’t you break that into ‘first four’ and ‘last seven’, especially because those were each one full half? They didn’t convert on the fourth possession but it was after that that their offense forgot how to play football.
 

jsinger121

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Zac Taylor is the first coach since Bill Belichick to go into his first career super bowl as a head coach with a losing record. BB was 52-60 going into Super Bowl 36 while Taylor is 16-32-1 going into Super Bowl 56.
 

NortheasternPJ

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I have to confess to indulging in a little chiefsplanet reading this morning. :)

KC's first three possessions yesterday:
11 plays, 84 yards, TD
7 plays, 75 yards, TD
8 plays, 72 yards, TD

KC's last eight possessions yesterday:
7 plays, 80 yards, run out of time at the Cincy goal line (didn't seem big at the time but turned out to be HUGE)
5 plays, 16 yards, punt
5 plays, 17 yards, punt
2 plays, 7 yards, INT
3 plays, -2 yards, punt
3 plays, -4 yards, punt
14 plays, 49 yards, FG
3 plays, 0 yards, INT

So first three possessions: 26 plays, 231 yards (8.9 yds/play), 3 TD.
Last eight possessions: 42 plays, 163 yards (3.9 yds/play), 1 FG, 4 punts, 2 turnovers, one possession running out of time

I mean, I don't really know what happened, or how Cincinnati did it, but that's one hell of a turnaround by them on D, and one hell of a gag job by KC on offense.
There's a chunk of people over there who are apparently convinced that Patrick Mahomes is on the take and blew the game following direct orders from the NFL to throw the game.
 

BaseballJones

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Why wouldn’t you break that into ‘first four’ and ‘last seven’, especially because those were each one full half? They didn’t convert on the fourth possession but it was after that that their offense forgot how to play football.
That's fine. If you break it up that way:

First four possessions: 33 plays, 311 yards (9.4 yds/play), 3 TD, one drive ending at the 2 yard line
Last seven possessions: 35 plays, 83 yards (2.4 yds/play), 1 FG, 4 punts, 2 turnovers
 

Hoya81

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Zac Taylor is the first coach since Bill Belichick to go into his first career super bowl as a head coach with a losing record. BB was 52-60 going into Super Bowl 36 while Taylor is 16-32-1 going into Super Bowl 56.
Sort of a wild turnaround for Taylor, who was on a lot of "coaches likely to be fired" lists in the preseason.
 

rsmith7

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Yup, Chiefsplanet is awesome and still thinking about one person,

"Also, despite the fact that the media has seemingly forgot about and/or swept them under the rug, Brady has had more shitty performances in the playoffs than I can count. Now a lot of those his team actually won because they were elite defensively, but as you point out, some of them they didn't. It happens."
 

Jed Zeppelin

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There's a chunk of people over there who are apparently convinced that Patrick Mahomes is on the take and blew the game following direct orders from the NFL to throw the game.
Guess they weren’t paying attention a month ago when they lost to this same team in nearly the exact same way.

Mahomes into the locker room with like 200 and 2tds finished with 250 and 2 while the Bengals won the 2nd half 17-3.
 

Silverdude2167

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There's a chunk of people over there who are apparently convinced that Patrick Mahomes is on the take and blew the game following direct orders from the NFL to throw the game.
I mean, to be honest, the thought crossed my mind, not the NFL orders part, but he played like such shit in the second half and at times seemed to be trying to lose the game.

The last two sacks he took in regulation to make a chip shot into something that could actually be missed and then 3 straight passes that should have been picked off. That had to have been the worst 5 play stretch of his career.

"Also, despite the fact that the media has seemingly forgot about and/or swept them under the rug, Brady has had more shitty performances in the playoffs than I can count. Now a lot of those his team actually won because they were elite defensively, but as you point out, some of them they didn't. It happens."
Reading through there today and seeing a thread proclaiming that Reid is better than BB because of Brady and then that Brady only won because of an elite defensive is a special kind of pretzel logic.
 

Al Zarilla

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And of course, blaming the officiating for the loss.
Another few thought Mahomes must have been concussed, maybe bringing down BJ Hill after the big guy's interception late in the third quarter. Mahomes didn't look right well before that though. ChiefsPlanet members sure do turn vicious toward everyone in a game gone bad, including Mahomes, Andy Reid, and other posters. Yeesh.
 

Gash Prex

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Pretty amazing stats on Mahomes and Chiefs offense. The Bengals dropped 8 far more in the second half and the Chiefs couldnt figure it out


Mahomes QBR in the first half was 98 and in the 2nd and OT it was 1.4
 

SamK

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That's fine. If you break it up that way:

First four possessions: 33 plays, 311 yards (9.4 yds/play), 3 TD, one drive ending at the 2 yard line
Last seven possessions: 35 plays, 83 yards (2.4 yds/play), 1 FG, 4 punts, 2 turnovers
I liked the initial grouping. Stunning.
And, it suggests to me that the loss of "60 minutes of football" sense of urgency already had been taking root going INto halftime--Coaching and QB maybe included.
I suspect that losing-attitude is harder to fight on the sidelines as the latter quarters progress in any 3-score plus lead-- Hardest to stop if the leaders have already been counting chickens too.
(It may have been Maholmes physically broke during the forth drive or that Cinci D already solved Chief's O before halftime, but...)
 
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BaseballJones

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It's funny how they think it isn't orchestrated by the NFL and isn't just "a show" when their team wins. They only think that when their team loses. Because for some reason, that can be the only way they'd lose.

Like Patrick Mahomes isn't the darling of the NFL, and that the NFL wouldn't want to build a narrative around him. LOL these people.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I just love how they jumped on this whole 13 seconds, grim reaper thing so wholeheartedly and now its all basically meaningless because that game was just a prelude to arguably the biggest choke job of all time by an elite QB in the playoffs.
 

BaseballJones

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Andy Reid:
- 9 conference championship appearances
- 7 HOME conference championship appearances
- 3-6 record in conference championship games
- 3-4 record in home conference championship games
- 1 Super Bowl victory

Bill Belichick:
- 13 conference championship appearances
- 7 HOME conference championship appearances
- 9-4 record in conference championship games
- 6-1 record in home conference championship games
- 6 Super Bowl victories

Edited for corrections
 
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jsinger121

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Andy Reid:
- 8 conference championship appearances
- 7 HOME conference championship appearances
- 3-5 record in conference championship games
- 3-4 record in home conference championship games
- 1 Super Bowl victory

Bill Belichick:
- 13 conference championship appearances
- 9 HOME conference championship appearances
- 9-4 record in conference championship games
- 6-3 record in home conference championship games
- 6 Super Bowl victories
Patriots only lost one home conference championship game in the Belichick era to the Ravens.
 

Sandwich Pick

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Andy Reid:
- 8 conference championship appearances
- 7 HOME conference championship appearances
- 3-5 record in conference championship games
- 3-4 record in home conference championship games
- 1 Super Bowl victory

Bill Belichick:
- 13 conference championship appearances
- 9 HOME conference championship appearances
- 9-4 record in conference championship games
- 6-3 record in home conference championship games
- 6 Super Bowl victories
He's been to 9.

2001-2004, 2008 with the Eagles
2018-2021 with the Chiefs
 

CoffeeNerdness

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The last two sacks he took in regulation to make a chip shot into something that could actually be missed and then 3 straight passes that should have been picked off. That had to have been the worst 5 play stretch of his career.
I feel like Cinci made an adjustment or otherwise were more conscious of not biting on those spin moves he does. He just couldn't get outside because the edge guys didn't over-commit to going for the sack. I think he was hoping to make a play just like the one where he found Hill in the first half, which was remarkable. At the end of the day, I think he's a bit too in love with making the highlight reel play, and yesterday it bit him in the ass.
 

Devizier

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I feel like Cinci made an adjustment or otherwise were more conscious of not biting on those spin moves he does. He just couldn't get outside because the edge guys didn't over-commit to going for the sack. I think he was hoping to make a play just like the one where he found Hill in the first half, which was remarkable. At the end of the day, I think he's a bit too in love with making the highlight reel play, and yesterday it bit him in the ass.
He Favred the fuck out of those end of regulation plays. Well, not completely, Brett would have sailed one of those passes for a game-ending INT.
 

Euclis20

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I just love how they jumped on this whole 13 seconds, grim reaper thing so wholeheartedly and now its all basically meaningless because that game was just a prelude to arguably the biggest choke job of all time by an elite QB in the playoffs.
Reminds of the Pats in 2006. The circumstances of the divisional game weren't quite the same (Buf/KC was an evenly matched historic game with a roller coaster at the end while NE/SD was an upset on the road with one incredible play that flipped defeat to victory), but losing the AFC title game the following week by blowing identical 21-3 leads...if the Pats had gone on to win the super bowl in 2006, that Chargers divisional game would be viewed alongside the tuck rule game and the ravens comeback game as the best divisional games of the dynasty. Instead it's just another win, barely more relevant than an exciting regular season game. Too bad for them.
 

Strike4

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I feel like Cinci made an adjustment or otherwise were more conscious of not biting on those spin moves he does. He just couldn't get outside because the edge guys didn't over-commit to going for the sack. I think he was hoping to make a play just like the one where he found Hill in the first half, which was remarkable. At the end of the day, I think he's a bit too in love with making the highlight reel play, and yesterday it bit him in the ass.
In fairness to Mahomes it seemed like he was kind of on his own at the end of regulation. Romo kept talking about managing the clock so the Chiefs basically score a TD with no time left for the Bengals - I wonder how much this impacted Reid's decision making, where they were so focused on that part that they gave shorter shrift to play calling and execution. It looked like the Chiefs could have had a TD with about 1:20 on the clock but they started messing around.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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In fairness to Mahomes it seemed like he was kind of on his own at the end of regulation. Romo kept talking about managing the clock so the Chiefs basically score a TD with no time left for the Bengals - I wonder how much this impacted Reid's decision making, where they were so focused on that part that they gave shorter shrift to play calling and execution. It looked like the Chiefs could have had a TD with about 1:20 on the clock but they started messing around.
I haven't looked at the replays or film breakdowns of the most important late-game plays, but several game thread posters commented that he had a guy or two wide open on that last drive in regulation. I think he was honestly spooked by his second-half inaccuracy and the awful passes he was throwing.
 

Sandwich Pick

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I forgot that the Chiefs also blew a 21-3 lead to the Titans in the 2017 playoffs. Marcus Mariota somehow threw a TD pass to himself and Derrick Henry dominated the 2nd half.
 

Ralphwiggum

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In fairness to Mahomes it seemed like he was kind of on his own at the end of regulation. Romo kept talking about managing the clock so the Chiefs basically score a TD with no time left for the Bengals - I wonder how much this impacted Reid's decision making, where they were so focused on that part that they gave shorter shrift to play calling and execution. It looked like the Chiefs could have had a TD with about 1:20 on the clock but they started messing around.
I said at the time they got too cute. They ran a pretty lackluster running play on first down, I don't think they were trying to score on that play, just get it a little closer and keep the clock running. They were probably trying to score on 2nd down but I do think they were still trying to use clock as well. It was 2nd and goal from the four, seems like they could have done something creative with motion or a shovel pass or something rather than a straight drop back. 3rd and goal from the 9 is tougher but that play was an abject disaster and they are lucky they didn't lose the Mahomes fumble. I actually thought the Bengals should have let them score on first down, they would have gotten the ball back with about 1:20 left down 4. Shows you what I know.
 

BlackJack

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Andy Reid:
- 9 conference championship appearances
- 7 HOME conference championship appearances
- 3-6 record in conference championship games
- 3-4 record in home conference championship games
- 1 Super Bowl victory

Bill Belichick:
- 13 conference championship appearances
- 9 HOME conference championship appearances
- 9-4 record in conference championship games
- 6-1 record in home conference championship games
- 6 Super Bowl victories

Edited for corrections
Should be 7 home, right? 6-1 at home, 3-3 on the road? (win @ KC, PItt x2, loss @ Indy, Denver x2)
 

Strike4

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I actually thought the Bengals should have let them score on first down, they would have gotten the ball back with about 1:20 left down 4. Shows you what I know.
I thought this too, and it's kind of stunning how over the span of four plays you go from thinking this to witnessing the Chief's kicker have to execute a mid-range field goal just to tie the game. It just seems like when you start asking an offense to go against what it normally does (score whenever you can), you are adding an element of discomfort that messes with things. It's why hail marys and onside kicks work - in those situations kick return teams and defenses are being asked to do something that they obviously practice from time to time but it's different and players can get glitchy.

It should also be mentioned that the Bengals did an amazing job of containment on those last regulation plays.
 

johnmd20

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It's why hail marys and onside kicks work - in those situations kick return teams and defenses are being asked to do something that they obviously practice from time to time but it's different and players can get glitchy.
Alternatively, onside kicks and hail marys work rarely and when they do, it's usually random and the result of luck.
 

cshea

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I thought KC managerd the end of regulation fine. The Kelce first down was with 1:30 left and Cincy used their 2nd timeout. The Chiefs then ran it on first down, only gaining a yard. Maybe they could've executed better but seems like a resonable decision. If they fail to score, they at least get Cincy to burn their final timeoutm, which is what happened. Then they dropped back twice, putting the ball/game in Mahomes' hands. It reminded me of the final Pats drive in regulation of the 2018 AFCCG. The Pats had first and goal from the 5 with 42 seconds left and all 3 timeouts; the Chiefs were down to 1 timeout. The Pats ran Burkhead and he scored, but I think it was an either we score or they use their final timeout playcall, similar to what KC did yesterday on first and goal.

If anything, maybe they should've run it again on 2nd down since Cincy appeared to be all out defending the pass, but putting the ball in Mahomes' hands isn't the worst strategy in the world.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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I actually thought the Bengals should have let them score on first down, they would have gotten the ball back with about 1:20 left down 4. Shows you what I know.
Has the purposely letting the other team score strategy ever worked? I can't recall a single instance where that has worked (not saying it hasn't I just can't recall it.) I think the big flaw is what Romo brought up where the offensive player goes down at the one.

They were probably trying to score on 2nd down but I do think they were still trying to use clock as well. It was 2nd and goal from the four, seems like they could have done something creative with motion or a shovel pass or something rather than a straight drop back.
Going from memory here, but I'm shocked they didn't score on that play. I believe it was some sort of rub/pick to open up Kelce in the left flat and it worked for a split second but Mahomes didn't pull the trigger. The Cinci D really made some heads-up plays in the second half.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Has the purposely letting the other team score strategy ever worked? I can't recall a single instance where that has worked (not saying it hasn't I just can't recall it.) I think the big flaw is what Romo brought up where the offensive player goes down at the one.
I'm not sure it has ever worked. The defense would have to essentially pull or push the ball carrier into the endzone to avoid the kneel at the 1 scenario.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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I'm not sure it has ever worked. The defense would have to essentially pull or push the ball carrier into the endzone to avoid the kneel at the 1 scenario.
It worked last year. Falcons down 16-14 to the Lions with just over a minute left, Lions try to let Falcons score, Todd Gurley tries to go down at one but falls in for the touchdown, Lions drive down and score to win 23-22
 

BigJimEd

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Has the purposely letting the other team score strategy ever worked? I can't recall a single instance where that has worked (not saying it hasn't I just can't recall it.) I think the big flaw is what Romo brought up where the offensive player goes down at the one.
Wait, what? I wasn't listening to Romo. But is he suggesting the player would go down at the one on purpose when they are down by 3? Seems terribly risky to me. You have a chance to go up 4, you take it. You'd have to be pretty damn sure you could score on one of the next 2 plays. I don't see a RB or team doing that.

I don't really see letting a team score there anyway. If a FG beats you then sure but in this case, you try to force the FG that only ties it.
 

tims4wins

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Wait, what? I wasn't listening to Romo. But is he suggesting the player would go down at the one on purpose when they are down by 3? Seems terribly risky to me. You have a chance to go up 4, you take it. You'd have to be pretty damn sure you could score on one of the next 2 plays. I don't see a RB or team doing that.

I don't really see letting a team score there anyway. If a FG beats you then sure but in this case, you try to force the FG that only ties it.
Way too risky. Pats were in a similar situation vs Seattle in 2016. Down 7 though, but 2nd and 3rd and goal from like the 2 with under a minute to play. They kind of got cute and tried to but didn’t try to score with a sneak. Then they ended up failing to score and losing. They seemed to have adjusted based on this in the Super Bowl when they didn’t dink around and just scored to tie it asap without regard for burning clock.

Edit Pats had first and goal from the 2 with 43 seconds left and failed to score.
 

Mystic Merlin

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If you are up three points or more, letting the opposing team score a TD seems like a poor idea unless, perhaps, you’ve got a very strong contextual case for doing it.

I’m not sure what that would be, but it wasn’t yesterday.
 

tims4wins

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I guess it “worked” in the 201 SB vs the Giants in the sense that it gave the ball back to the Pats with a chance to score vs the Giants kicking an “automatic” 20 yard field goal with no time left. But of course the Pats didn’t score so they still lost.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Wait, what? I wasn't listening to Romo. But is he suggesting the player would go down at the one on purpose when they are down by 3? Seems terribly risky to me. You have a chance to go up 4, you take it. You'd have to be pretty damn sure you could score on one of the next 2 plays. I don't see a RB or team doing that.

I don't really see letting a team score there anyway. If a FG beats you then sure but in this case, you try to force the FG that only ties it.
TBH, I'm not 100% sure what his point was. I think what he started out saying was that if you're Cincy you want to let them score, but the danger would be KC downing themselves at the one and then he directly contradicted himself by saying if you're Cincy you definitely want to keep them out of the end zone.

In short he:
48993
 

luckiestman

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I thought Romo was fine and that he wasn't necessarily saying what to do, he was trying to outline multiple thought processes. It might have gotten garbled but I thought that was his intent.
 

Pandemonium67

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Mahomes last few plays went:
- sack
- sack and fumble that would have lost the game except for Thuney
(now in OT)
- incomplete screen (way over RB's head)
- near pick 6
- pick
What a stunningly bad sequence at the highest-leverage time.