Poll: Should the Patriots have punted with 2:24 left?
|12.17.12 at 12:38 am ET|
Ah, to punt or not on fourth down deep in your own territory …
It’s the sort of decision that carries some resonance in Patriots history, dating back to a memorable fourth-and-2 decision against the Colts in Indianapolis in 2009. On Sunday night, in the Pats‘ 41-34 loss to the 49ers, a potentially pivotal play was again listed as a fourth-and-2 on the TV broadcast, though officially it occurred on a fourth-and-1.
The Patriots, down 38-31 to the 49ers, faced a fourth-and-1 from their own 12-yard line. Tom Brady sailed a pass over the head of Danny Woodhead, giving the ball back to the Niners in tremendous field position for a game-sealing field goal.
Was it a mistake for the Patriots to go for it in that situation? Would they have been better served to punt and then try to get the ball back on downs, at a time when the Patriots had two timeouts left as well as the two-minute warning?