Not caring much who won yesterday, I thought that the most interesting part of the game was the Patriots' decision to let the Giants score. Reactions seem to fall anywhere from "That was crazy" to "They should have done it sooner." The latter makes more sense, I think - and specifically that the Pats should have let NY score on first down at the 18.
Some quick facts (one based on my memory of the game):
* CNNSI.com lists Giants' kicker Lawrence Tynes' stats on the year as 3-4 from 30-39 and 12-12 from 1-29.
*IIRC, the Giants had the ball at the 18 on first down with two minutes left.
*Manning has been historically good in the 4th quarter this year.
*The Patriots had the 31st rated defense in the league, but were much better (15th) when it came to points.
My thoughts: The Giants seemed very unlikely to end up with a 35 yard attempt when they were at the 18 with two minutes left. They were moving the ball with little trouble. I don't think, then, that we can look at the situation as one in which giving up a touchdown there is giving surrendering a 25% chance of winning (1/4 being the amount of field goals from 30-39 that Tynes missed). Even if the Giants had stalled at the 18, they were likely to use up a lot of time before they kicked that 35 yard FG (and/or caused the Pats to exhaust their timeouts). The Pats would only have needed a FG in response to a NY field goal, of course, but the value of that diminishes as every second ticks off of the clock.
Letting the Giants score a TD with roughly two minutes left gives you the ball back in Brady's hands with two timeouts and a realistic amount of time. Letting NY score with one minute, on the other hand, didn't leave you enough time. Finally, letting Tynes kick a 35-yard field goal as time expires gives you, IMO, the smallest chance of wininning (25% based on his performance during the year?).
Two final notes: I realize that Bill Belichick's socks know more about football than I do. I'm just throwing this out for fun.
Second, I realize that this probably came up yesterday at some point on the board. However, many of us were not on the board then because we were watching the game with friends and family or manning the international space station.