You can’t blame Devin McCourty for tackling Fred Jackson at the 1 with about 1:40 left on the clock in Sunday’s loss to the Bills.
Or can you?
Yes, the objective is to prevent the opponent from scoring points. But when just a field goal is needed to win, and the player is right on the goal line, and the clock is rapidly ticking away ... maybe it’s best to throw convention to the wind. In that situation, it’s OK to give the offense — one of the best in the league, by the way — a chance.
Bill Belichick obviously wouldn’t throw McCourty under the bus yesterday, but when asked if there are plays that fall under the category of letting the opponent score, he responded, “Yes, of course.”
Hey, Bill: That was one of them. Even though the Pats offense had pulled up lame in the second half, Tom Brady might be the best 2-minute QB in the NFL. If ever there was a time to “miss” a tackle, that was it.
If only it were that easy.
“As a defensive player, specifically, you see a guy running down the field, you tackle him,”
cornerback Kyle Arrington said yesterday. “That’s what you’ve been doing since you were in little league. But that’s why we go back and watch film, and all of us can look at it and we all can learn from those type of situations.”
Indeed, it seems like a similar play will turn out differently next time.
“I guess you could let the guy score, therefore give the offense a chance to go down there and score themselves,” Arrington said.