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5. Overtime defense
This writer actually was a fan of Bill Belichick electing to kick in overtime. He was confident that his defense would force the Jets into a three-and-out, which would have happened if not for a ticky-tacky pass interference penalty on Malcolm Butler on third down. A punt from that region would have put Brady and the offense in desirable starting position.
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That yellow flag took the wind out of the sails on defense. Soon to follow was Quincy Enunwa’s 48-yard catch and run, which was the result of a terrible angle taken by backup safety Tavon Wilson. McCourty had better be good to go by playoff time, as the Patriots’ secondary needs him badly.
After Enunwa’s play, it was over. The defense was dispirited, and it was not a surprise when Eric Decker sliced his way diagonally across the secondary for the winning touchdown catch.
Next: 4. Shaky offensive line play