1st Down: Every mistake is costly
In the playoffs a team has to make all the necessary plays it needs to win the game, and one little mistake can end your season with the snap of a finger. It could be a costly turnover, a penalty that can derail a promising drive, a dropped pass, or not being able to score a touchdown but instead settling for a field goal.
Unfortunately for the New England Patriots, all three happened Saturday night against the Titans.
Toward the end of the first half, New England had the ball inside the 5-yard line and things were looking good for the offense. They were moving the ball with authority through the air and on the ground. The offensive line was giving Brady a clean pocket to throw from and were opening holes for Sony Michel and others to run through.
However, the Titans made a great goal line stand to keep the Patriots out of the endzone, and forced them to settle for three points instead of seven. If the Pats had been able to score a touchdown, the rest of the game could’ve gone different for the home team.
As the second half continued, the Patriots had multiple opportunities to climb back into the game, but some offensive blunders shut the momentum down quickly. Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, Phillip Dorsett, and Ben Watson all dropped passes that would’ve gone for first downs.
Also, the biggest play of the game came at the hands of a Tom Brady pass to Ben Watson… but a Shaq Mason penalty took away the momentum for more points. Then of course in the closing seconds, former Patriot Logan Ryan picked off Brady for a touchdown on a pick-six.
Those costly mistakes certainly didn’t help matters for the New England Patriots.