The New England Patriots did a lot of good things in their loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. But, as is to be expected following a loss, there were a few decisions made that have rubbed people the wrong way.
The Patriots took the Packers to overtime, despite being forced into playing third-string rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe for the majority of the game. New England was solid on the ground and made timely stops against Aaron Rodgers’ offense, including a big-time play before halftime, to keep the game closer than it had any right being. Once the game got to OT, however, things seemed to unravel.
The Patriots defense forced a quick three-and-out of Rodgers and the Packers, before rookie Marcus Jones set them up at their own 49-yard line for a chance to win the ball game. Damien Harris runs on first and second down led to a third-and-five from the Green Bay 46. One incomplete pass from Zappe later the Patriots decided to punt.
That punt, from the Green Bay 46-yard line, on fourth-and-5, with 6:53 remaining in OT, while tied 24-24, ranks as one of the most “cowardly” decisions made this century, according to The Surrender Index, who calculate how crucial decisions stack up against each other in terms of the likelihood they are to work and how often they are made by others.
Bailey’s final punt of the day Sunday had a surrender index of 57.09, which ranks at the 99.6th percentile of “cowardly” punts of the 2022 season, and the 99.4th percentile of all punts since 1999.
Green Bay would go on to drive 77 yards on 12 plays, chewing up 6:47 off the clock and setting up Mason Crosby for a game-winning field goal. While that specific decision didn’t hand the win back to Green Bay, it certainly didn’t help New England’s chances to pull off the upset victory.