Second-and-18, 76 yards from the goal line, 11 and a half minutes to go, the Super Bowl on the line. For every play-caller worth his salt, it’s the scenario of a lifetime.
Josh McDaniels lived it last Sunday. You know the result by now. Nine plays and 68 yards in 4:15 to pull within three, then 64 yards in 10 plays and 4:50 to take the lead. In those 18 plays and 132 yards covered, the New England Patriots faced only two third downs: one after the 2nd-and-18 that set the scene, and one more four plays after that. Both went for 21-yard gains.
Given the circumstances – heck, given any circumstances – it was as efficient as offensive football can possibly be played. Peter King conducted extensive conversations with the principals involved – McDaniels and Tom Brady – and got the story of the 19 plays that won the Super Bowl.
“It’s one of the best examples of what we talk about so much—we identify how we want to play an opponent, and then we design a game plan to do that, and it might be the exact opposite of the game plan we had the previous game,” McDaniels said. “But we give it to the players. We told them in this case to stay patient and not panic, and to practice the way we planned. It was an incredible example of the harmony between the players and the staff, and to Bill’s leadership making it all work, and the players buying into it, and just believing. Believing in the plan is so important, and they believed—never more than this game.”
We strongly encourage you to check it out here.