Poll: Biggest reason for Patriots' loss

February, 6, 2012
2/06/12
10:00
AM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- We are putting the finishing touchdowns on our weeklong journey to the capital of Indiana. The result was the New York Giants winning their second championship in four years over the New England Patriots, 21-17.

ESPN.com covered plenty of angles for both teams Sunday night. But Monday we want to hear from our AFC East community.

Here is our latest poll question: What's the biggest reason the Patriots lost in Super Bowl XLVI?

Was it the lack of points on offense? New England's high-powered offense, led by quarterback Tom Brady, only scored 17 points. Was that enough to win a Super Bowl? New England’s offense started slowly and finished slowly. There were some good moments in the middle quarters, but that wasn’t enough.

Speaking of the offense, what about receiver Wes Welker? The usually sure-handed Welker dropped a big pass down the seam that could have led to a first down and much-needed points in the fourth quarter. The Patriots were leading by two points. But Welker failed to make the play, which put the ball back in Giants quarterback Eli Manning’s hands.

That leads me to New England's defense. With 3:46 remaining, the Patriots' defense had a chance to close out the game but failed. New England allowed Manning and the Giants to drive 88 yards for the Super Bowl-winning touchdown. Is New England's much-maligned defense to blame?

Finally, New England overall was sloppy and had mental errors. There were 12 men on the field, missed assignments, a rare Super Bowl safety and miscues you're not used to seeing from the Patriots. Was lack of mental sharpness the reason New England lost?

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on the biggest reason New England came up short in Super Bowl XLVI. You can also share your thoughts in the comments section below.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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