Patriots stalled on fourth-quarter drive

January, 16, 2011
1/16/11
10:21
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When the Patriots' offense took the field with 12:55 remaining in the fourth quarter, they were down by two scores -- 10 points -- with their season on the line.

Yet, it was easy to question the Patriots' urgency in the situation. Three of their first five plays were Danny Woodhead rushes, with the clock ticking under nine minutes by the time they reached midfield.

"I felt like the operation was the operation," offensive tackle Matt Light said. "I really didn't realize anything much different from what we have done in the past.

"You still have to communicate and do what you do," Light continued. "In a mode like that where it's pretty much desperation, it's all about getting your best plays out there and hopefully let the situation run itself."

As the Patriots' drive continued to wear on, a combined four more runs by Woodhead and fellow running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis brought the Patriots to within field goal range, but at the expense of the game clock.

"They were playing a lot of DB, pass coverages," coach Bill Belichick said of his team's decision to run the ball. "We thought we had some good opportunities to run it. Some worked out, some we could have handled better."

Having used most of the 40-second play clock for the majority of the drive, the Patriots found themselves in a fourth-and-13 situation with 5:19 remaining in the game.

Quarterback Tom Brady's pass attempt was dropped by wide receiver Deion Branch, and the Jets' 31-yard line remained the high-water mark for the drive, which yielded zero points.

"It didn't work out for us," Light concluded.

That much was clear. The Jets took over the ball with barely five minutes left on the clock, still with a 10-point lead.

The only accomplishment of the Patriots' drive, spanning nearly eight minutes? Running out the clock and helping to seal a stunning Jets victory.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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