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Thursday, September 23, 2010
Examining 2nd half struggles

By Mike Reiss

Jeremy Lundblad of ESPN Stats & Information writes on arguably the Patriots' top issue, second-half collapses on the road, in a piece now posted on ESPNBoston.com.

This is a relatively new problem for the club.

"From 2002-08, there were 371 NFL games in which a team led at halftime but went on to lose. The Patriots suffered just one of those losses -- a 2004 second-half comeback by the Miami Dolphins," Lundblad writes. "New England did this despite leading at halftime more than any other team. In all, they were 66-1 with a lead at intermission. If anything was a sure thing, you could bet on the Patriots holding a late lead."

That is no longer the case.

"Since 2009, the results have not been nearly as favorable," Lundblad writes. "The Patriots have led at the half 14 times, tied with the Packers for most in the NFL, but they are just 9-5 with a halftime lead, the 24th-best winning percentage in the NFL. Only the lowly Rams match that loss total."

While there are multiple reasons for the struggles, Lundblad focuses on one of the biggest.

"Much the way he deservedly received credit for the team's success, ultimately the blame falls on [Tom] Brady," he writes.