For the second time this weekend, an NFL team clinging to a slim lead with five of seconds left on the clock and facing fourth down opted to throw the ball away in order to kill the remaining time. It worked for the Texans on Thursday; it didn’t work for the Patriots on Sunday.
Tom Brady took the snap and heaved it out of bonds, intending to send it flying high enough that the final five seconds elapsed between the moment the ball was snapped and the moment the ball landed.
But it didn’t. The clock stopped before the ball was touched by a Marine who got a hand on it just before it struck the ground.
“I don’t know,” Brady told reporters after the game. “I don’t know. I couldn’t figure it out. I’ve never seen that before.”
Brady accurately said that the ball was still in the air when the clock stopped.
“Everyone says a Patriot gets advantages,” Brady said. “I don’t know about that.”
He can ponder it while polishing his six Super Bowl rings, and while further contemplating a 10-1 start that could be laying the foundation for a seventh.