Why don’t we just kick the field goal?…40 yarder and the game’s over.Tom Brady to Bill Belichick Superbowl LIII
Everyone in the sports world seems to want to psychoanalyze Tom Brady’s disappointment in the play of the offense after their 17-10 win over the Eagles last week and are all reading a million things into it when it all boils down to simple offensive math. Plus Nine.
If you hold a lead of 9 points or more, then as an offense you have more room for risk. You can try a running play or a short pass that consumes time simply for the sake of clock management, or risk a pass play to a receiver who is less sure or reliable because you don’t risk losing the lead,
With such a lead the need for opposing defense to recover the ball or generate a score is large and gains urgency as the game continues. Such a lead forces a defense to take risks that might turn one of those short time consuming plays into a big score.
Finally with such a lead even if the ball is turned over due to an interception or a punt the need to score twice forces an offence into situations that favors your defense and if worst comes to worse and they score anyway after the ensuing kickoff your offense in general and the Quarterback in particular still has control their own destiny.
If however your lead is 8 or less then any mistake has the potential of costing you the lead. If you throw into coverage the ball is intercepted the ball can at worst be run back for a lead changing score and at best gives the ball back to the other side with a chance to take the lead or win the game while you have to sit on the bench, completely helpless relying on your defense to make the stop.
Brady isn’t frustrated because of ego, he’s not frustrated because he wants to be the star, he’s frustrated because he knows what it’s like to sit on a bench and watch a game slip away due to a mistake (think Miami miracle) , or an impossible catch. (think Superbowl XLII) or even just an offense on a roll (Superbowl LII). Sure your defense might hold like last week against the Eagles or even make an impossible play to preserve the win (think Superbowl XLIX).
It’s not that he doesn’t have trust in his defense, he’s frustrated because the offense, his offense, is placing a burden on the defense that has the potential to cost them wins in the short run and a championship in the long run and he takes that responsibility seriously.
If you doubt this for one moment compare the reaction of Tom Brady after he put up spectacular MVP class numbers while losing Superbowl 52
And his reaction after being held to 13 points and one touchdown in winning Superbowl 53
This isn’t about ego, it’s not about money, it’s not about a contract. Tom Brady wants to win. That what it’s all about.