Even a quarterback as experienced in the postseason as Tom Brady sometimes makes clock-management mistakes at big moments.
Just before halftime in New England, Brady botched his clock management, running for a short gain, going down inbounds with 20 seconds remaining and then failing to call a timeout. If Brady had either thrown the ball away or called his timeout immediately, the Patriots would have had time to take another shot at the end zone. Instead, Brady hesitated and Patriots coach Bill Belichick finally called timeout with four seconds left before the half.
That set up a Patriots field goal, and New England went into the locker room up 13-7 at halftime. With better clock management, it might have been 17-7.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said at halftime that he’s pleased with how his team is playing, despite the deficit.
“I’m not concerned about anything — we’re down by six,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve done a nice job in the red zone at both ends.”
In the second half, Harbaugh will have to hope his offense can get more red-zone opportunities. And Belichick will have to hope that if it comes down to a last-second drive, Brady displays better clock management.