Not sure if this has been mentioned, but I was reviewing the play-by-play of last years Baltimore @ NE game. Here is how the game ended:
2:46 1 - 10 NWE 33 Tom Brady pass complete short left to Deion Branch for 7 yards (tackle by Bernard Pollard)
2:04 2 - 3 NWE 40 BenJarvus Green-Ellis left tackle for -1 yards (tackle by Terrell Suggs and Cary Williams)
1:56 3 - 4 NWE 39 Tom Brady pass incomplete short right intended for Aaron Hernandez (defended by Ed Reed)
1:53 4 - 4 NWE 39 Zoltan Mesko punts 44 yards, returned by Lardarius Webb for 4 yards (tackle by Sergio Brown)
1:44 1 - 10 RAV 21 Joe Flacco pass incomplete deep left intended for Anquan Boldin
1:39 2 - 10 RAV 21 Joe Flacco pass complete short left to Dennis Pitta for 5 yards (tackle by Patrick Chung)
1:14 3 - 5 RAV 26 Joe Flacco pass complete short left to Anquan Boldin for 13 yards
1:09 1 - 10 RAV 39 Joe Flacco pass incomplete short middle intended for Ray Rice (defended by Jerod Mayo)
1:05 2 - 10 RAV 39 Joe Flacco pass complete short middle to Anquan Boldin for 9 yards (tackle by Nate Jones)
0:58 3 - 1 RAV 48 Joe Flacco pass complete short left to Anquan Boldin for 29 yards (tackle by Devin McCourty)
0:51 1 - 10 NWE 23 Joe Flacco pass complete short right to Anquan Boldin for 9 yards (tackle by Julian Edelman). Anquan Boldin fumbles (forced by Julian Edelman), ball out of bounds at NWE-10
0:27 2 - 1 NWE 14 Joe Flacco pass incomplete short right intended for Lee Evans (defended by Sterling Moore)
0:22 3 - 1 NWE 14 Joe Flacco pass incomplete short right intended for Dennis Pitta (defended by Sterling Moore)
0:15 4 - 1 NWE 14 Billy Cundiff 32 yard field goal no good
So, New England had a 3rd & 4 situation inside 2 minutes, up by 3, at their own 39. They chose to throw the ball. The pass was incomplete. When the Ravens got the ball, they had 1:44 on the clock, from their own 21.
They ran 6 plays to get to the 23 yard line which took 53 seconds. That left them with three shots at the end-zone, plus time for a FG attempt.
Had Belichick ran the ball on 3rd & 4 (a much more makable down and distance), that would have taken off about another 40 seconds, Baltimore would have gotten the ball at the 20 with about a minute left. Had their ensuing drive gone identically, they would have maybe
had time for one shot at the end-zone (or kick the FG) ... maybe.
Had Cundiff made a simple 32 yard FG, it would have been appropriate to blame Belichick for not burning more time prior to the 2 minute warning.
No, I think running the ball in this situation was the right thing to do.