This time, the Patriots were saved by a missed field goal from point-blank range. What a bookend to a decade of dominance. Ten years ago, they were saved by a fumble that, after further review, wasn’t a fumble.
The Lords of Luck. Or the Lords of Tuck.
Let’s not pretend that after all the video study, all the practice reps, all the preparation and strategizing and execution and heart and grit and guts, luck doesn’t rear its head over and over again at times like this. Random, uncontrollable, garden-variety dumb luck.
It’s supposed to even out over time, whether it’s 60 minutes or an entire decade. Still, how does it land in the Patriots’ lap so often?
Well, here’s something else we should stop pretending: The Patriots get lucky because they’re good enough to benefit from it every time it shows up. The “residue of design” thing, the “favors the prepared” thing—they really do apply.
It’s harsh, and it’s painful if your team is the one that just blew a golden opportunity to get to the Super Bowl, as Baltimore did Sunday night when Billy Cundiff yanked that 32-yarder to the left.