There was a lot not to like yesterday as the Patriots fell to the Miami Dolphins. The below sequence, however, is my least favorite of the entire day:
New England Patriots at 0:32
1st and 10 at NE 20 (Shotgun) S.Vereen right guard to NE 27 for 7 yards (C.Wake).
Timeout #2 by NE at 00:25.
2nd and 3 at NE 27 S.Vereen right end to NE 33 for 6 yards (C.Wake).End of 1st Half
This is the series prior to the half and the play calling makes quite literally zero sense.
First: Why are the Patriots running their most versatile player up the gut with no plans of actually going for a score?
Second: When said versatile player is oft-injured and there are other backs, bigger backs, who could accomplish the same goals, why are they using the smaller back?
Third: If the Patriots weren't planning on going for any points in the first place, why the heck are they even running the ball? Wouldn't they accomplish the same feat by just kneeling down and reducing the risk of injury?
Fourth: WHY CALL THE TIME OUT?! That makes absolutely no sense to stop the clock and allow more of an impact to your same, injury-littered-past-yet-still-most-important-back-on-the-roster running back?
Fifth: In the past decade, teams have called for a run play in between their own 10-30 yard line 1,275 times at the end of the half.
Zero of those runs have resulted in a touchdown. 0.00%
Zero have gone for over 60 yards.0.00%
One has gone for over 40 yards. 0.08%
Two have gone over 30 yards. 0.16%
Sixteen have gone over 20 yards. 1.25%
In order for this play to result in any points, the Patriots would have to gain a minimum of 40 yards to even conceive the notion of kicking a field goal. The odds of that happening are just crazy stupid. For comparison, Shane Vereen has received or rushed the ball a total of 168 times in his career (seems low, right?). If we only count his wrist injury this season, ignoring his foot and hamstring injuries of the past, that means he was injured on 0.60% of his snaps.
Making this rather flawed comparison, it's more likely that Vereen would get injured on this play than he would gain even 30 yards. The injury rate is flawed, but let's be serious: why even take the risk?
And not just take the risk. Call a timeout and risk it again. On an already injury-decimated roster. Why?!