Tiki & Tierney: Patriots regretting late field goal decision vs. Buccaneers?


Tom Brady's long-awaited reunion with the New England Patriots in Foxboro naturally ended in dramatic fashion, thanks to a doink heard 'round the world.

With under a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, trailing by two in the pouring rain, Patriots kicker Nick Folk missed a go-ahead, 57-yard field goal attempt that stunningly struck the left upright, sealing a 19-17 win for Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.

Following the game, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told reporters that he didn't consider keeping the offense on the field for a 4th-and-3 from Tampa's 37-yard line. He expected Folk to make the kick, and he nearly did.

"I understand why Belichick did it," Tiki Barber said during Monday's edition of the Tiki and Tierney show. "Because Bill Belichick is the type of coach who says, 'We've trained you for purposes, and you're doing to do -- in whatever situation you find yourself in -- exactly what we've trained you to do. So, for Nick Folk, it's driving rain with a wet ball...

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"You train Nick Folk to do a job, to go win the football game. Go do your job. So, he trusts everyone -- almost to a fault, sometimes -- he trusts guys to do their job when called upon. And Folk just clanked it, missed it by two inches. If it's two inches to the right, it goes through."

According to Next Gen Stats, Folk had just a 45-percent chance of making the field goal, while the chances of converting on fourth down were marked at 52-percent. Did rookie quarterback Mac Jones deserve a shot to make a play and drive further down the field? The numbers say yes. Under primetime pressure, the Alabama product completed 31 of 40 passes for a career-high 275 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Brady's performance was far less impressive -- he completed 22 of 43 passes for 269 yards with no touchdowns. But the 44-year-old did make NFL history at Gillette Stadium, as he became the league's all-time passing yards leader during the first quarter. Sunday was also Brady's 41st career win after trailing in the fourth quarter, the second-most by a starting quarterback in history.

New England (1-3) will visit the Houston Texans (1-3) in a Week 5 matchup on Sunday, Oct. 10. According to FiveThirtyEight's projections, the Patriots have just a 24-percent chance to reach the playoffs and a 9-percent chance to win the AFC East.

Tiki and Tierney's complete thoughts on the Patriots-Buccaneers game can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow the Tiki and Tierney Show on Twitter @TikiAndTierney and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.