In response to anonymis' comment:
If we assume that the Patriots are loaded on offense, and still can't stop opponents on D when it counts.....then "ball control offense" doesn't work.
Right now, Patriots have to score a ton....and pray the opposing team doesn't just come back, or the opposition doesn't have the ball for last offensive possession and score, or the the Patriots can actually come back on the last offensive possession and actually score because the defense couldn't hold up on their end.
IMO, this is a myth you are propagating.
Neither the Pats' D in SB 36 nor SB 38 did well in the fourth quarter. In both games, the D allowed the most points in the fourth.
No, the offense does not have to score a ton. They just have to score enough.
Look at the per quarter score on SB 36. Rams scored 3, 0, 0 14. That is exactly the same per quarter score that the Pats gave up to NYG in SB 42. On those games being compared, and measured by the ultimate metric for output, which is the pts scored, the 2007 D played as well as the 2001 D.
But, you know what was different? In SB 36, the Pats already scored 17 in the first three quarters, giving them enough of a cushion despite a fourth Q collapse by the D, PLUS, after the D's collapse, the O found a way to score to put the game away. This was back when TB was still learning the game.
Pats scored 20 pts in SB 36 and they won. Anyone who says that's a lot is saying that out of bias.
Interestingly, the the Pats could have won SB 46 with 20 points, if TB did not give up the safety.