Although a beautiful 38-yard catch by Giants receiver Mario Manningham is etched in our memories, the Patriots were still in decent shape at that point. They held a 17-15 lead with 3:46 remaining. The ball was at midfield and their win probability remained 53.3 percent. The real killer was QB Eli Manning’s 14-yard pass to receiver Hakeem Nicks, about a minute-and-a-half later, on second down. That play put the Giants inside the Patriots’ 20-yard line (at the 18), well in range of a field goal.
A field goal in that situation wouldn’t have been a crusher. The Patriots would have gotten the ball back needing just a field goal of their own to win. (Stephen Gostkowski had converted all five postseason attempts and had missed only twice since Halloween.)
A decision looms on Tyrod Taylor, who won’t be back on that contract and might not be back at all if the Bills can’t work anything out. If Taylor stays, the Bills’ job is to surround him with talent. If he goes, they’re in the same unfortunate bucket as these next four teams.
The trick for Jones is doing what’s right for Romo and the franchise.
“We’ve got a lot to do. We’ll get it sorted out. That’s what it’s all about,” Jones said. “Relationships come into play here.
“When you’ve got the kind of relationship I’ve got with him, and the type of person that Tony Romo is, we’ll get this worked out.”
Jones knows the odds are against it, but he still hopes he can persuade Romo to back up Prescott.
So what’s the sales pitch?
“It has to do with what his options are,” Jones said. “If he went to another team, it has to do with what his ability is to compete here.