one thing that happens in these campaigns is very analogous to sports: a natural ebb and flow. so if you get the lead, your impulse is to relax slightly, fall back and play defense, even if that's not what you're telling yourself to do. like a decent nfl or premiere league game or championship chess match will feature a very clear ebb and flow of momentum. obviously usually the axelrod-type operation is quite good, but i think that here they really decided to play defense; they decided that the main thing was not to blow it, not to make a mistake. that's not irrational but it's the way you lose the initiative. sometimes that's exactly the way a team comes back on you when you take a big lead. as the color man says, they 'went away from what got them here': started to call running plays up the middle, or went into a slowdown and started giving up turnovers; they 'lost their aggressiveness.'