Pitarresi: Belichick decision not that dumb
Ordinarily, I say punt.
Bud Wilkinson, the old
That said, I am not sure New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is as much of an idiot as he’s being made out to be today, after trying to convert a 4th-and-2 from his own 29 with just over two minutes to play while protecting a six-point lead against the Indianapolis Colts.
Was it dumb to do that? Yeah. It didn’t work. But had the Patriots converted – and they nearly did – Belichick would be being celebrated as a gutsy genius. Had Tom Brady been able to hold the ball a split second longer, had Kevin Faulk been able to get a couple of steps deeper, had Faulk not bobbled the ball, the Patriots would have won.
Belichick, not the most simpatico guy in the world to begin with and a target of a lot of envy because of his success, is being pilloried today. One angle is that he sent a message hat he had no confidence that his defense would be able to stop Peyton Manning on a 70-plus yard drive, which is probably how far the Colts would have to go had
Maybe, but you could also argue that he had plenty of confidence in his defense. The Colts still had to score. Yes, there is a huge difference between 29 yards and 70 yards, and you are playing against one of the great quarterbacks of all time, but the Patriots had a chance to stop them.
So, the Patriots lose an opportunity for home field throughout the playoffs. Again had I been the coach, I would have punted, but I don’t think Belichick’s call was quite as dumb as it is being made out to be. Have a yard more, and today he’d be an even bigger genius than he usually is made out to be.