Fourth and two on your own twenty-eight yard line with a little over two minutes to play and you're up by six.
Why wouldn't you punt?
Alas Bill Belichick is a rare breed.
He rolled the dice and crapped out.
Forget that the Patriots blew a sixteen point lead, this will live be a decision that will live in Patriot infamy for a long time.
But Bill Belichick doesn't care what you and I think.
He's got five Super Bowl rings and is a surefire hall of famer. He's entitled to a mistake or two.
But what I and other Patriots fans still feel is that although he maintains he was in the right, it still was the wrong call.
That was not Matthew Stafford under center for the opposition, that was Peyton Manning, probably the greatest clutch quarterback of his generation.
In other words, that's probably the last quarterback you want to face with a short field and the game on the line.
If you punt, the odds are that you pin him deep in his own territory and since his deep balls weren't that accurate all night, you'd probably win.
In essence, you make him beat you
But Belichick decided to risk giving Manning and early Christmas gift.
Predictably, Manning continually dinked and dunked is way to the end zone, giving the Colts an improbable victory.
In essence, he let them beat him.
Manning was masterful, in quickly getting his offense down the field with no running game and his favorite target, Dallas Clark, brilliantly covered by the Pats D all night.
While the defense may have been gassed, you had no choice but to send them out there for another potentially long drive. You can't afford to cut the Colts a break.
You must punt the ball in that situation.
There's some other angles you can play to assess this loss, like Lawrence Maroney's fumble in the end zone, but Belichick's gaffe virtually guaranteed that the road to Miami in February goes through Indy.
Now there's only one thing left to say.
Thank you for your guest coaching appearance Mr Little.
Now please remove the Belichick mask and be on your way.
Elsewhere in Week 10 action:
- Say what you want about their history, but the Bengals are for real this year. The defense absolutely dominated the Steelers offense.
- From an NFL standpoint, Maurice Jones-Drew's decision to take a knee was smart in that he didn't risk a fumble. From a fantasy standpoint it stinks, but remember that fantasy is just pretend unless there's money involved.
- Jets fans must have had a grand old time whooping it up when Belichick blew it. But remember guys your coach wasted two timeouts in the second half and could not stop the clock. That in effect killed any chance for a late rally.
- Do you see what happens when Jake Delhomme doesn't throw a pick? he's a winner. The no-huddle is a big help too.
- I hope the Packers gave a game ball to Charles Woodson. In forcing two fumbles and intercepting a Tony Romo pass in the end zone. He single-handily proved that the Pack can play elite defense against a quality opponent.
- Sometimes all it takes to motivate you to play your best is the news that your going to be a Father. LaDanian Tomlinson found out that's all he needed to lead the Chargers to a key victory against the Eagles.
- Even though Jim Zorn may be fired, and Albert Haynesworth may be the biggest money embezzler in DC, the Redskins can take comfort in the fact that they used a trick play to beat the Broncos.
- Beanie Wells finally arrived in the NFL in scoring two touchdown and keying a Cardinal rally against the Seahawks.
- You can't blow everyone away. The important thing is that the Saints still left Saint Louis with and still undefeated.
- Is there a running back on a bigger roll in the NFL than Chris Johnson? After a two touchdown effort on Sunday, Johnson even got a signed TO jersey to boot!
- Miami and Tampa Bay proved that you can still make something of yourself if you learn from your mistakes. Josh Freeman shook off a bad first half and had a good second half, and Chad Henne atoned for an interception by leading the Dolphins on a winning scoring drive.
- Sidney Rice should get a game ball too, as his late touchdown put it away and moved the Vikings to 8-1.
- Imagine if the Chiefs played every game in Oakland. They'd probably win the west.
- Did you see anything you liked in the Forty-Niner Bear game? Neither did I. Congratulations to San Francisco anyway.
- Even uglier was the Browns/Ravens tilt which was personified by a horrid first half, no points from the Browns, and a vicious hit by Ray Lewis on Brady Quinn in retaliation for a perceived chop block by Quinn on Terrell Suggs.
- Next week is my annual list of things I am thankful for in regards to the NFL. Have a good week everybody!
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