Almost a week removed from one of the greatest regular season games played in recent memory, my attention has turned to the media's treatment of Tom Brady after his Patriots fell short to the Indianapolis Colts, 35-34.
Now, if you're sitting back and thinking to yourself that Tom Brady has little to be blamed for, you might very well be right.
But that's not the point.
I am not trying to argue that Tom Brady had a poor performance in his loss to Indianapolis; I'm simply going to illustrate the treatment Brady receives in comparison to the quarterback who did win Sunday's show-down.
No, Peyton Manning wasn't criticized much for helping to complete an eventual 17-point comeback to win the game.
Everything's better when you win.
But I couldn't help but focus my attention upon Patriots' head coach, Bill Belichick.
Now when it comes to Bill Belichick, we are talking about a man whom I have very little respect for.
I have plenty of respect for his ability to coach his football team—to that end, he might very well be one of the greatest to ever do so.
My issue with Belichick is the ways in which he tends to carry himself, the ways that he treats opposing coaches and players when he leaves the field after a loss, and, of course, his willingness to break the rules to gain a competitive advantage.
Yet while I could write a book about the "evils of Bill Belichick," I couldn't help but feel as though he was treated unfairly by the media after his decision to go for it on fourth down resulted in a turnover that led to a Colts game-winning touchdown.
Kind of hard to feel bad for a guy who once decided to go for it on fourth down while being ahead by more than 40 points against the Washington Redskins back in 2007, but in this case, it wasn't greed that proved to be Belichick's undoing.
When the Patriots failed to convert on fourth down, his choices were to either put the football in the hands of Peyton Manning or Tom Brady.
The choice was obvious, for Belichick at least.
He trusted his Hall of Fame quarterback to be able to gain at least two yards, not a tall order if we're talking about "Mr. Clutch" anyway.
Yet Brady's offense failed to pick up the necessary yardage.
The rest is history, Peyton Manning connected with Reggie Wayne for a game-winning touchdown which left only 13 seconds left on the clock.
Not even Tom Brady could come through that fast.
After the game was over, everyone in the media (besides a few loyal Patriots fans who rightfully defended their coach) began to fire shot after shot at Bill Belichick.
But let's break this down, shall we?
Yes, he did risk giving away fatal field position to Peyton Manning which we all knew would likely result in a touchdown, I get that.
People say that Belichick didn't trust his defense or that he showed them some lack of respect by deciding to keep his offense on the field.
Reality check: We're not talking about the 2003 Patriots defense any more.
So what would be more likely, a solid (yet injured) Patriots defense stopping Peyton Manning from going about 70-yards down the field or "Mr. Clutch" Tom Brady picking up two yards?
If you can't trust Tom Brady to pick up two yards when he's throwing to Randy Moss and Wes Welker being covered by two rookies, then I think you have bigger issues than a lack of respect for your defense.
Belichick's decision was logical, it just so happened that the Colts' defense stepped up and made a great play.
Bill Belichick is not "stupid" for thinking that Tom Brady could pick up two yards.
But we'll never see anyone throw any blame upon Tom Brady's shoulders, will we?
Tom went 29 of 42 for 375 yards, throwing three touchdowns and one interception but when it came down to it, he came up a yard short.
Does this make Tom Brady a choker?
Think about it, all he has to do is pick up two yards and the Patriots would have likely won the game and been well on their way to securing home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Yet two yards ended up being a bit too much.
Tom Brady a choker? Of course not!
He played an excellent game, but he just so happened to come up a bit short of what his team needed to win.
The concept of your quarterback playing a good game of football only to lose anyway is a concept which his rival could certainly relate to.
I assure you that if the positions were reversed and it was Peyton Manning's offense who failed to get two yards to win the game while Tom Brady threw a game-winning touchdown pass, we would here about why Peyton Manning is the choker and why Tom Brady is Mr. Clutch.
The bottom line here is that neither Bill Belichick should be blamed for this loss.
True, if they made just one more play they would have won but nobody can be perfect in today's NFL.
I simply wanted to point out yet again, the clear double-standard that exists between the treatment of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
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