Bill Belichick and his complete lack of good sportsmanship shouldn't surprise anyone by now.
That doesn't make it hurt any less when he chooses to chase records at other teams' expense.
Less than two weeks after lighting up the Buffalo Bills for Rob Gronkowski's receiving record, Belichick chose to squeeze in one more touchdown in the first half for Tom Brady. His 19-yard throw to Gronkowski with five seconds remaining in the second quarter gave Brady his fifth passing touchdown in the half, an NFL playoff record.
OK, so this is the playoffs, and it's the first half; anything can happen in the second half. But Belichick decided to keep throwing with 10 seconds remaining to chase another touchdown rather than kick a field goal.
This is a unimportant record—most passing touchdowns in the first half of a playoff game. After this week, radio show hosts won't even use it for call-in trivia contests.
This wasn't about building a better lead; New England's last play could have gone the other way and ended with a sack and lost opportunity for points. Kicking a field goal would accomplish nearly the same results with a greater margin of success.
It wasn't about taking the Denver Broncos out of the game, either. Denver accomplished that on their own already. Their offensive line is paving an interstate to their backfield and their receivers must think catching the ball is a bad thing. On defense, their pass rush is nonexistent; their secondary keeps dropping into a soft zone that Brady picks apart like a Thanksgiving turkey.
No, this was about gaining Brady another entry on Wikipedia.org. The Patriots came out throwing with 69 seconds on the clock and a 21-point lead because an obscure record is more important than showing class against an opponent.
And less than five minutes into the third quarter, Brady tied the record for most passing touchdowns in a playoff game with a pass to Aaron Hernandez.
You can expect Belichick to keep his foot on the gas and put Brady's name on another record before the game's done. There won't be any running the ball to bleed the clock, not with another record to break out there.
Just don't expect anyone except Patriots fans to be happy about it.