Welcome to the morning after a tough loss. We have woken up to losses before, but nothing like this in recent memory. We want to drink our disgusting office coffee and wallow in the despair that was the epic battle last night with our team drawing the short straw.
There have been many different thoughts floating around as to why Belichick would go for it on 4th and 2. Ideas such as he is paying off mob dues, if it worked we would be chanting his name from rooftops, or Mangini somehow got ahold of the headset are still swirling in the toilet with my post game despair. There is no denying this morning that the loss last night was the fault of our New England Patriots but they made the right decision.
Belichick has always been known as the guy willing to risk it all and it finally came back to bite him… hard. Going for it on 4th and 2 with just over 2 minutes remaining from your own 29 yard line while up by 6 came across as a gutsy move and it certainly would have fared a little bit better had they succeeded.
These Patriots had an offensive game going that would be boasted in articles and Sportscenter for days and 2 yards was the usual flip to Welker or Faulk but the one place that Belichick either didn’t think of or thought couldn’t possibly become a factor was the timeout situation. Brady had burned two timeouts quickly before this play including one that was called coming off a clock stoppage, a true sign that there was clear confusion in the headset.
These timeouts were their last and coming down to the decision of 4th and 2, Belichick had to have been thinking about it at length. But what were the odds that that timeout would possibly be a factor? We want time to run off the clock, I don’t want to stop it. Little did he know…
But what exactly was the opposing decision that had to be made? Have Hanson come out and punt the ball away with 2 minutes left, giving the Colts (and more notably) Peyton Manning, the ball… in a two-minute drill… for the win… against the Pats?! They had just come off of a 79 yard drive for a TD that only took them 1:49, and earlier in the quarter the Colts had a 79 yard drive for a Garcon TD reception that took only 2:04. Was it worth it to give them the chance to do it 3 times in the quarter?
This is Peyton Manning people. Despite what some of the delusional callers on WEEI and 98.5 The Sports Hub, he is not really a crappy football player using “smoke and mirrors” to disguise his real inability to play, he is not on a downward spiral, and as much as we would like to believe it, he is not the devil (sorry Fitzy).
This defense was tired and had given up two very quick drives for touchdowns already in the 4th quarter and once again, this is Peyton Manning. If you can keep the ball out of Peyton Manning’s hands with under two minutes to go and the lead, that is the ideal situation. Just like the Colts fans stood and hoped just for the chance to put the ball into the hands of their heralded leader, we have our own future-HOF quarterback who, at that time, had the chance with the ball in his hands and that’s a chance I will take.
There are two possible results to any chance taken and unfortunately, this time, the Patriots came out on the wrong end of that spectrum. Bill Belichick made a gutsy decision and a questionable decision but either way, it was the right decision. No matter what defense you parade onto the field in that situation, you have to believe that the more preferable situation is to keep the ball (and game) out of the Colts’ hands, no danger can be done if they can’t get the ball.
A decision was made last night that may be questionable for a long, long time but it was the right decision that just ended with the wrong result.