Submitted by bouje on November 15th, 2009 at 11:42 PM

What an ending to that game. Bill with a terrible decision to go for it on 4th. Thoughts?


Dan Man

November 16th, 2009 at 12:56 AM ^

At first, I thought that call was horrible. But then I thought - I think it's less likely that the Pats miss a 4th and 2 and then Indy goes thirty yards for a td than Indy going 70 yards for a td with two minutes and no timeouts.

Crazy and unconventional as it was, it was the right call. That's why Belichick has 3 rings and we're posting on Mgoblog.


November 15th, 2009 at 11:47 PM ^

90 Seconds left, up 6, 4'th and 2 on the bad 30 in front of a hostile crowd...And you go for it? Cannot remember a worse coaching decision. MUCH worse than the last 90 seconds of the UM/Iowa game.


November 15th, 2009 at 11:51 PM ^

I know you mentioned it wasn't a clean catch, but the spot was correct because you can't spot a catch until he has secured the ball and unfortunately, he didn't secure the ball until he was being tackled while behind the line of scrimmage.


November 16th, 2009 at 12:38 PM ^

I agree. Even though he bobbled it, it looks like a first down.

So, the Pats got robbed.

Not the worst call in the world by Belicheck but he should have punted and made Manning's job a lot harder.

The Pats had just failed to make 2 yards on the last play.

Burning the timeouts was pretty dumb as well.


November 15th, 2009 at 11:50 PM ^

I can't figure this one out. My roommate is arguing that if BB thought he had a good chance of getting the first, then he should have gone for it. I've never come so close to telling him to go eff himself.

Utterly ridiculous.


November 15th, 2009 at 11:55 PM ^

Belichick cost them the game, but the Patriots will be back. Upside of a playoff format. Can you imagine if this was a regular season college game?


November 15th, 2009 at 11:56 PM ^

This ending is yet another reason why pro football, imo, a terrible sport. There should be some sort of rule allowing a booth review during all of the game and not just the last two minutes. I know that NE was out of timeouts and could not challenge, but not being able to review the spot is awful.

Double Nickel BG

November 16th, 2009 at 12:17 AM ^

they should do it like NCAA does it. If its a close call, take a look at it. I kinda felt bad for the Cowboys when Romo fumbled and Choice fell on it, then Jolly popped it out while on the ground, and they ruled that you can't review it. JUST GET IT RIGHT!


November 16th, 2009 at 8:25 AM ^

That was one of the stupidest things I've ever seen - they knew they got the call wrong and could clearly see they got the call wrong and they couldn't do anything about it. We're not even talking about penalties here - it was all about a fumble. If Choice had been running with the ball initially it would have been reviewable but since he was recovering it it wasn't? That's just flat out idiotic.

That was also retarded that spot couldn't have been looked at in the NE/Indy game - all the NFL cares about is making the game shorter, they don't give a crap about getting the call right. They only did their pathetic version of instant replay to get people to shut up - not to get the calls right. If they wanted to do that they'd do it the way the NCAA does it...


November 16th, 2009 at 12:17 AM ^

Bill isn't any other coach-If your D had just got scored on in a min and 30 seconds you might make a rash decision when you have Brady, Moss, Welker & that bad ass o-line too. I probably would have punted too but I can't say I look at it as an idiotic move. Just a VERY HUGE GAMBLE. One that a coach of BBs stature is allowed to make.

Sgt. Wolverine

November 16th, 2009 at 12:01 AM ^

I suspect Belichick thought his defense wouldn't be able to stop Indy, so he took what he thought would be his best chance to win the game. Indy had been doing a pretty good job of shredding the NE defense in the fourth quarter, so I can see why he might think it was worth the risk.


November 16th, 2009 at 12:09 AM ^

Completely Agree. SmartFootball agrees with me on this one.
He tweeted tonight:


Exactly RT @SigmundBloom prob of NE converting 4th and 2 + prob of stopping Manning on 30 yd field > prob of stopping Manning on 70 yd field

That's what it's all about. Do you think Tom Brady has a better chance of completing a two yard pass to your receivers than your winded defense has of stopping Peyton Manning in a two minute offense. Think about THAT question and then answer. If you watched the game, I think the answer is pretty clear.
This is pretty obvious, and almost everybody is getting it wrong tonight, just because "conventional wisdom" says punt it way. Either one is a gamble.


November 16th, 2009 at 12:29 AM ^

Exactly, I think that was 100% the correct call. Not to mention the Colts had driven 79 yards in a 1:49 on the previous drive. Obviously it didn't work out but I love the call from Belichick (and I HATE the pats) and I would love to have a coach that gutsy. I mean, if the pats get the first there, the game is over.

This is a case study for what Romer was talking about in his paper about punting and aggressive coaching. When it works, you're a genius, and when it doesn't, fans and analysts think you're crazy and call for your job.

Reminds me of the USC-Texas national championship a couple years back when Carroll went for it on fourth and short at midfield with a couple minutes left. It didn't work and Texas won, but look at the two coaches here. What do they have in common besides aggressive playcalling? A ton of wins, that's what. That doesn't happen by accident.


November 16th, 2009 at 12:08 AM ^

It was giving a running back the ball at all in that drive. The Colts had stopped the run in that last quarter and couldn't stop the pass. A few quick screens give you a little more time off the clock and a better chance of a 1st down. BB didn't cost the game, Moronic Maroney did on his goal-line fumble. Brady and Moss were lights out and Manning will get too much credit for this win. He got a questionable call in the 4th on PI to set up the first score and then the fumble and arrogant decision at the end. The Pats lost this on two plays, really.


November 16th, 2009 at 12:15 AM ^

Very wise you are. This really burns me that people are thinking that it's only a gamble to attempt the conversion.
It's definitely a gamble to punt and then hope you stop Peyton Manning.
The Patriots have an All-Pro QB. They have TWO All-Pro WRs. They are playing against backup DBs. It should have been an easy pitch and catch. The OL didnt' protect well enough and Faulk (whom I really appreciate and is under-rated) didnt' catch the ball cleanly. As you said, in that fourth quarter, Peyton is driving the field for the TD.

If you play to hold on the ball, you win.


November 16th, 2009 at 12:08 AM ^

Pats self-destructed:
-Allowed Peyton to quickly drive down the field in 1:45 to allow the Colts to pull within 6. Why change the defense when it had been working??

-Burned 2 TOs

-The decision to go for it on 4th down isn't the worst decision in the world...but that was a terrible last play called.
The Colts were in press coverage with a single deep safety. Pats should've looked to have some WRs run slightly deeper routes.

Sgt. Wolverine

November 16th, 2009 at 1:29 AM ^

Now that I think about it, his decision to go for it contrasts sharply with the last couple minutes of regulation in the Iowa/OSU game, when both coaches played for overtime despite having plenty of opportunity to get in field goal range. Neither my brother nor I could believe how conservative they were late in the game. Given a choice between that and bold moves like Belichick's, I'll take the latter.

Big Shot

November 16th, 2009 at 5:27 AM ^

I couldn't agree more. I was in awe when Ferentz decided to run the clock and play for OT with 0:52 left. Iowa was on the road, had 1 timeout left, and only needed about 35 yards to get into FG range. I would easily take an aggressive coach any day over a conservative coach who plays not to lose.

Big Shot

November 16th, 2009 at 5:16 AM ^

I liked the call by Belichick. With the way the Colts offense was playing in the 4th quarter, I think Belichick made the right call by trying to win the game with his offense instead of punting and trying not to lose. Unfortunately, it didn't work out for him this time.


November 16th, 2009 at 8:13 AM ^

This is something they've been thinking of doing. They've made similar moves in the past -- not quite as extreme, but the same idea. It is vintage Parcells/Belichick aggression.

The only thing I would criticize is using their final time out at 2:08 to set the play up. I think I want the defense off balance as much as possible, and it might also force them to use their last time out. By calling the time out there you give them a chance to regroup.


November 16th, 2009 at 9:24 AM ^

The fact that Bouje thinks otherwise makes me feel SO MUCH better. Now I KNOW it was the right call.

I am going to trust the three HOF'ers in the offense to get 2 freaking yards more than the Pats defense every time.


November 16th, 2009 at 10:55 AM ^

And coaches can make bad decisions. But that doesn't mean that they should be crucified for making what someone perceives as a bad decision.

I didn't like the call, you did. Which side is right? Hindsight is 20/20 but I think that you should punt it there.

***EDIT*** Also using your logic I guess that Tony Dungy is also an idiot since he shared my opinion.


November 16th, 2009 at 11:03 AM ^

One one side you have:

The pats defense( decent but ravaged by injury and gassed as hell at that point in the game) going against Manning (who btw hasn't lost something like a SINGLE night game in the last three years) who is red hot and blew them apart in the previous drive.

on the other you have:

The Colts defense ( decent but DECIMATED by injury, no Bob Sanders, no Marlin Jackson ....the list continues) going up against Brady, Welker and Moss with Brady and Moss playing at the old 16-0 levels AND wait for it....needing 2 freaking yards. Get that and GAME OVER.

And you cannot seriously blame Bill for choosing option 2 and claim to know ANYTHING about the game. Wow. That is all. I cannot explain it any more clearly.

There are no "right" decisions in football, only probabilities. Are you saying option one had a distinctly higher probability of succeeding?


November 16th, 2009 at 11:11 AM ^

get it?

I personally thought that they were trying to draw them offsides to get the win.

You also fail to mention that Peyton threw some terrible throws throughout the game with 2 of them being picked off. They would have had less than 2 minutes with only 1 time-out to drive 70 yards. They drove 79 yards in the previous drive in 1:49. It would have been close and to say "you're an idiot for thinking the opposite of me" is a terrible argument.

And yes, yes I do think that option 1 has a higher probability of succeeding. But that's just like my opinion man.