The Belichick Gamble
As is expected, Bill Belichick is being widely criticized for his decision to go for it on 4th and 2 on his own 28 with a 34-28 lead and roughly 2 minutes left against the Colts Sunday night.
I actually didn't think this was that bad of a decision, had the Patriots played differently after the play came up short.
If you get it, you win. If you don't get it, then you basically allow the Colts to score a touchdown too quickly, get the ball back, and try a field goal to win it.
They had a chance for this to happen with about a minute left, when they decided to tackle Joseph Addai one yard short of the end zone just before the winning TD to Reggie Wayne. Had they allowed Addai to score there, then the Colts would not have run off more time before finally making the winning play.
We've always heard of the idea of allowing the opposition to score to get the ball back with time on the clock (I've never seen it), and this was the perfect time to do it. And I thought they were going to allow Addai to score on that play. It looked like half the defenders were thinking that, but the other half didn't get the message.
Whenever a decision such as Belichick's last night occurs, and it doesn't work, then the idea must be, "What is our best chance to win now?" rather than "We should have punted." Once it didn't work, Belichick should have said, "OK, make it look as good as you can, but let them score, unless Manning throws a gift-wrapped ball your way."
Then you put the ball in the hands of Brady, and I'm sure he could get the yards required to put them in position for a field goal.
I think people might be too hard on Belichick considering he just saw Manning carve up his defense in 2 minutes on the previous drive. A punt would have put the Colts around the 25-30 yard line depending on the kind of return, and with 2 minutes and a timeout he could have easily gotten them back to that same spot in no time.
So, the bad decision to me was not going for it on 4th down, but not allowing the TD earlier. Because you knew that was going to happen anyway, so give yourself a chance to win.