Monday, November 16, 2009

Bill Belichick's Brass Balls

A few points regarding a certain coaching decision that might make talk radio and the internet simultaneously explode this morning...

First, loved the call. Loved the aggression, loved the balls it took, loved that it pisses off boring old conventional football wisdom, loved that Bill Belichick coaches like it's a Madden game, and really loved that it backfired and the Pats lost.

Maybe it's an oversimplification, but from the Pats' perspective: Do you like your chances better of giving Tom Brady the ball to get 2 yards on 1 play with Kevin Faulk and Wes Welker as options, or handing Peyton Manning the ball (anywhere on the field) with 2 minutes, 1 timeout, and in need of a TD? Given those two options, we'd let Brady have a crack at it.

(Note: We've seen a few writers place what seem like arbitrary percentages on the two options, including Peter King, who was very against the move: "Let's place the odds of Brady getting two yards at 60, 65 percent. The odds of Manning going 72 yards to score a touchdown in less than two minutes ... that's maybe 35 percent." So in other words, 65% chance that Brady makes it, 65% chance the defense stops Manning if they punt. Also, here's a dude who did the math.)

And if you're the Colts, what are you hoping they do there? Seeing Brady stay on the field to go for it on 4th down must have been terrifying. Give Manning or Jim Caldwell a shot of truth serum and ask, at that moment right before the play happened, if they'd prefer the Pats to punt or rely on their defense to stop Brady from completing a 2-yard pass.

Finally, we're with Gregg Rosenthal, who notes that because of all the scrutiny of Belichick, we're forgetting that the Colts did a fantastic job coming back and scoring those final two touchdowns, including a ridiculous catch by Reggie Wayne.

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