JoePo, as always, has some great insights on this matter. Click Here (sportsillustrated.cnn.com) to see it.
As for my own opinion;
Peyton Manning is Peyton Manning. The way to beat Peyton Manning this year is to not give him the ball. I mean, if you have to intercept the truck carrying the footballs to the staduim with a rocket launcher, then you need to go ahead and try to take out the truck with literal rockets to keep the footballs away. This does NOT take away from Belicheck's brilliance, because he had the right idea. Peyton at your 30, his 30, him fighting off a tiger with a chair riding a unicycle, it don't matter. So IMHO the right call to make is to go for it on 4th down, because either way Peyton Manning is going to get the ball, and you're screwed. Unless you make the 4th down, then you win.
That said, Pats fans are welcome to the kind of loss that I experience on a regular basis. The losses of the Bills variety.
(edited by El Nastio on 16.11.09 1950) You know, I really don't know what to put here. Close your eyes and thank of something funny!
All I know is I was rooting for the Colts and when they broke up that 3rd and 2 pass, I breathed a sigh of relief. Then I saw they weren't gonna punt...and my gut level instinctive feeling was that of dread. I wanted them to punt. I'm sure most Colts fans did too. I wouldn't be surprised if most Colts players wanted them to punt.
So I can't hate on the call that much. Faulk doesn't bobble that ball, they win.
I did enjoy Posnanski skewering Peter King's faulty math logic:
Originally posted by Joe PosnanskiQuick Update: I was reading my colleague Peter King's take on the Belichick call, and I think this is telling. He had this sentence in there:
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, Peter was giving the Patriots about a 60-65 percent chance of winning the game if they went for it, and about 65 percent chance of winning if they punted. So that's about even, right? Of course, it's not even because the Colts did not have a 100 percent chance of winning if the Patriots failed on fourth down -- not even close to 100 percent chance. As we have discussed, there was a reasonable chance that the Patriots could keep them out of the end zone. And there was also a chance that the Colts would score too quickly and the Patriots would have time to score themselves.
So even though Peter compared the Belichick move to Grady Little's Pedro Martinez follies -- "I hated the call ... it smacked of I'm-smarter-than-they-are hubris" -- his own math suggests the Patriots' best chance to win the game was to go for it.
It isn't the worst call ever made, but I think you have to at least try and pin the Colts back. If the Colts had a full complement of timeouts I might think differently. But as things were, I think you have to take the chance to pin them back.
I would argue with Posnanski. Considering Belichik seemed to consider the Colts as being almost 100% to score from 60-70 yards away, I think it seems fair to assume the Colts damn near 100% to score from the Pats 29.
If they are almost 100% to score from their own 20 or whatever they would have started from, why even try when your top offense can try to get 2 yards?
I don't understand how its not trusting the defense either.. it's saying 'if we don't get it, we trust you that you can stop them from 30 yards too'. it's stupid to say it's a lack of trust of the defense in that situation, in my opinion.
Bellichik knows a little about late game winning drives too. I remember the Super Bowl vs the Rams that started this nightmare.
Why is everyone just assuming that Manning would've automatically driven Indy down the field and scored? He's not a superman. If the Patriots punt, that's pinning the Colts back around their 20-25 yard line or so with about 1:45 left on the clock and only one timeout left. That's hardly a gimme, especially given that Manning had already thrown two lame-duck interceptions earlier in the game and has a tendency to choke in big games against anyone other than AFC South opponents.
Kirk, crackers are a family food. Happy families. Maybe single people eat crackers, we don't know. Frankly, we don't want to know. It's a market we can do without.
That was one of the most painful losses that I have ever experienced. Two plays that have totally gotten loss are the Maroney fumble at the goal line, and a WTF pass interference call in the 4th quarter for major yards. I also can't remember the last time that little juggle had been called like that in a game.
That all being said I couldn't believe he was going for it on 4th and 2 at that spot. Watching the whole thing unfold was surreal. Going from he is just going to try and draw them offsides and take the penalty, to is he going for it, is he really going for it, HOLY SHIT somebody stop him, to YAY we did it, to ah crap. That play was the first thing that popped into my head when my alarm went off.
Hopefully they can build off of this. I would be shocked if this was the snowball that turns the team against him, but it could go that way. I agree with the majority and think Belichick should have punted there, but if he made it I would have been calling him a genius all day so I can't really crucify him either. I like the fact that he went all in and went for the kill, I just don't know if that was the right place to do it. It was reckless, but maybe you have to be once in awhile, or maybe you just can be when you are one of the only coaches in the NFL that has ultimate job security.
Stomach kick games are the worst though. At least it made this week interesting.
I loved the call. BB did the same thing in the Atlanta game and it worked perfectly. I don't think you can underestimate the impact that the bullshit pass interference call on the Collie play earlier had in his unwillingness to give the ball back to Peyton.
Face the facts, everyone would have a huge BBoner if Faulk had caught the ball and the Pats had made the first down. Sometimes the right call doesn't work.
You also left out another money quote from Posanski.
*And come to think of it: Wasn't he showing MORE faith in his defense by thinking they could stop Peyton Manning's Colts from the 30-yard line?
Indeed, Joe. Indeed.
Holy fuck shit motherfucker shit. Read comics. Fuck shit shit fuck shit I sold out when I did my job. Fuck fuck fuck shit fuck. Sorry had to do it....
Revenge of the Sith = one thumb up from me. Fuck shit. I want to tittie fuck your ass. -- The Guinness. to Cerebus
Originally posted by The ThrillAnd lo, TMQ did speak, and did deem the call "exactly the right thing."
I was wondering which way he was going to go on this one since he isn't much of a Belichick fan, but a big fan of going for it on 4th down. I also have to agree with him that the calls leading up to the 4th and 2 call were way worse. These Patriot fourth quarter collapses are becoming a common thing in big games. The fourth quarter used to be when a Belichick team stomped on the throat of the other team. Then again there hasn't been any kind of steady running game since Corey Dillon which is probably a big part of that problem.
Rich Eisen is on the newest Sports Guy podcast (sports.espn.go.com), and he credits another NFL Network pro-turned-analyst saying Favre might return but wants no part of playing the opening game in New Orleans with a weak ankle.