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Chris Richardson
National Blogger

Chris Richardson

The lead writer for IntentionalFoul.com.

Belichick played to win

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I'm seeing an awful lot of "I know better than Bill Belichick" sentiments this morning, and it's becoming downright laughable. Cries of hubris and arrogance and "punt the friggin' ball" are everywhere you turn. Apparently, besides giving fans carte blanche to second guess, the armchair makes people much smarter than they normally are.

So much so, in fact, we now have an army of suitable replacements for Bill Belichick.

Sarcasm aside, it's not like Belichick is above criticism. He's not. But I'm already fed up with the "punt the ball moron" discussion that will unfortunately permeate throughout the rest of our sports day. In fact, if you are a Patriots fan who is still hurting over last night's awesome finish, I'd stay away from ESPN if I were you. And the radio waves. And the Internet.

You won't be able to escape the incessant rehashing.

Yes, in hindsight, the easy answer is to punt. Second guessing and hindsight are rarely wrong, but allow me to take a different point of view. If I was in Belichick's shoes, I don't think I'd want Peyton Manning having the ball back again either.

I mean, it's not like Belichick didn't have a front-row seat to Indianapolis' fourth quarter scoring drives, drives that went a combined 158 yards in 3 minutes and 54 seconds, resulting in 14 points. So yeah, after watching his defense flounder around on the field during the final quarter, letting the Colts back in the game, I can certainly understand why Belichick didn't want Manning to have the ball back with a chance to win.

As for the thinking involved, I don't believe there was any "I'm better and smarter and my quarterback's hotter than yours" type of thinking going on over on the Patriots sidelines. Belichick simply thought his team had a better chance to win with the ball instead of defending against a Peyton Manning last stand.

And he might be right.

In fact, if Kevin Faulk doesn't bobble the ball, these same pundits currently crushing Belichick would be (begrudgingly) singing his praises, while complimenting the bowling balls in his pants. Alas, we know how the game ended, and the role Belichick's decision played. Nevertheless, if he was presented with the same scenario -- especially in the regular season -- I'm pretty sure he goes for the first down again.

Considering the way the Colts were moving the ball, I wouldn't blame him, either.

By Chris Richardson  |  November 16, 2009; 11:59 AM ET  | Category:  Indianapolis Colts , New England Patriots Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Excuse me Mr. Armchair but players do bobble balls, drop snaps, drop passes, fumble or whatever else you can think of on "Any Given Sunday". Let's not forget that the offense had the same two yards on third down. They didn't get it. Guess what? They didn't get it on fourth down either. If it was any other coach, I'm sure you comment would be different.

Posted by: Tjoel | November 16, 2009 3:45 PM

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