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Photo Courtesy of Elise Amendola
Last night when Bill Belichick deferred during the overtime coin toss and took the wind instead of the ball, I almost vomited in my mouth. In theory, taking the wind in a situation where a field goal becomes the deciding factor is a pretty easy call. But theory goes out the window when Peyton Manning and the best offense in football then get a chance to end the game with a touchdown.

This was one of the gutsiest calls I've ever seen. Bill Belichick dared one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history to drive down the field and beat him. This is the type of confidence in the defense that was lacking during the infamous 4th and 2 call Belichick made several years back, when it was Manning leading the Colts to an improbable comeback against the Patriots. The difference is, last night the call paid off. The Patriots didn't win in spite of it, they won because of it.

Peyton Manning is simply not the same person when throwing into the wind. There are all kinds of stats to back that up, and the Patriots received the added bonus of having to make the Broncos drive much further down the field in order to have any chance at kicking a field goal. The Patriots defense was able to hold the Broncos twice in overtime before the wind kissed a Ryan Allen punt and blew it into a Bronco blocker, giving the Patriots the ball back, already in position to kick the game winner.

After the 4th and 2 call in 2009 Belichick was destroyed by the media, (I actually believe he made the right call, the defense couldn't stop a nose bleed...), but this time he is hailed as a genius.

Nick Underhill provided a great quote from Devin McCourty after last nights action:


I couldn't have said it any better myself. The brilliance of this decision wasn't that it was an innovative idea. Anyone watching that game saw the merits of taking the wind in that situation. Belichick is a genius because he stuck with his gut, put his neck WAY out on the line, and showed supreme confidence in a team that was once down 24-0, to come back and seal the deal. I'll admit, I was screaming profanities at the TV when I saw what Belichick was about to do. I've never been happier to be wrong, and I'll never second guess him again.

-Ryan Cereola
-@ryancereola

Unknown 11/25/2013 04:07:00 PM Edit
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