Coach Bill Belichick is an evil genius. He has the uncanny ability to play Jedi mind tricks on opposing teams. His latest masterpiece was during the divisional playoff game against the Ravens. Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to go "Inside the hoodie" and dissect his latest trickery. Something I like to call "The Ineligibles"

Rewind back to the week 6 matchup between Detroit and Minnesota. The Lions line up for a 1st and 14 at the Minnesota 16-yard line. However, the offensive formation seems to be a bit "off".

On the left side of the formation, we have a lineman (circled) that is an ineligible receiver because he is covered up by another receiver. Meanwhile, another lineman reports as eligible and is positioned at the right tackle spot. When the ball is snapped, the lineman lined up as a receiver on the left side of the formation is used as a decoy. The Lions send four wide receivers on vertical routes, leaving four lineman to protect Lions QB, Matthew Stafford. The Lions trickery was unsuccessful as the Vikings defense was not confused.

Fast forward to the divisional playoff and we witness Belichick's genius. Inspired by the Lions, Belichick draws up a similar play but with different personnel.

Instead of using lineman, Belichick uses running back Shane Vereen (circled) as the ineligible receiver and line up tight end, Michael Hoomanawanui, at the left tackle spot. This is classic Belichick-ean genius. Due to Vereen's stellar pass catching ability, the Ravens account for Vereen even though he cannot catch the ball. With the defense confused by the formation, the Patriots snap the ball and Brady hits an uncovered Hoomanawanui. Unlike the Lions, the play worked to perfection because it caused that WTF moment for the Ravens defense.

Despite what people say about Belichick, you must respect his intelligence and the amount of preparation he puts into every game. The Patriots will face the Colts in an AFC championship showdown. Personally, I cannot wait to see what our hooded mastermind has in store for those ponies from Indianapolis.

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Michael J. Weathers 1/15/2015 09:34:00 PM Edit

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