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Overtime Call Was a Window Into Bill Belichick’s Coaching Mind

Referee Clete Blakeman tosses a silver before overtime of a Jets win on Sunday. The Patriots inaugurated to flog off, permitting a Jets to measure a game-winning touchdown.
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A day after a Jets’ 26-20 win over a hated Patriots, New England manager Bill Belichick was still confronting questions about a ostensible difficulty surrounding a silver toss that gave a Jets a round in overtime.

“I don’t consider there was any confusion,” Belichick said. “[Referee Clete Blakeman] came over to me after a toss and said, ‘You got what we wanted here, right?’ we said, ‘Yeah, exactly.’”

Just about everyone, including CBS commentator Dan Fouts, seemed to trust that Patriots captain Matthew Slater had misspoken when he told Blakeman that a Patriots wanted to flog a round to a Jets to start overtime, rather than accept a kickoff.

“That’s a mistake!” Fouts exclaimed before erroneously suggesting that Slater’s preference to flog was inadvertent. “Slater was perplexing to scold a mistake and Clete Blakeman wouldn’t let him.”

But there was no confusion, as Slater and Belichick have given confirmed. The doubt came from a sell during midfield, in that Slater both chose to flog and specified a side of a margin a Patriots wished to defend. By rule, a group that wins a silver toss can usually make usually one of those choices.

Perhaps it was Blakeman’s initial doubt following a silver toss—“Do we wish to kick?”—that confused Slater, who had a choice of kicking, receiving, or selecting a side to defend. But according to an NFL spokesman, there is no central book for officials during a silver toss, so it isn’t as if Blakeman is during fault.

Good margin position—you don’t have to take it as far, we get a stop, need a margin idea [to win].

—Bill Belichick

And as Belichick explained Monday, “there was roughly no wind,” so a doubt of that idea to urge was immaterial. The bottom line is, a Patriots wanted to start overtime on defense—and in annoy of a result, as counterintuitive as it seems, Belichick wasn’t wrong.

Remember, in an bid to de-emphasize a stress of a silver toss, a NFL altered a manners for overtime in a playoffs in 2010, and done a same change for a unchanging deteriorate in 2012. Now, unless a receiving group scores a touchdown on a opening drive, a competition gets a round with a possibility to win a diversion or extend overtime.

So Belichick wasn’t creation a same fumble that former Detroit Lions manager Marty Mornhinweg done in 2002, when he opted for a breeze rather than a round and finished adult pang a 20-17 overtime detriment to a Chicago Bears. Rather, he was creation a logical, if ill-fated, play that a Patriots’ invulnerability stood a good possibility of interlude a Jets offense and reclaiming a round around midfield.

“Good margin position—you don’t have to take it as far, we get a stop, need a margin idea [to win],” Belichick said.

Before Sunday, usually dual of 67 teams that won a overtime silver toss inaugurated to flog off. Both won a game. In 2013, Belichick’s preference to flog off in overtime led to a win 34-31 win over Denver. And in Week 9 of this year, a Minnesota Vikings opted to defer to a St. Louis Rams and were rewarded with a 21-18 win.

Wind was a cause in those dual instances, though that doesn’t change a set of inarguable contribution that were staring Belichick in a face on Sunday.

Many have posited that putting a round in Tom Brady’s Hall of Fame hands with a possibility to win a diversion would have been a apparent move. But a Patriots’ 9 descent drives of some-more than one play on Sunday resulted in usually one touchdown, creation a game-winning expostulate on a opening overtime possession unlikely.

The Patriots’ defense, on a other hand, had significantly some-more momentum, carrying prevented a Jets from scoring a touchdown on their prior 5 possessions.


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Belichick’s preference was serve difficult by a Patriots’ injuries in a backfield and along a descent line. Not usually did a Jets’ reason New England to only 2.9 yards a lift on Sunday, though a Jets had a span of sacks. According to Pro Football Focus, rookie defensive lineman Leonard Williams had another 4 hurries of Brady to boot.

So though a choice to run, a Patriots would have authorised a Jets’ pass rush to concentration only on removing to Brady. And given a significance of margin position, agreeable a pouch inside their possess domain would have been unforgivable.

Even some-more poignant was a participation of Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, a four-time Pro Bowler who has sensitively determined himself as one of a biggest in NFL history. For a year, Gostkowski has done 32 of 34 field-goal attempts, including 4 of 5 from over 50 yards. So while denying Brady seems illogical, personification to win on a defensive stop and a Gostkowski margin idea done ideal sense.

The final measure wasn’t a mark on Belichick though a credit to Ryan Fitzpatrick and a Jets, whose game-winning expostulate put them in position for a playoff berth with a win subsequent Sunday in Buffalo.

Article source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/overtime-call-was-a-window-into-bill-belichicks-coaching-mind-1451348174

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