Bill Belichick’s vaunted genius got the better of him last night, when a gutsy fourth-down gamble cost the Patriots a win in Indianapolis. Up by six with 2:08 left on the clock, New England decided to go for it on fourth-and-two from its own 28. Kevin Faulk made the catch, but fell short of the first-down marker. Peyton Manning capitalized on the short field, tossing the game-winning touchdown for the Colts a few plays later.
“We thought we could win the game on that play,” Belichick said repeatedly afterward. “That was a yard I was confident we could get.” Let the second-guessing begin. “This was the worst coaching decision I have ever seen Bill Belichick make,” said ex-Patriots great Rodney Harrison. Dwight Freeney opined that even in a video game, that would be a bad call. The game carries big implications—Indy will almost certainly have home field advantage if the teams meet again in the playoffs.