Pats Lose on Belichick Stunner

Colts capitalize on fourth-down screw-up

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 16, 2009 5:33 AM CST

(Newser) – 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.

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009 in Indianapolis.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009 in Indianapolis.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne makes a touchdown catch after the Patriots turned over the ball on downs last night.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne makes a touchdown catch after the Patriots turned over the ball on downs last night.   (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
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Highlights of the game from NFL.com.   (PurdueVIDS)

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