Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

You Can’t Stop the Horse

November 16th, 2009 · 7 Comments

Late start today, due to the fact we stayed up late last night watching our beloved Colts mount a miraculous comeback against their archenemies. For the record, we think Belichick’s gamble was a good one—the Pats had been unstoppable in short-yardage situations all night, and the Colts’ D has been decimated by injuries. That said, we’re glad the pigskin gods saw fit to spread joy in Indy.

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • hubcap

    My beef with the 4th-down gamble was that if the plan was to go for it on 4th, then the third down play should have been a run. Even if the Pats didn’t get any yards, it would have forced the Colts to take a timeout or run the clock to 2:00.

    Part of the advantage of going for it on 4th is that it opens up play-calling on the other downs. The pass/pass on 3rd/4th makes me think it was a spur-of-the-moment decision and therefore less wise.

    I did like how Belicheck took off his headset after the colts scored the go-ahead TD. Kind of “get me away from this thing before I do any more damage.”

    My wife, to Colts’ coach Jim Caldwell after they scored: “Say something! ‘Woo-hoo!’ Move your lips!”

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    That’s an excellent point, and one I hadn’t previously considered. Yeah, Belichick managed the clock poorly, which makes me think the 4th down call was totally improvised. Not very chessmaster-ish of the genius, eh?

    I’ve been doing some reading this a.m., and a lot of folks are saying the decision also signaled to the Pats defense that their coach doesn’t trust them.

    But I still like the call–if it worked, everyone would be hailing Belichick’s gutsiness. The Pats had just been killing it on 3rd-and-short all night–pretty much everything within five yards, actually. And if Faulk hadn’t bobbled the ball before getting hit, they would’ve made their coach look real good.

    Caldwell is, indeed, completely unemotional on the sideline. Very much against the trend for HCs these days (e.g. Josh McDaniels, Mike Tomlin). Can’t really argue with 9-0, though.

  • Russ Mitchell

    Plus, it looked to me that if Belicheck had been able to demand a booth review, the decision would have gone to the Pats. On replay with the down line visible, it looks like even after the bobble Faulks was down in front of the line and then slid back behind it. Unless there’s something about a rule here I don’t understand…

    In any event, one of the best fourth quarters ever.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    Oh, he could’ve challenged–the play was outside the two-minute warning, and (IIRC) he had a timeout to give. But I very much doubt he would’ve gotten a better spot–the booth officials are typically loathe to change spots by a few inches.

    It’s a call that could’ve gone either way on the field. The Colts got a little lucky, for sure.

  • hubcap

    As a DC-area Redskins watcher, I was mostly thrilled to see two QBs who can throw right to their receivers, and receivers who can actually catch. Two of those plays (Moss’s 1st TD and a beautiful sideline toss to Reggie Wayne) were among the finer pitch/catches I’ve seen. It sure is fun to watch people who are really good at their jobs.

    And my day would have been duller had I not seen Randy Moss’s neckbeard.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    Well, look on the bright side–y’all have the best fight song in the NFL, hands down.

    Yeah, the Moss beard gave me a “huh?” moment. I guess he’s trying to make up for the fact that Logan Mankins opted for a more shaved look this season.

  • Gramsci

    Pats didn’t have a timeout– they had wasted them a few minutes before. Belichick would have definitely challenged had he had one.

    Some stat folks say it was the right move.
    http://www.advancednflstats.com/2009/11/belichicks-4th-down-decision-vs-colts.html

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