The debate surrounding Bill Belichick‘s decision to go for it on fourth-and-two on Sunday night has drawn reactions of all sorts, from pretty good call to pretty bad call, and from horrific call to fantastic call.
Though opinions from critics have varied, the opinion of the coach has never wavered. He believed in his call before he made it, and he believed in his call after he made it, even with the negative result.
On Monday, Belichick stuck to his guns.
“There were a lot of plays in that game that you think about,” Belichick said in his news conference in Foxborough. “Obviously, from a coaching standpoint, there’s always a lot of things that could have been done better by me and the players and everybody else. You always feel that way after a tough loss like that. We’ve all got to do a better job, starting with me, and find a way to win those games.”
That statement was the biggest admission of any responsibility for the loss, as the coach insisted late Sunday night that it was the right call.
“We thought we could win the game on that play,” Belichick said in the immediate aftermath of the game. “That was a yard we thought we could get.”
It turned out to be a yard they could get — the problem was that they needed two.
Belichick said on Monday that the coaching staff decided on third down that if fourth down came up, the Patriots would be going for it.
“I thought it was our best chance to win. I thought we needed to make that one play, then we could basically run out the clock,” Belichick said. “We weren’t able to make it.”
The coach took partial responsibility for a miscommunication before the fourth down, an error that resulted in the Patriots burning their final timeout and thus losing the ability to challenge the fourth-down play.
On WEEI’s The Big Show, Belichick reiterated his feelings regarding his decision, saying that the play made the difference between winning and losing the game.
“Basically it came down to if we had made that play, we would have been able to run out all or most of the clock,” Belichick told The Big Show. “We didn’t need very much [and] we felt good about the play. I’ve been on the other side of that one — that’s basically where we were in the AFC championship game. [We’ve] done it both ways. We tried to win the game on that play. It didn’t work out.”
According to Belichick, the play was made for Kevin Faulk and not Randy Moss, though both were in the area of the thrown ball.
“We had the play, and that’s what we wanted to do in that situation,” Belichick said on WEEI. “We were spread out. It gave us some options. Tom [Brady] went to Kevin [Faulk], one of our best receivers. Two of our best players, and it was just a couple of inches short.”
Belichick clearly isn’t going to dwell on the past — at least not publicly. When a reporter asked if he’d do it again, Belichick replied, “You only get one chance.”
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