Bill Belichick Doesn’t Fault Devin McCourty for Tackling Fred Jackson at Goal Line

Bill Belichick Doesn't Fault Devin McCourty for Tackling Fred Jackson at Goal Line FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said there's no room for second-guessing cornerback Devin McCourty's decision to tackle Bills running back Fred Jackson at the goal line during Sunday's fourth quarter.

Jackson broke through the defense after linebacker Gary Guyton took a poor angle and safety Josh Barrett slipped, and McCourty and cornerback Leigh Bodden chased him toward the goal line. They converged on Jackson in time to tackle him at the 1-yard line.

The Bills then ran out the clock before Rian Lindell's game-winning field goal. In hindsight, it would have been better if Jackson scored on the play.

Belichick was asked Monday if that was a situation in which the defense should have let the ballcarrier into the end zone.

"I think the way the play happened, Devin did what he instinctively would do," Belichick replied. "I wouldn't second-guess him on that."

Because it was a 38-yard gain, the Patriots weren't likely thinking about yielding a touchdown yet at that point of the fourth quarter. Belichick acknowledged there are situations in which the defense can be instructed to allow a touchdown to get the ball back to the offense, but that wasn't the case on Jackson's play.

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