Second Guess: Ought to Invoice Belichick Have Challenged The Spot On A James White Run Vs. Denver?

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By Michael Hurley, CBS dangolka

FOXBORO (CBS) — I get it, I do know, I do know, I do know. When the house staff loses, everybody desires to second-guess something and all the pieces that contributed to the loss. It’s the best, laziest factor you are able to do.

That being stated … it’s time to second-guess a choice made by Invoice Belichick throughout Sunday’s loss to the Broncos.

Extra precisely, it’s time to second-guess a non-determination made by Invoice Belichick, as the top coach didn’t a lot as really feel round for his pink flag after officers dominated James White to have been down a full yard shy of the yard to realize on a third-down run early within the fourth quarter, with the Broncos main New England by 15 factors.

In stay pace, it appeared as if White used his hand to maintain his physique off the turf as he fell ahead and crossed the New England 18-yard line. On replay … it nonetheless appeared like White crossed the road to realize.

However Belichick didn’t flinch, as an alternative sending out the punt unit to kick it away.

See the play for your self. First, in stay pace:

James White tries to lunge ahead for a primary down. (GIF from NFL.com/GamePass)

Now, in slow-mo:

James White tries to lunge ahead for a primary down. (GIF from NFL.com/GamePass)

Match up that shot of White hitting the bottom:

James White (Display screen shot from NFL.com/GamePass)

With the published view that exhibits the place White was when he hit the bottom:

James White (Display screen shot from NFL.com/GamePass)

IMPORTANT NOTE: You’ve heard 1,000,000 occasions in your life that the yellow line isn’t official, and that definitely applies on this case. You’ll be able to see there that the primary down marker is maybe one other six inches or so previous the yellow line. Nonetheless, it nonetheless appears to be like like White picked up the required yardage.

Let’s weight it out

THE PROS OF CHALLENGING

If Belichick challenged the play and received, it could be first-and-10 for New England with slightly below 13 minutes to play. Profitable the problem, although, would have assured nothing, because the Patriots would have had the ball at their very own 18-yard line, on a day when their offense was out of types.

Nonetheless, with valuable few possessions remaining and the sport slipping away, conserving possession of the soccer would seemingly outweigh every other issue when factors have been badly wanted.

THE CONS OF CHALLENGING

Clearly, outdoors of the brutal missed spot on the landing sneak by Newton, it’s by no means a certain factor when a head coach dislodges that pink flag from his sideline gear. It’s an inexact science, and even the certain issues can result in surprises.

So if the officers dominated that White’s wrist hit the bottom and thus the spot was appropriate, or if the officers dominated that White did acquire extra yardage than initially dominated however nonetheless got here up wanting the sticks, then the Patriots could be down a timeout. Invoice Belichick doesn’t wish to throw these issues away within the second half, you realize.

And even when the problem was profitable, the lackluster Patriots offense might have continued to lack luster and punt the ball anyway. (That’s extra of a practical consideration, as if a coach truly thought that in a sport then a staff would have a lot bigger issues than a fourth-quarter potential problem.)

In that sense, punting the ball and counting on the protection to maybe get the staff higher subject place whereas nonetheless conserving possession of three timeouts could be seen as an interesting alternative.

THE PROS OF RUNNING A QB SNEAK

The alternate to any of this is able to be to run the 6-foot-5, 200-something pound behemoth QB up the intestine for the yard, which proved profitable on a number of different cases within the sport. That may have been dangerous, certain. However so is punting within the fourth quarter whereas trailing by 15.

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED

Belichick despatched out the punt unit, and Jake Bailey booted a 53-yarder. On third-and-9, Kyle Dugger tackled Tim Patrick a yard shy of the sticks, giving the Broncos a fourth-and-1 at their very own 39-yard line. The Broncos superior to the road as in the event that they have been going for it on fourth down … which prompted the Patriots to burn a timeout on protection.

That valuable timeout that had been saved was for naught, burned to verify the protection didn’t give up a fourth-and-1 play.

Stings.

Popping out of that timeout, Drew Lock merely bluffed a snap and took the delay of sport penalty. The Broncos punted, and the Patriots gained possession at their very own 35-yard line, after a kick catch interference penalty on Denver.

So, as an alternative of first-and-10 on the New England 18-yard line with, say, 12:45 left within the sport and all three timeouts remaining, the Patriots had first-and-10 at their very own 35-yard line with 10:14 remaining.

WAS IT A BIG DEAL?

In that sense, not the most important, no. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless an fascinating state of affairs that performed out throughout an essential time of the sport.

WHAT DID BILL SAY?

Belichick was requested after the sport if he gave any thought to throwing the problem flag.

“Uh, no,” Belichick stated. “Not likely.”

When requested a follow-up about whether or not he acquired a great take a look at the replay, Belichick snipped, “I simply answered the query, Doug.”

Maybe the tone needed to do with the 18-12 loss his staff simply suffered. Maybe it was a message that the potential advantage of successful that problem didn’t outweigh the chance. That reply will stay a thriller.

WHAT DID WHITE SAY?

Athletes are inclined to at all times suppose they made the play, so think about the supply. On the similar time, White could be very sincere, so once more … think about the supply.

Right here’s what White stated: “I believed I did [get the first down]. I imply I assume they thought I used to be down or no matter on that third down. I believed I had it. However I imply, refs made the decision. That’s what they thought they noticed.”

If this have been a tweet, there’d be a Morgan Freeman “He’s Proper You Know” GIF pointing at that quote.

Hey, take a look at that! Unbelievable what you are able to do on-line nowadays.

FINAL VERDICT

Realistically … Belichick ought to have challenged. The rightness or wrongness of choices can’t be made looking back, so the truth that the protection did (barely) drive a punt shouldn’t be an amazing issue. Likewise, the truth that Drew Lock handled the soccer like a sizzling potato en path to throwing two dummmmb interceptions within the fourth quarter can’t actually be utilized to the thought course of within the second.

At that time within the sport, Denver had seven possessions, and 6 of them ended with factors. Trusting the protection to get that ball again was removed from a certain factor. Maintaining a drive alive was paramount at that time within the sport, and with each the preliminary look and the replay trying like White gained the required yardage (and with the timeout being wasted anyway), a problem was the proper name.

WOULD THE PATRIOTS STILL HAVE LOST THOUGH?

Most likely?

DID YOU JUST ANSWER A QUESTION WITH A QUESTION?

Possibly?

ARE YOU DONE NOW?

Yeah, just about.

DO YOU LIKE ASKING YOURSELF QUESTIONS?

Form of, yeah.

PLEASE STOP

OK.

You’ll be able to e-mail Michael Hurley or discover him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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