Foxborough, MA: It was a wild, Wildcard weekend with three of the four home teams losing and the one winner sneaking by in overtime. Saturday night featured what may have been the last game of the Bralichick Era as the Pats lost in a game they called as if Jason Stidham were the QB. It was a strange one and I’m still a little confused.
It was a Monday night game in late October against the Jets when Bill Belichick reminded us that he knows how to exploit the rules better than everyone else. The punt team took a delay of game penalty and when the Jets declined, the clock started again. Right before the play clock expired, the Pats took an intentional false start. The clock started again and the Pats finally punted just before the play clock expired. They were able to run nearly a minute and a half off the clock without snapping the ball.
There is an episode in season 4 of Breaking Bad where Hank is convinced that the deceased Gale was the infamous Heisenberg. All Walter White has to do it let Hank continue to think that and the investigation will be closed. Hank and the Feds will be off his tail. But Mr. White is unable to let Hank think Gale was a “genius” capable of his handywork. He lets Hank know that Gale was no genius and was probably copying someone else’s work. This leads to Hank taking a closer look at the file and realizing Gale wasn’t his guy. Walt’s ego got the best of him.
Belichick’s cheekiness with the rules came back to haunt him when his old friend Mike Vrabel used the trick against him and ran over a minute off the clock without snapping it. Belichick was livid, but how could he be? Vrabel, like the rest of us, probably only knew about this trick because of Bill’s shenanigans against the Jets.
The internet exploded with Belichick haters (raises hand) orgasming with schadenfreude. My question is why would Belichick play that card in a meaningless situation? His team was up by 33 in the Sam Darnold “6th Sense I see Dead People” game. Darnold was 11 for 32 with 86 yards and 4 picks . Yeah, I’m pretty sure that one was over.
Why didn’t he keep it in his pocket and save it for a key spot? Was it a need to show us all the he’s one step ahead yet again? Did he pull a Walter White? I don’t get it.
In spite of the Vrabel turnaround, the game was there for the taking and there were several plays that Pats could have made to win it. The Julian Edelman third down drop is on the top of that list. The three stuffed running plays to Sony Michel on first and goal from the one is next. But it was interesting to see the Pats in a position where they trusted their defense more than the offense or their kicker. If Gostkowksi (remember him?) was healthy, the Pats might have won that game. But if things had played out the same way, that extra minute would have given Brady one more legitimate chance down by only one.
If this is the end of the era, I for one don’t mind seeing it end on a pick six. The NFL just quietly announced that Spy Gate 2 had nothing to do with the team. Yeah, I’m sure those cameras were focused on their next opponent’s sideline and player groupings for an entire quarter for a documentary show about a scout. That makes sense. Good riddance.
Was Walter Bill White Belichick just unable to restrain his hubris? Let me know what you think in the comments. Or just come back tomorrow for Angry Ward, who doesn’t care what you think. Follow us on Twitter at @BenWhit8, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.