I know Bill Belichick is getting ripped to shreds by the Monday Morning Quarterbacks, but I think his decision to go for it on 4th and 2 was a smart one. The intelligence of a decision isn’t based upon whether the fickle fortunes of Fate smiled upon it or not, but if it was the right way to bet in the circumstances.
Peyton Manning has proven that he can take this year’s Colts 80 yards for a TD in 28 seconds. Given how the Colts were moving the ball in the second half, with Manning taking them 79 yards to score in only six plays, there was no reason to believe that the New England defense was likely to shut them down if the Colts were given the ball on their own 30 with two minutes and three timeouts to spare. The fact that most coaches will mindlessly throw their defenses under the bus by taking the less probable option that conveniently lets them off the hook doesn’t mean that Belichick was wrong to take the responsibility and play the odds even though it didn’t work out for him. In fact, I would argue that his controversial decision demonstrates why he is a great coach for whom players want to play.