In the wake of last night’s COACHFAIL in the Pats-Colts game, the universe and its mom have been leveling unvarnished invective at Bill Belichick. Rightly so, at first blush; with a few seconds before the 2 minute warning and protecting a dwindling 34-28 lead, Belichick opted to go for it on 4th and 2… from New England’s own 28 yard line. The try failed by a slim margin, the Colts took over, and Peyton Manning calmly guided his team to the winning touchdown with 13 seconds to play. Ballgame.
So, yeah. Going for it and failing from the hinterlands of Obvious Punt Territory - soon to become the USA’s 51st state - and watching the game slip away immediately afterwards is an unforgivably bad decision, yes? Well, not so much. Contrary to immediate intuition, it was, in fact, the Patriots’ best chance at winning the game.