The Bill Belichick Coin Flip Strategy Cost the Pats a Win
Bill Belichick can’t help himself. He has to prove he’s the smartest guy in the room always. During Sunday’s AFC East showdown between the New England Patriots and New York Jets, the Patriots won the overtime coin flip. and decided to kick off to the Jets. Patriots special teamer Matthew Slater signaled the Patriots‘ decision to kick off. This was the Bill Belichick coin flip strategy. After a bit of confusion at mid-field, the game resumed. Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick led a drive down the field punctuated with key receptions by Quincy Enunwa, Brandon Marshall, and the game-winning touchdown by Eric Decker. In the direct aftermath of the Jets win, a question remained. What exactly was Belichick thinking? The Patriots won the toss. Why give the Jets the chance at a walk-off win, without Brady touching the football?
The Belichick Coin Flip Explanation
In the video clip, Slater does seem initially confused by official Clete Blakeman’s question. But Slater does say, “We want to kick, that way.” But after the loss, Slater told reporters that he was indeed instructed by coach Bill Belichick to ask to kick.
Did Slater make the wrong decision? Was it the Patriots’ intention to receive? We will never know the truth because Belichick later said he wanted to kick to the Jets to start OT. But keep in mind, the Patriots behave like a secret society. If a Patriots player screws up, no one outside of Gilette Stadium will ever find out. If the decision to defer was intentional, there are a few factors why the Bill Belichick coin flip strategy is plain wrong.
Hindsight Always Win
Belichick may have his own mad-scientist schemes for overtime kickoffs, but he should have had a better feel for momentum going into the fifth quarter. The Jets almost scored the winning touchdown in regulation, but Enunwa couldn’t reel in a pass from Ryan Fitzgerald.
The Patriots came back from a 17-3 deficit to tie the game, with the Brady to Gronkowski connection coming alive in the fourth quarter. Don’t you want to win the game with your best players on the field? The Patriots defense hadn’t stopped the Jets receivers all game and were down their two starting safeties. Brandon Marshall finished the game with eight catches for nearly 120 yards. The defense didn’t deserve the chance to lose the game for Belichick. If Belichick thought the Jets couldn’t score with the game on the line, it’s ego and arrogance. If we needed more proof of the Pats’ arrogance, watch Belichick’s post-game press conference.