Belichick stands by kicking off to start OT

Dec 28, 2015

Eric Decker’s six-yard touchdown catch on the first drive of overtime – after New England stunningly chose to kick off – lifted the Jets to a 26-20 victory yesterday that put NY in position to make the playoffs. But instead of electing to receive the kickoff Patriots coach Bill Belichick instructed his captains to kick. That decision worked, this one flopped.

But Belichick did, indeed, want to select to kick it off, and even said he informed officials before the coin toss that he wanted to kick to avoid any confusion. And the referee, Clete Blakeman, was taken aback enough that he went to Belichick to make sure that’s what he wanted.

“What I did want to do is defend a goal and have them choose to kick off. We chose to kick off and”.

“Well, it was better, but again, there were two fourth-down conversions that we had to make that, I don’t know if you’re in overtime, I don’t know if you’re going for it on fourth down in that situation unless you’re desperate, which if we hold them to a field goal then you do have to go for it on fourth down”, Brady said.

Each team recorded one first down on its first possession of the game before punting.

The New England Patriots wanted to go the distance this year and they can still do that.

NY wasted little time getting into scoring position. “There was nearly no wind in the game, so that wasn’t a big consideration. We didn’t get to decide which way we got to kick it off as well”.

Marshall and Decker improved their franchise record for receiving touchdowns in a single season to 24. If the Steelers miss the playoffs, that would be the third time in five years and would waste an offense this season that has been mostly unstoppable. “I’ve never been more proud to be on a ballclub like this”. The Patriots scored on a 9-yard touchdown pass to James White, with David Harris leaving White uncovered in the middle of the field. Their recovery process it starting to come to an end and if everything works out for them in the next few weeks, then there is a good shot that the Patriots will have them for their postseason games. In this case, he (correctly) chooses the Thompkins/Decker side, as the Patriots have shifted a safety over the top of Brandon Marshall, as many teams do in the red zone. Kick off is set for 1 p.m. “A lot of guys have been in and out of the lineup”.

OL LaAdrian Waddle played in his first game with the Patriots when he entered the game at left tackle after Sebastian Vollmer left with a leg injury. So we (went) out there (and) we won the toss. The Jets’ defense was everything it has been billed to be all season: talented on the back end, tough and terrorizing in the front. He also kicked a 44-yarder. The Jets have their former head coach standing in their way.

Belichick must have believed his Patriots could do just that.

In the shotgun on each play, not even Penn & Teller showed as much slight of hand as FitzMagic exhibited on the drive, first with a two-yard burst from Chris Ivory. It was his career-best 13th TD catch of the season and his 99th reception overall. The nervousness among Jets fans in the crowd was palpable at that point. It was a slow, methodical 80-yard 13 play drive with no play gaining over 12 yards.

Rex Bowl II. The Jets (10-5) will clinch a playoff berth with a victory over Rex Ryan and the Bills (7-8) on Sunday in Buffalo.

The biggest factor influencing the occasional decision to kick off is always wind. New England was 1 of 10 on third down, although it was 3 of 3 on fourth-down conversions.

Fitzpatrick (26-for-41, 296 yards) threw three touchdowns.

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches his team warm up before an NFL football game against the New York Jets Sunday Dec. 27 2015 in East Rutherford N.J


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