by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
We at PD find it difficult to put this devastating 35-34 loss at Indy on Bill Belichick’s sweatshirt-shrouded shoulders. Going for it on fourth down actually made some sense at the time. A part of me liked the idea: get the first down, give yourself a shot at winning the game right then and there.
That said, what the hell was up with that play call?
With Tom Brady out of the shotgun, the Colts went to the line knowing that the Patriots had to pass. No QB sneak or quick-hit handoff to a fullback. No attempt at redemption for running back Laurence Maroney (see below). Nope, the defense knew what Brady had to do, giving them an advantage from the first sign of the formation.
If you’re going to go for it on fourth down, coach, give yourself a chance. Get the defense thinking about all the possibilities, from not snapping the ball to a downfield pass. Lining up in the shotgun only helped the Colts, forcing your O to come up short. For that, Coach Belichick, we ask you to take a lap.
(Sort of) Honorable Mention: Last week in the comments section, I gave Maroney an honorable mention for the PD Game Ball. At the time, I didn’t realize he’d fumble it.
I have wavered back and forth on Maroney more than his dreadlocks. Now I know that – to paraphrase his coach – he is what he is. He’ll have some great games and some bad games; he will show promise and then pull it away.
I liked that he began to lower his shoulders vs. Indy’s defense. I liked that he fought for yardage at the goal line. I would have liked it a hell of a lot better if he’d remembered to BRING THE BALL WITH HIM.
Maroney apologists will point to his yards per carry and his potential for being New England’s best option. Of them I ask: what the hell is their deal? Are they getting paid or something? Can’t they just understand that some fans are disappointed in him and leave it at that?
And I hope they’re not saying, “Well, you can’t blame him for one bad play,” because yes, I can do that. I can do that all day, every day, for a month.
Mr. Maroney, you have the Jets at home next week. Please do better.
Email Chris Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org