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SI's King: No way to justify Belichick decision

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  November 17, 2009 08:41 AM

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Here's how Sports Illustrated football expert Peter King assessed Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on fourth down late in Sunday's Patriots-Colts game in this week's Monday Morning Quarterback story.

"All in all, I hated the call. It smacked of I'm-smarter-than-they-are hubris. Let Manning, with the weight of the world on his shoulders and no timeouts under his belt, drive 72 yards in two minutes, with his mistake-prone (on this night) young receivers and the clock working against him. Sure he could do it. But let him earn it. This felt too cheap. It was too cheap. Belichick's too smart to have something so Grady-Littlish on his career resume, but there it is, and it can never be erased."

One key point in the story is his analysis of the possibility of a replay on the play.

"If they could have challenged the spot, what would referee Scott Green have ruled? I saw the replay eight or 10 times. There wasn't a perfect angle with a camera right at the 30, and you couldn't see exactly when Faulk stopped juggling the ball and got indisputable possession. Over and over again in the wee hours this morning, I watched to see when Faulk had the ball, and it was very, very close. But I'm fairly certain Green wouldn't have been able to change the call, because of how difficult it was to tell when Faulk had it cleanly."

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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