Bill Belichick not second-guessing aggressive fourth down attempts in Patriots Week 1 loss to Eagles –

The Patriots find themselves beginning the 2023 season 0-1 after falling at home to the Eagles on Sunday. By looking at this matchup from 10,000 feet in the air, New England losing to a team that was just in the Super Bowl a season ago isn’t that surprising. That said, as this game unfolded, a victory was well within their grasp. 

After digging themselves into a 16-0 hole, the Patriots clawed their way back within striking distance thanks to a 14-0 run before the half. By the time the fourth quarter had come along, Philadelphia had tacked on six more points and Bill Belichick was faced with a decision to make with his team down 25-14 and the ball sitting at the Philadelphia 17-yard line with 9:32 to play in regulation. Instead of opting for the field goal, Belichick left his offense on the field, but the unit was able to convert and turned the ball over on downs. 

An ensuing touchdown on their following possession then cut the Philly lead to just five and, a couple of drives later, the Patriots again were faced with a fourth down attempt deep in Eagles territory, which they failed to convert. Had Belichick kicked a field goal during that first fourth down attempt, however, New England could have been able to line up for a game-winning field goal with less than 30 seconds left in regulation instead of needing to pass on fourth-and-11. The Patriots also failed to convert a fourth-and-17 on their second to last possession of the night but were out of field goal range in that scenario. 

Naturally, Belichick was asked about that decision to be aggressive on fourth down following the contest.

“Made the best decision we could at the time,” he said. “Didn’t know we would be down there multiple times. Six minutes to go in the game. I don’t know. If we had kicked it, I’m sure you would be asking why didn’t we go for it.” 

Belichick is likely correct in his assessment that whichever way he decided to go on fourth down would be scrutinized, but most advanced analytics would have also suggested for him to go for it on fourth down, so it’s hard to blame the decision-making process. And while there are no moral victories in the NFL, it is notable that the Patriots were able to hang in there down to the wire against one of the elite teams in the league.

This content was originally published here.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on WhatsApp
Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment