The Patriots captains weren’t the only ones surprised that coach Bill Belichick gave Peyton Manning the ball and a chance to win in overtime Sunday night.
Add owner Robert Kraft to the list of those shocked by the decision, which turned out to work out, as the Patriots held on for the win over the Broncos.
‘‘When Bill chose the wind, I said, ‘What is he doing?‘’’ Kraft said , via Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. ‘‘Someone [in my box] said, ‘Don’t you have a phone down there?’ . . . But I spoke with [Belichick] and chatted about it with him afterward, and once again, he was on top of things. What they figured out was, by choosing the wind, it was an incremental 20 yards that they needed to be able to kick, and sure enough, it was a very wise decision.
‘‘Probably, as a fan, I don’t think 80-90 percent of our fans would think giving Peyton Manning the ball in overtime was going to be in our best interest.’’
That number might be low.
Kraft said he was so fired up after his team came back from a 24-0 halftime deficit that he couldn’t sleep, calling it “one of the special all-time wins.”
‘‘That first half was just brutal. It was unbelievable,’’ he said. ‘‘And thinking there was a quarterback like Peyton Manning on the other side, and to see the adjustment at halftime, and . . . then in 17 minutes scoring 21 unanswered points, I really believe this did something very special for our team, because it wasn’t just offense and defense, it was special teams.
“Look at that play at the end of the game. It was great. I couldn’t go to sleep until 4 in the morning.”
But he’s able to sleep easier knowing he has a coach who is willing to go against the book sometimes, and a quarterback who can make it all work out.