During the fourth quarter of their loss to the Broncos on Sunday, the Patriots drove into the Broncos red zone on three consecutive drives.
On all three drives, they faced fourth downs and decided to go for it. Rob Gronkowski scored a touchdown on the final drive, but the first two saw a pass to Julian Edelman get blown up behind the line of scrimmage by Chris Harris and the second saw a throw to Gronkowski fall incomplete in the back of the end zone.
The Patriots had all three of their timeouts available on the first two drives, which ended with around six minutes and 2:20 left in the game respectively. Given those timeouts and the fact that the Broncos offense wasn’t moving the ball much in the second half, some wondered why Bill Belichick passed on field goals that would have cut Denver’s lead and put the Patriots in position to win the game with a touchdown. After the game, Belichick said he had no regrets about passing on those kicks while offering a cursory view into his thinking.
“Because of the score and situation of the game,” Belichick said in response to a question about passing on the field goal tries.
One can’t know how the game would have played out if the Patriots had taken the three points in those spots anymore than Belichick could have known for sure that his offense would keep getting chances to put the ball in the end zone. Had he made that bet once, we could have a different Super Bowl coming our way in a couple of weeks.