Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky
Author: Jon Kuzma
When the Patriots kicked the ball in overtime yesterday against the New York Jets it wasn’t the first time Bill Belichick chose to kick the ball in overtime rather than receive. Belichick made the same exact call back in 2013 against the Denver Broncos however when electing to kick in that game his defense 3 and outed the Broncos offense and the Patriots were able to win the football game after receiving good field position. Against the Jets the strategy didn’t pay off so rewardingly. Ryan Fitzpatrick continued to live up to his moniker “Fitz Magic”. Fitzpatrick was phenomenal in overtime doing what he had to do to get this Jets team the win. On that drive in overtime Fitzpatrick was able to complete 3 passes for 74 yards. Eventually sealing the game with a 6 yard pass to Eric Decker for the game winning touchdown. Fitzpatrick finished the day with 3 touchdowns and zero interceptions for 296 yards. Impressive numbers for the former 7th round draft pick out of Harvard. Fitzpatrick has managed to hang around the NFL long enough to become an outstanding player. Showing that hard work and perseverance are still the keys to success in the National Football League. Brandon Marshall also had an outstanding day for the Jets offense hauling in 2 touchdown receptions and 115 yards receiving. Marshall had a day against a tough Patriots defense and was a huge factor in this victory. The Jets defense was also impressive and they were able to finish six plays behind the offensive line of scrimmage. 2 sacks and 4 tackles for losses making it tough for Tom Brady and the Patriots offense to get in a rhythm. That has been the recipe for success all season long for the Jets defense. Get pressure on the quarterback with the defensive line and blitz. While the back 7 players get to flow and make plays. Another big factor was the fact that the Patriots were nonexistent in the running game. Their leading rusher on the night Brandon Bolden finished the game with only 30 yards rushing. A problem the Patriots will have to fix moving forward. You can tell they are hoping Steven Jackson can fill that role already being handed 7 rushing attempts. However he only produced 15 yards on those 7 attempts showing that he has to get back in game shape. At the end of the day this game came down to Bill Belichick’s bad call and miscalculation. He will have to man up and admit he was wrong to the team and commit to never kicking the ball in overtime again heading into the future. Coaches have to evolve and elevate themselves just like players are asked to do so. Belichick is no different.
Charity of the day: American Kidney Fund
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