December 19, 2011
The following is an example of why Bill Belichick is Bill Belichick and John Fox is John Fox.
Early in New England's eventual victory, the Denver Broncos held a six-point lead and were in the red zone, driving for another touchdown. A Tim Tebow scramble on third down got Denver to fourth-and-1 from inside the 10-yard line, but a holding call threatened to push the Broncos back to a third-and-16.
Belichick didn't hesitate to decline the penalty. (Despite what Phil Simms says in the clip below.)
As my buddy Scott Pianowski wrote in an email earlier, "Belichick knew spineless Fox would take the field goal."
That's exactly what happened. Belichick plays to his opponent like no other coach in the league. If he was facing a gambler like a Mike Smith or a Sean Payton, there's no way Belichick leaves a potential fourth-and-1 conversion, and potential 20-7 lead, for the taking. Instead, he seemed to anticipate that Fox would cave, kick the field goal and get away with a nine-point lead.
No guts, no glory. Following the field goal, New England scored the next 27 points, en route to an easy 41-23 victory.
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