It’s easy to think that the New England Patriots are a finely tuned machine of coaches and players, with every part working together in perfect harmony. It’s hard to argue when you look at the results. But even quarterback Tom Brady has to convince Bill Belichick to take a chance sometimes.
NFL Films has released some highlights from their upcoming Super Bowl LIII film, and one of them features Brady successfully lobbying Belichick to go for a field goal in the final minutes of Super Bowl LIII.
The Patriots were up 10-3 on the Los Angeles Rams as the clock was winding down in the fourth quarter. The video picks up with Brady and Belichick having a sideline conference, and Brady says, “just kick a field goal” like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. Belichick checks with someone on his coaching staff, and Brady says “40-yarder, game is over.”
It didn’t take much convincing to get Belichick on board. With 72 seconds left in the game, it was worth the risk. Missing it meant that the Rams would have just over a minute to tie the game and do what they hadn’t been able to do all game: march down the field and score a touchdown.
But Stephen Gostkowski kicked the ball through the uprights, which put the Patriots up 13-3 and gave the Rams too much work to do in the final minute of the game. When presented with a chance to kick their own field goal to narrow the Patriots lead to just seven, the Rams missed it with eight seconds left.
We don’t know what would have happened if Belichick’s decision had gone the other way. In an alternate universe, this post might be about the Rams’ miraculous comeback after Belichick decided to skip the field goal. While fans of many other teams would rather live in that universe, thankfully for Patriots fans we live in a universe where that field goal helped seal the Patriots’ victory in Super Bowl LIII.
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