Bill Barnwell, who seemed to know things about football a few years ago with a decent football podcast at Grantland with Robert Mays, and now works at ESPN and does a fucking Bachelor podcast, wrote this today about the end of Super Bowl XLIX:
“Belichick’s somewhat erratic timeout usage…Some will claim in hindsight that Belichick was a genius to let the clock run against the Seahawks…it took a small miracle to stop Seattle…Arguments to the contrary are drven by hindsight and dubious.”
No. It wasn’t “somewhat erratic”, it was disciplined. What’s dubious is Barnwell believing that the end of every game is the same and should be managed as such. Belichick wasn’t being a genius. It doesn’t take a genius to see that IF Belichick calls a timeout, the Seahawks will insert Jumbo personnel and run into the end zone, but that if he doesn’t they might be stupid enough to throw while the Patriots have the personnel advantage. It doesn’t take a genius to remember that Pete Carroll gets “too hormonal” at the end of games, as proven by the USC vs Texas game (a bad and predictable call), and that Darrell Bevell loves to throw the ball, as proven by Brett Favre’s INT in the Vikings vs Saints NFC Championship game (a bad and predictable call).
It’s not about hindsight. It’s about a better chance on THAT play. 2 years later, people still don’t understand basic coaching decisions.
And it’s not about “a small miracle.” Football is not miracles and football gods and all the other garbage most current writers go on and on about. It’s about 22 players, and a myriad of possibilities. If there were miracles on football fields, nobody would ever be paralyzed or die out there. It was about wildly erratic timeout usage by Pete Carroll, which had left him with only one, which he decided to misuse by “wasting a play”, a play call which according to Russell Wilson he wasn’t allowed to audible out of, a predictable route combo against the most physical CB in the NFL and a well-prepared defense.
And yes, Belichick did the same thing 2016 Week 1. He didn’t call a timeout just because Bill Barnwell and other morons would, he waited to make sure he wouldn’t be helping his opponent. That’s his fucking job. Sadly, he’s the only decent coach we have.