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#pounditSunday, July 14, 2024

Bill Belichick has brutal reason for not calling Hail Mary

Bill Belichick on the sideline

Oct 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick had a brutal reason for not calling for a Hail Mary pass on the New England Patriots’ final play of regulation on Sunday in their Week 15 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Patriots and Raiders were tied at 24 with three seconds left. New England called for a draw, and Rhamondre Stevenson ran for a nice gain before pitching the ball to Jakobi Meyers, who then threw a lateral to the wrong team, costing New England the game (video here).

One of my first questions regarding the horrendous play was why they called a run in the first place. Why even bother with a play not designed to score on, rather than just try a Hail Mary or kneel down?

Belichick says they didn’t call for a Hail Mary because they couldn’t throw the ball that far.

Look, Hail Mary plays are not easy to convert. And we know it’s not easy to bomb the ball that far down the field. But the Pats had the ball at their 45. You really telling me Mac Jones can’t heave it 55-60 yards to get it to the end zone? It’s not like we’re talking about a Hail Mary from their 30 where he would have to throw it 75 yards. 60 yards or even 55 just to get it to the goal line should be within reason.

Even if you can’t throw it far enough for a Hail Mary, then why not kneel down? Why even bother with the run play? More can go wrong on the run play than can go right to turn it into a 60-yard touchdown.

That’s some really dumb playcalling, along with some bad decision-making by the players involved. And now we know the apparent limitations to Jones’ arm strength.

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