Bill Belichick defends decision to attempt 56-yard field goal in rain
Many people thought Bill Belichick made the wrong decision when he had Nick Folk attempt a 56-yard field goal in the rain near the end of the New England Patriots’ loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night, but the coach is standing by the call.
With the Patriots trailing by two and under a minute left in the game, Belichick opted for a field goal attempt rather than going for it on 4th-and-3. Folk’s 56-yard kick, which would have matched a career high, hit the left upright and bounced out. Belichick was asked after the game if he gave any consideration to going for it on fourth down, and he said “not really.”
Belichick reiterated that stance during his appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Monday. He pointed to the fact that the Patriots were not good on third down in the game, let alone go for it on fourth.
Belichick was asked again this morning on his decision to try the 56-yard field goal instead of going for it on fourth-and-3.
"It really wasn't much of a decision there. We converted two third downs in the game."
Indeed, Patriots were 2-for-9 on third down.
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) October 4, 2021
Obviously, the decision did not work out. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Patriots would have converted on 4th-and-3, either.
We have definitely seen situations this season where attempting a field goal clearly was the wrong choice, and it’s fair to question Belichick given the result. We’re not surprised to see him stand by the decision.