Bill Belichick was furious after Mike Vrabel used the penalty trick against him
Mike Vrabel used the penalty trick against the New England Patriots on Saturday night and left Bill Belichick furious.
Vrabel’s Tennessee Titans were up 14-13 on the Patriots at Gillette Stadium with 6:39 left and the ball at New England’s 36. Many thought Vrabel should have gone for it, but he didn’t and instead decided to use his wits.
Vrabel had his team take a delay of game penalty to run more time off the clock. Then they false-started to run even more time.
Belichick was fuming as this went on and complained to the refs:
Belichick mad pic.twitter.com/tIO5ao0k3o
— Viral Sports (@NotScTop10plays) January 5, 2020
Then the Patriots committed a neutral zone infraction to change things from 4th-and-15 to 4th-and-10. Finally with 4:44 left, the Titans punted.
The Titans were able to take nearly two minutes off the clock thanks to this trick.
Just like Tennessee, the Patriots chose to punt rather than go for it on fourth down, and gave it back to Tennessee. The Titans got a couple of first downs, ran time off the clock, and nearly locked up the victory.
Belichick used the same exact trick in a win over the Jets in October and got a laugh out of it on the sidelines. He acknowledged at the time that he was exploiting a loophole in the rules that allows time to run off the clock when teams commit penalties prior to five minutes remaining.
The Patriots have irritated opponents by exploiting loopholes in different ways in the past. Belichick got a taste of his own medicine on Saturday night and didn’t enjoy it in the least.
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