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Friday, July 10, 2020

Bill Belichick got a laugh from messing with Jets over declined penalties

Bill Belichick

It’s rare to see New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick smile, but even he couldn’t resist finding a sinister delight in messing with the New York Jets and head coach Adam Gase in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s 33-0 beating.

Facing a 4th-and-2 from the Jets’ 33-yard line with slightly over 10:00 remaining, Belichick chose to take his foot off Gang Green’s throat and punt the ball. It wasn’t a free punt, however — the Patriots were running the clock down as much as possible, which led to a delay of game penalty.

Realizing that Belichick may have wanted to give his punter a little extra room in an effort to drop the ball inside the 10, Gase declined the penalty, which would have led to a 4th-and-7 and a clock stoppage. Instead, the officials re-spotted the ball and whistled for the game clock to resume.

Once again, Belichick let the clock wind down and then had his players commit a false start to give them the additional space anyway. And once again, Gase declined the penalty.

That’s when the smirk crossed Belichick’s face — not because he was annoyed, but because he knowingly exploited a loophole in the NFL rules that Gase was, apparently, unfamiliar with. And when all was said and done, the Patriots had run more than a full additional minute off the clock.

Let this serve as a lesson to Gase… Don’t try messing with your Jedi master if you’re not as intimately familiar with the NFL rule book as he is.

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