…see also Beaudrot. I also think Belichick was right not to concede a touchdown — whatever your respect for Manning, you can’t treat it like a chip-shot field goal.
Update (Paul): I loved Belichick’s decision to go for it, which statistically made all kinds of sense, and as Scott points out actually becomes more attractive when you consider the precise details of this situation and not merely the statistics regarding these situations in general (as of course any decent coach always does).
Where he can definitely be faulted is for the playing calling sequence — if you’re going to go for it on fourth down then cross them up with a quick hitting running play on third. Even if you don’t make it you force them to use their final time out, which is good in itself and also gives you time to plan the fourth down play. But going for it was a great call, which is confirmed by the universal opprobium pouring forth from the International Guild of Typical Middle-Aged Sportswriters and Washed Up Jocks.
Anyway it’s heartening to see Del Rio, Ryan, and Belichick making smart strategic decisions in the face of the incredulity of the Al Michaels’ of the world.