Brandon Meriweather And The Pats Defense Not Phased By Belichick’s Lack Of Confidence In Them
If you’re a fan of the NFL of sports at all, you surely heard about the bizarre ending to Sunday night’s epic showdown between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots. New England stormed out to a 24-7 lead in the 1st half and then led 31-14 in the 4th quarter. At that point, just about everybody, myself included, thought the ball game was over. Not so fast. Peyton Manning rallied the Colts back into the game as he’s done so many times throughout his Hall of Fame career. With the score 28-24 and only a few seconds left before the 2 minute warning, Coach Bill Belichick made a decision that has already been criticized to death by fans and the media alike.Facing a 4th and 3 from inside their own 30, Belichick kept his offense on the field and went for it. The rationale? Don’t give Peyton Manning any chance at engineering a final drive comeback. Rather than making the Colts go the distance for a winning TD, Belichick figured he’d go for the gusto right then and there. People can take whatever side of the argument they want, but if you think it wasn’t a wise move, then you have to at least concede that the Pats should have run the ball on one of the previous two downs to force the Colts to take their final timeout. Anyway, moving forward, the question becomes does the decision hurt New England’s playoff chances?
What about the psyche of the defense? Do they rebound knowing their coach didn’t trust them to hold off the legendary Manning?
Let’s hear from Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather, who joined WEEI in Boston to talk about his support of Belichick’s decision, if he felt the decision indicated a lack of trust in the defense, and how he and the entire Patriots team is amped up to get the devastating loss out of their mind against the Jets next week – a team they also wouldn’t mind enacting a little revenge on from earlier this season.
On what he thought when Coach Belichick made the decision to go for it deep in his own territory:
“I was excited. I was ecstatic. Anytime you got a coach that, you know, trusts your defense so much to give Peyton Manning the ball on the 20 yard line, or better yet, go for it to win the game right there. You got to be excited, you got to be behind him on it. And you know, whenever Bill makes a decision like that, we’re always behind him on it. That’s the Bill Belichick that everybody knows.”
On if he felt that the decision was actually an indication of the lack of trust Belichick had in his defense:
“No, no, not at all. Peyton Manning did have two late great drives, you know what I mean? But that’s Peyton Manning. Our defense, we’re a bend but don’t break defense. So I’m sure that Bill thought that he if he go ahead and win the game, then we don’t have to give Peyton Manning the ball at all, we don’t even have to try. But at the same time, hey, he made a decision and the team stuck behind it 100.”
On if he’s concerned that the emotional loss might carry over to next weekend’s game against the Jets:
“No, no. We have a veteran team. Not at all. I’m not even thinking twice about it. Our team is a one game a week team. So we don’t think about the next opponent. So right now, that game is out of our minds. We thought about it last night, we slept on it and now it’s time to go. You never dwell on a win or dwell on a loss. So right now it’s all about the Jets and the Jets is our one game season right now.”
On if he’s excited as the guys at WEEI about the Jets coming to New England’s house after the way they celebrated after beating the Pats earlier this season:
“To be honest, me too. To be honest, I think everybody been waiting for this match-up again because the way they was talking and the way they came out; and you know, we didn’t play great but you know; they came out with a win. But I think everybody been waiting for this one.”