When NFL fans argue about the greatest football coach of all time, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is always high on the list—and with good reason. To keep a team playing at the level the Patriots have for so many years is an incredible feat.
To do so, despite a revolving door of personnel (at some positions), has earned him a nickname among fans of opposing teams: Evil Genius—which he proved he is once again during Monday night’s beatdown of the New York Jets.
It has nothing to do with the outcome, of course. The Jets were not expected to put up a fight and didn’t. No, it had to do with a sequence of events that occurred during the fourth quarter.
Holding on to a 33-0 lead early in the fourth quarter, the Patriots lined up to punt – and you know the rest of the story. Seemingly to give his punter a little more space, Belichick had the team take a delay of game penalty. But the Jets declined, so on the next play, he had someone jump—and Jets head coach Adam Gase declined that penalty as well.
The Monday Night Football crew had a camera on Belichick, and it looked like he was fighting to hold back a smile…maybe even a laugh?
We expect Bill Belichick to coach a game from start to finish and to have his players play their best until the game is over, but this seemed downright evil—and maybe even a little disrespectful to mere mortal Adam Gase. But the move did what he wanted.
It took time off the clock.
At the end of the third down-play, there was 11:05 on the clock. When they finally punted, there was just 9:43. After the game, he didn’t try to hide what he did. Instead, he just proved he knows the rules better than everyone else:
Wasting time in a game already won was a nice move. But it would have been truly genius—and substantially more evil—if he had done it in a game that was a lot more competitive. Had the other team only been down by two with three minutes left and he wasted 1:20—now that would have been almost shamefully sinister.
So, was it then just him being bored and looking for something to do? Not exactly.
A day after a dull game, the football-loving world is not talking about how well anyone played or didn’t play. They are talking about Belichick’s move and Sam Darnold seeing ghosts . What they aren’t talking about is how much better the Patriots are going to be moving forward because of the trade for former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu .
Yes, the trade has gotten some attention, but not the attention it deserves.
The Patriots have been a defensive team that generates enough offense to win. But when Sanu gets acclimated, and Josh Gordon gets healthy, they will suddenly have a passing attack once again as well.
Hardly anyone’s talking about that genius move today, but you can bet that they will be come playoff time.