Posted November 30, 2013

Patriots owner Robert Kraft shocked Bill Belichick took wind instead of ball

NFL
Robert Kraft (right) saw his Patriots beat former teammate Wes Welker (left) and the Broncos on Sunday night. (Elise Amendola/AP Images)

Robert Kraft (right) saw his team beat former Patriots player Wes Welker on Sunday. (Elise Amendola/AP Images)

As the Patriots and Broncos readied for overtime on Sunday night, many Americans wondered aloud why Bill Belichick opted to give Denver the ball (with the wind in its face) rather than take possession to start the period.

Count Pats owner Robert Kraft among the befuddled.

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‘‘When Bill chose the wind, I said, ‘What is he doing?’’ Kraft told Karen Guregian of The Boston Herald before handing out turkeys during his annual Thanksgiving giveaway at Goodwill headquarters near Boston on Tuesday night. ‘‘Someone [in my box] said, ‘Don’t you have a phone down there?’ . . . But I spoke with [Belichick] and chatted about it with him afterward, and once again, he was on top of things. What they figured out was, by choosing the wind, it was an incremental 20 yards that they needed to be able to kick, and sure enough, it was a very wise decision.

The Patriots won, 34-31, after the Broncos turned the ball over on a punt deep in their own end, and New England improved to 8-3 and 6-0 at home. They had come back from a 24-point halftime deficit.

Still, Kraft was wary of giving Peyton Manning the ball to start overtime.

‘‘Probably, as a fan, I don’t think 80-90 percent of our fans would think giving Peyton Manning the ball in overtime was going to be in our best interest,” Kraft said, adding that he’d never seen such a turnaround in a game, and that it was one of the team’s “special all-time wins.”

EXTRA MUSTARD: Turkeys of the year


87 comments
DouglasFennema
DouglasFennema

A great win and a great nervy  decision. Few coaches would have done it. Coming back from 0-24 against the second leading point scoring offense in NFL history, next to the 1950 Los Angeles Rams.

leon1376
leon1376

The writer of this article said:

   "Still, Kraft was weary of giving Peyton Manning the ball to start overtime."

 Okay...Kraft was "weary" of giving Manning the ball. Got that. But how many times did he actually hand the ball to the guy before he became exhausted, or  "weary"? One hundred times? More? Less? Kraft is pretty old, so it's probably less than one hundred. This article is incomplete. 

riley8
riley8

The OT rules change made this decision.  If it was sudden death then you would never ever kick off.

MichaelC
MichaelC

Just because an ego-ridden owner seeks attention - and the reporter is compliant and pandering to this - does NOT make it worthy of an SI article.

jdane
jdane

Another reason for this concerns the silly rules adopted this year.   If your defense can simply hold the receiving team to a field-goal, you get to do what they did not--conduct your own drive with 4-and-out, instead of 3-and-out, since punting is no longer an option.


RussHaasch
RussHaasch

Hey, Chris Masaro, I hate to be picky, but it's "wary" not "weary."  Just sayin'. 

BigBubba
BigBubba

What a great trifecta partnership--Kraft, Bellicheck, Brady.  All 3 should be inducted to the hall of fame together.  What luck that Brady had fallen to that team, which has allowed him to shine.  Can you imagine if the Detroit Lions or AZ Cardinals had drafted him?  Love Brady but he has thrived with the leadership of that owner and coach.

RobertHinton
RobertHinton

I have to applaud everyone on this forum for not injecting any racist or political garbage into an argument when there shouldn't be any.  It may have to do with the fact that we're talking about all white men, but I still appreciate it.  Keep sports about sports!  Thank you gentlemen.

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

I like the Pats and wonder since espn made Brady out so great to lead them back....WHERE was that against the bengals and Panthers ???????????????

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

Well bobby, just sit in your owners box with the cool hip gangbangers and wannabe's and shut up or maybe SPEND some MONEY and get some DB's as yours suck

DavidWang
DavidWang

The best reason owners should not be managing teams.  The guys making the calls have forgotten more than they can comprehend, 

sunalsorises
sunalsorises

Kraft is still stunned as to how Aaron Hernandez could just kill a man.  Fool.

CLOVER
CLOVER

@leon1376  wow your a real true moron , aren't you. The term weary in the statement giving by Kraft was a reflection of his mental thought on giving up the ball not his physical condition as you try ton point out "he became exhausted".  You are incomplete..go back to reading school and finish the fourth grade before reading any article and posting stupid statements...

rodp236
rodp236

@MichaelC from someone who has trouble picking out what cereal he will have in the morning.....................

fallenchemist
fallenchemist

@MichaelC First, as Kevin says Bob Kraft is 180 degrees from a Jerry Jones, for example.  Second, these are not "articles" like in the magazine, they are very short pieces that add a little spice to what is happening in the sports world.  Good God, get over yourself.

KevinDoucette
KevinDoucette

@MichaelC Ego-ridden? Have you ever listened to Kraft. He has to be one of the nicest owners in all of sports. Someone asked him a question and he answered it. That's all. You're right about it being a stupid article but no need to sound like an idiot while stating this.

leon1376
leon1376

@RussHaasch Maybe he meant "leery". Nope, that's not right. There weren't any cheerleaders around at the time to "leer" at. He could have meant "wiry" or "woozy" or he could have had a "woody". Beats me. 

fallenchemist
fallenchemist

@RussHaasch That's what I was going to post, lol.  I don't think it is picky, these guys are professional journalists, at least I assume they are.  There are so many mistakes like that, it is tiresome and distracting.  Surely someone can proofread even these throwaway pieces. 

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@BigBubba I'd say it is the other way around. Plus some lucky drafting and a whole lot of cheating...

BigBubba
BigBubba

@RobertHinton it's always good to not have racism inject itself into sports or other discussions.  Agree, but don't know where this comment is coming from...

fallenchemist
fallenchemist

@WHO*IS*ESPN Against the Panthers he did lead them back to win.  The refs just turned into cowards in front of the Carolina fans.  If that game is in New England that penalty gets called.

MIsaiasDasNeves
MIsaiasDasNeves

@WHO*IS*ESPN Well against the Panthers he was arguing w/ the ref that ate the yellow flag on a play that decided the game. BTW - if you are a PATS fan you'll notice that Brady has been playing for the last few weeks w/ a throwing hand that's ballooned to the size of a cabagge...

BenMyers
BenMyers

@WHO*IS*ESPN   This is the owner that paid for his own stadium out of pocket (The only one, btw),  One thing you cannot accuse Kraft of is being cheap.  If the coaching staff asks for him to open the wallet, he will.  But unlike Jerr-ah, Kraft realizes he is the money behind the team and not the GM, and trusts the coach that took them to 5 SBs to do that part.  Overall, I have to say, it's worked out.

MMoney0021
MMoney0021

@WHO*IS*ESPN Talib, Dennard, Ryan, Arrington, McCourty, Gregory, Harmon.  Your right.  The secondary is terrible.  

MIsaiasDasNeves
MIsaiasDasNeves

@sunalsorises So at $1.8B, Kraft's Patriots are the 2nd most valuable team in the NFL (after Cowboys), had $400M+ revenue it '12, have sold out EVERY home game since 1994 w/out the benefit of a dome, acquired  the services of one of the top-5 QBs and HCs of all time, is recognized for being one of the most enlightened owers in the NFL, leads significant philanthropic efforts in his community, etc. and you call him a FOOL.... your avatar is perfetc: you sir are a DEADHEAD!!!

Steve131
Steve131

@CLOVER @leon1376  Yeah, uh, Clover, leon1376 is correct. The term the writer was looking for was "wary." Nice job talking about someone needing education.

MIsaiasDasNeves
MIsaiasDasNeves

@MMoney0021 @WHO*IS*ESPN WIth specific reference to Bronco's game It's kind of hard to blame the defensem when the offense coughs up three fumbles (that lead to 17 points) on the first three series from scrimmage, giving Denver a short field on two of those and an outright return-6 on another. And if you watched the game, Manning played well bellow par due to the secondary,,, if anyone killed the PATS it was Knowshon and his 200+ yds rushing. It was sad seing Vince on the sideline while Moreno was ripping up the seam for an avg. o 6+ yds per carry.

strayon
strayon

@Joebuckster @MIsaiasDasNeves @MMoney0021 @WHO*IS*ESPN And of course the Patriots don't have anyone injured that they played the ENTIRE game without.

Love or hate BB, he has NEVER said "if so-and-so is healthy, we win that game hands down". You people may not get it, but he actually does respect his opponents nor does he offer up excuses. As he has said many a time, "it is what it is" and that is usually a win or a loss - no gray areas there!

You win or lose the game with the people on the field; you don't lose a game because someone is on the sidelines!

So what was that about Ihenacho and DRC again???? 

pvs
pvs

@Joebuckster @MIsaiasDasNeves @MMoney0021 @WHO*IS*ESPN Take away the 17 points the Broncos got with the turnovers and they actually score 7 points in the first half and 7 points in the second half........not much of an offense that you said should have scored 50 points.

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@MIsaiasDasNeves @MMoney0021 @WHO*IS*ESPN The turning point was the injuries to Ihenacho and DRC at the half. After that they had to play zone instead of man defense and Brady picked it apart. Those two players stay healthy and it's 50-0 Denver...

sunalsorises
sunalsorises

@BenMyers Kraft threatened to move to team to Connecticut and in fact had a deal in place that he reneged on.  He did privately finance the stadium which is to say he took a boat load of money from his friends at Bank of America who later had to take a considerable bail out from the tax payers. 

I call Kraft a fool because he is one.  MDN tried to make him a hero by writing a description of him that would also apply to an idiot like Jerry Jones.  Kraft has had a good run in a bad division that may or may not have been aided by illegal videotaping.  Brady is a heck of quarterback and that has also helped him.  As far as who saved that team, I'd say it had more to do with Parcells and Bledsoe.  Before them the greatest player in Patriot history was that stupid tractor the convict used to plow a spot for the field goal.  

strayon
strayon

@BenMyers @sunalsorises I was living in MA at that time and I also thought it was under Kraft when the "threat" to move to CT happened. But, I defer to Mr. Myers...

BenMyers
BenMyers

@sunalsorises @BenMyers  No, Kraft was the owner who bought the team, then spent the next several years turning it around.  And that year, they sold out every game for the first time in history, and went to the playoffs.  In fact pre Belichick, 4 Playoff appearances and 1 SB, in 6yrs.  They almost moved to Connecticut over zoning issues for the new stadium.  You know, the one Kraft financed himself? Under Kraft, they have had 14 playoff seasons, 6 total superbowls and 3 Superbowl wins.  Sounds horrible to me.


MIsaiasDasNeves
MIsaiasDasNeves

@sunalsorises @BenMyers Kraft bought the team in '94 and they've made the playoff every year since then except for, '95. '99. '02, '08 (even though in '08 they were 11-5). Also undercraft they've been to SB 6 times and won 3... can your team top that?

MIsaiasDasNeves
MIsaiasDasNeves

@BenMyers @sunalsorises @MIsaiasDasNeves Yeah, Victor Kiam and company... and oh man don't get me started on the Sullivan's... ancient history, although I did love seeing Steve Grogan play... some one should refine his DNA and and distribute samples to most of today's QB with the one thing most need: GUTS!!!

MIsaiasDasNeves
MIsaiasDasNeves

@sunalsorises @MIsaiasDasNeves NO I'll defer that to you as I'm sure you are much more capable for that task... so tell me about JJ's great top-5 QB and HC... and please no 20 year-old history (that's way back when Jerry G. bit the dust) b/c neither Aikman nor coaching JJ were even close to top-10... and lastly, please do enlighten me to JJ's to... well... to his enlightenment, when pretty much everyone agrees he's one of the most clueless, no class owners in the NFL.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@sunalsorises You think Tony Romo is a top 5 QB? Or Jason Garrett is a top 5 head coach? Oooookay.