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Do you think Belichick would ever purposefully lose if it helped the team??

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by JoeSixPat, Feb 23, 2010.

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  1. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    It's a strange question I know, but as I'm reflecting on the benefits of watching a team that, like it or not, needs some rebuilding, and is not among the Final 8, and therefore not constrained in free agency, while benefitting from the fact that other teams are, I can't help but wonder....

    Hypothetically speaking - if you were the coach of a team that had just lost it's true go to WR, and had a QB who was injured in all sorts of nagging ways, and had holes at various defensive positions that you knew were going to need to be addressed in free agency...

    ... and you knew that given all that this team had a VERY small chance of winning the Super Bowl, and that going further would significantly constrain your ability to address the many holes, including Wes Welker *cough* I mean the hypothetical WR spot... wouldn't it enter your mind that all things considered, losing might not be such a bad thing in the long run?

    I'm not saying that's what happened. There's definately a school of thought that once you make the playoffs you give it everything you have, never knowing what might happen... but still, when has the Final 8 Rule ever been a factor to consider before?

    But forget about this year's playoffs for a second... am I alone in my suspicions about that Miami game - was it the 2005 Season? The Pats had Cassell in for Brady and Flutie did his drop kick... and a Cassell TD throw that would have altered the playoff picture (setting them up to play Pittsburgh if it was caught) was badly thrown....

    Seems to me that was a no brainer to tell Cassell to make sure he didn't complete the pass if it gave the Pats a better matchup in the playoffs.

    So if you think Belichick would lose a game to foster better positioning in the playoffs, is it really a major stretch to consider that he might consider losing a game to foster better positioning in the comming season or seasons. Especially if one knows that a win constrains him from improving the team while a loss opens the door to more free agents with less competition in an uncapped year - and that his current team wasn't going to win the SB this season anyways.

    As wacky as it sounds I think it does bear some consideration, as it's all part of that big violent chess game that is the NFL.
  2. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady Rookie

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    Short answer: Absolutely.

    Longer answer: In Belichick's mind, there are very few situations where a loss helps the team.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
  3. Box_O_Rocks

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    Hypothetically, it's possible. Cassel floated a few after he had some games under his belt so missing a two-point conversion high didn't then and doesn't now rise to the level of reasonable suspicion. As for throwing the playoff game, I did an analysis of the 83 yd TD play that - as far as the front 7 goes - was very embarassing for two first round draft picks and might have been a red faced moment for a high priced Free Agent if I knew his exact assignment on that play.
  4. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    You're not the only one. Felger has been saying this. So I guess it is a no-brainer.

    I think your tin-foil hat is too tight.
  5. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Damn. :(

    Seriously, I've got no idea... but MY assessment was that this team was far too hurt and inconsistent to go deep in the playoffs BEFORE Wes Welker was hurt... and when that happened the chances of another Lombardi went from slim to none.

    If Belichick made the same assessment, why would he purposefully become one of the Final 8 and constrain his ability to rebuild the team?
  6. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Losing the game that setup a more favorable matchup is totally different than tanking in order to set up better for the draft and free agency. In the first case the team loses a meaningless game, really no different than the 'rest starters for the playoffs' debate.

    In the second scenario, if Belichick felt the Pats were not capable of competing in the playoffs and he therefore tanked, then why wouldn't he have taken it a step further and missed the playoffs entirely? If that was the plan, wouldn't drafting in the vicinity of #15 make more sense?

    Welker is a great player, but Edelman's not too shabby either. I just can't see that dropoff between the two as being enough to cause a coach to lose all confidence in winning and tank a playoff game.
  7. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    The answer to why you wouldn't want to miss the playoffs?

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say... $$$$$$$$

    (I've heard that a home playoff game can net the Kraft family a few hundred dollars in profits.)

    $$$$$ also happens to be the reason that one might not want to be a Final 8 Team too.

    (Unless you believe that the Patriots are fine as is and don't need to be active in free agency.)
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  8. N.Eman

    N.Eman Rookie

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    And makes great comebacks too. Look for a splash in FA
  9. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    losing on purpose.......the man has to be a genius if he does

    but then again, he has to be a genius if he doesn't
  10. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Rookie

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    Hypothetically I suppose you could argue he might find value in losing a game.

    As for the Ravens game, not a chance because BB knows that "on any given sunday"... There is no way he throws a playoff game ever.
  11. JR4

    JR4 In the Starting Line-up PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Normally I don't think he would. The players work so darn hard to make
    the playoffs. Why quit? BB has said he couldn't remember playing a game
    he didn't think he could win. Maybe the years have changed his thinking
    but I doubt it.
    In 2001 NO one gave the PATs a chance to beat the Greatest show on Turf.
    Why should 2009 be any different?

    However I do believe there was tremendous pressure for BB to throw the
    Giants superbowl game. The NFL just couldn't hand a Lombardi to a team
    that had been labeled cheaters all season long.
    Weather he did or not is for debate but I don't feel he made very many
    adjustments in that game.
  12. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    Wow. That is a hell of a thing to throw out there.....

    There is no debate. BB did not lose SB 42 on purpose. C'mon...

    I'm assuming you put this out here just to rile up the troops and create a tizzy on this board during a snowy Wednesday in New England.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  13. MoLewisrocks

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    The 2005 Miami game was one he couldn't win in regulation, there was nothing to be gained seeding wise either way as we were traveling in 6 days whether we won or lost, and the last thing any HC wants on the eve of the playoffs - let alone absent a bye - is a meaningless OT game. And making that throw was all that could have netted.

    You never coach a team to lose, and he didn't coach that one to. Cassel had come back from quite a deficit facing Miami's starters while playing with primarily backups, and he wouldn't have traded that experience for that crew for anything. But staying on the field beyond regulation based on one play wasn't going to gain them more than exposure to injury based on fatigue for players they might need the following Sunday and the Sunday thereafter and.... I always felt that 10 players on that play were playing for the tie and one was quietly instructed to make sure didn't come to that.

    Would be have played in the playoffs to remain out of the final 8...no way. Because from there anything is possible. He didn't tell them to lay down out of the gate, it just happened that way because they weren't executing. We'd seen stretches like that all season from this team because it was maddeningly inconsistent. But it could have just as easily and almost inexplicably gone on a tear, that's the kind of unpredictable team it was.

    Thinking anyone would throw a SB you entered undefeated is beyond tin foil territory. Not to mention the scenarios that impacted that particular loss don't remotely fit...
  14. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    Stupidity at this level is almost beautiful. It's so pure.
  15. BradyFTW!

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    #12 Jersey

    Would he purposefully lose a game IF it helped the team? My guess would be yes.
    Is there any conceivable situation where he would believe that losing would be better than winning? I doubt it

    Disclaimer: I have no idea what goes on in Belichick's head, obviously. That's the incredibly ignorant opinion of a guy who's been watching Belichick coach for the last 10 years, nothing more. I know that I shouldn't have to clarify that, but figured I'd pre-empt the inevitable shots of "what are you a mindreader LOL" brilliance.
  16. supafly

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    #24 Jersey

    I think they simply felt that their game plan was well prepared, and they wanted to carry out the well prepared gameplan vs. 'panicking' and going away from it.

    With all of the talk about how bad they played in general, the poor offensive line play, etc--you have to remember they should've still won the game 14-10. I still believe the completed pass to Tyree was a very low percentage play, and people's views on the Pats overall performance changed because of that one crazy play.

    Otherwise, it's 14-10, everyone credits the defense for holding the Giants to 10 points and their main weapon, Burress, to 1 or 2 catches.

    As far as the offensive adjustmensts, I believe you have a case. Once again, we all know about the back-and-forth Brady had with McDaniels before halftime about wanting to change some things up. I think this is again, simply a case of their being comfortable with trying to execute what they had prepared 2 weeks for.

    I can agree there may have been 'pressure,' with the SB, but that's mainly because it was the SB + a chance at a perfect season. Pressure is expected of course. But as far as BB purposely not adjusting etc, I think you may stand alone for the most part on that one.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  17. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    In a regular season game where there is some strategic advantage in losing or not trying to show the other team certain looks/schemes? Absolutely possible. In the playoffs like some are suggesting? NO FRIGGIN WAY
  18. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Rookie

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    #80 Jersey

    I think we can all agree on one thing....


    The Loss to the Ravens was about the worst I've ever seen the Patriots play....EVER under Belichick. And that includes the loss to the saints earlier in the year. When I read about the final 8 rule in an uncapped year...it was one of those things that make you go ... "hmmmmmm".

    You need to look no further than the Seymour trade, and how the Patriots REQUESTED the 1st rounder to be the year AFTER a rookie draft pay scale is put in place. Thus saving the team millions.

    The Patriots run the show like a good game of chess, or pool...they are making moves 2 and 3 steps ahead of the competition.

    If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck....
  19. WhiZa

    WhiZa Rookie

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    There have been times during the year where I thought the team made questionable decisions and I chalked it up to BB having a long term strategy. It ended up being somewhat of a lackluster year though.

    In regards to the Ravens game, he didn't lose on purpose. The team just flat out had no moral. That was reverberated through interviews with players in the past month.
  20. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah, I thought about the positive from hosting a playoff game after I posted that comment - which pretty much shoots a giant hole in everything I said. On the other hand if - and this is a very huge if in the world of speculation - if the game was tanked for profits, that would have been Kraft's decision, not Belichick's. From all that I have read, a big part of Belichick's philosophy is to get into the playoffs, and anything can happen once you're in. The Pats in 2001, Giants in 2007, and Steelers winning the Super Bowl as a wild card team are three good examples in just this past decade.

    Personally I don't believe there was a big enough dropoff from Welker to Edelman to throw in the towel, if that is what we are supposed to presume. And while it is easy to say there is no way the Ptas were going to win the Super Bowl, almost nobody would have guessed those three other wildcard teams would have ended up winning a championship either.
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