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Bill Belichick explains decision to punt on fourth down in OT against Cowboys

For the second time in a key moment this season, Bill Belichick proved that he didn’t trust rookie Mac Jones to convert a crucial fourth down play.

Instead of going for a fourth-and-3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Belichick deferred to a Nick Folk 56-yard field goal attempt. He had a similar decision to make in the 35-29 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys and he deferred to the defense to make a play.

On fourth-and-3 on the Patriots’ 43-yard line, Belichick trusted the defense to stop Dak Prescott (who threw for 445 yards) over Jones’ ability to get three yards.

Belichick joined WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Monday morning and discussed the decision.

“No, not really,” he said. “With [Greg] Zuerlein, his field goal range, they can play on a pretty short field there, so if that’s when you’re talking about one first down could probably beat you there. So, no, not really.”

Tom Brady, who obviously is much more experienced, was trusted in scenarios like this and that’s why the Patriots won tight ball games. Jones is still learning and growing, but he’s proven to make the right decision and ultimately complete over 70 percent of his passes over the first six games.

Belichick may have to become a little more daring with his rookie quarterback if the Patriots want any chance at a playoff run.


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