Few understand the true genius of Bill Belichick and how he uses “situational football” scenarios to get his team ready for the regular season. The Pats/Lions gameplan was simply brilliant.
Having established the offense could and would move the ball in the 1st two pre-season games he concentrated on putting some stress on both the starting offense & defense. Would the offense maintain composure and stick to the gameplan when faced with major setbacks? Would the defense deliver when faced with multiple short field and red zone situations? Bill wasted no time getting creating these “situational football” scenarios in a live game with the implementation of the pre-planned turnover maneuver.
1st DRIVE: Brady marches the offense down the field and as instructed Sudfeld coughs the ball up on the Lions 10 yard line disappointing the offense and challenging them to hold it together.
3rd DRIVE: On 2nd and 10 on the Patriots 13 Bolden fumbles on cue giving the Lions 1st and goal as planned. Unfortunately a 15 yard penalty on C Mosley pushed the Lions back to the 19. Still a red zone situation but not what Bill was looking for.
4th DRIVE: After getting an earful or criticism from Josh McDaniels at the end of the quarter for checking out of running plays and advancing the ball by passing Brady promptly throws an interception.
5th Drive: Finally the play works as intended and Vereen’s fumble on the NE 7 gives the Lions the 1st and goal situation Belichick was seeking.
By halftime the Lions had scored 13 points on 9 possessions when the opponent handed them 4 short field or red zone opportunities and Belichick had seen what he wanted out of the defense. Of course his press conference carried the we got beat in all phases of the game theme but students of Belichick know better. We witnessed pure coaching genius on Friday.