FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick had a full day to relish and review the Patriots’ rally to edge Baltimore in overtime. And even with that, his response Monday was as bland as ever, even with the Patriots riding a three-game winning streak that has them off to a 4-1 start.
Belichick had a choice at the end of regulation after the Patriots had rallied to tie it at 20. Send out Stephen Gostkowski and let him try to boot a 62-yarder to win it, or take the risks of overtime.
Belichick opted against such a field goal and the gamble paid off. Gostkowski chipped in a 35-yard kick with 1:56 left in overtime and gave New England a 23-20 win over the Ravens, who had won three straight.
“We thought about it,” Belichick said Monday. “We felt like what we did was our best play for us in that situation.”
Belichick’s instincts are paying off again. The Patriots, who meet San Diego on Sunday, have won four of their first five for the fourth time in his tenure. And they are now 9-3 in overtime under Belichick, whose team was playing for the first time since trading Randy Moss.
The Patriots wanted to match Baltimore’s physical play and it cost New England in the second quarter when Brandon Meriweather laid out Baltimore’s Todd Heap in a helmet-to-helmet hit that left Heap on the ground for several minutes. Meriweather, who was called for a personal foul on the play, walked away from reporters in the Patriots locker room without commenting.
Cornerback Kyle Arrington shied away from commenting specifically on Meriweather, but said the defense as a whole wanted to make sure receivers knew they would be hit hard when coming across the middle.
“The Ravens are hands down one of the most physical teams, if not the most physical,” Arrington said. “If you go out there and play and have the more physical, tough team, it puts you in a good position.”
Belichick was more open about the play, but not much. He said the players are taught the proper techniques from training camp on, and are well versed on the NFL rules.
As for Meriweather’s hit in particular, and whether such plays could lead to suspensions, Belichick had little to say.
“It’s not my job to make the rules,” Belichick said. “My view is I’m getting ready for the Chargers.”