Mike Sando wrote up a post today in which he said he wouldn't skewer Bill Belichick for rolling the dice on 4th and 2 last night. Belichick crapped out, but Sando thought:
Given the way the Patriots were functioning, Belichick reasonably could have expected Brady to convert a fourth-and-2 against that defense a high percentage of the time, perhaps three out of four. And if the Patriots managed to convert, they almost certainly would have won the game.
Punting with 2:08 remaining would have armed Manning with the football and one timeout remaining, plus the 2-minute warning. Going that route would have been playing not to lose. Good luck with that approach against Manning.
So, would you have gone for it in that situation? Personally, I don't think punting the ball would have been playing not to lose. I understand that the Patriots had been playing fairly well. At the same time, your defense had been doing fairly well against Manning. The counter to that is that the Colts had just previously put together a 1:49 scoring drive, and aside from an earlier interception, they'd been on a roll in the 4th quarter.
I definitely think it was ballsy of Belichick and not something you see too frequently in the NFL these days. At the same time, I don't know if it was necessarily the smartest idea. What do folks think?