When the New England Patriots have a win in hand, Bill Belichick apparently starts focusing on other things, like throwing off future opponents.
Tony Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, who has impressed in his debut as a color analyst for CBS, explained on Sunday that during the Patriots’ Week 2 win over the New Orleans Saints, Belichick made a call that most likely served no other purpose than to make scouting tougher for future opponents.
In the fourth quarter, the Patriots had a seemingly insurmountable 23-point lead with five minutes to go as the Saints closed in on a score with the ball on the 4-yard line. As the Saints came to the line, the Patriots crowded it with five defenders and indicated they would blitz.
Romo noted that the Patriots often show this package then drop two defenders back into coverage instead of rushing all five. However, this time, they sent all five at Drew Brees – though it was unsuccessful, as he threw a touchdown pass to tight end Coby Fleener.
The play had another benefit, though, Romo said.
“Belichick says: ‘Hey, you know what? We’ve won this game. We’re fine. I’m gonna rush all five,'” Romo said. “You know why? Because analytics.”
Romo said that when opponents went through film next week, they would look at the percentage of time the Patriots played man coverage and rushed five defenders, but Belichick “just added to that number right there by blitzing five guys and showing the people: Hey, 50% of the time he does this.”
“You never get a beat on what he’s gonna do,” he added.
Watch the play below:
The Patriots take on the Houston Texans on Sunday – but according to Romo, the Texans will have an even tougher time figuring out what the Patriots will do when they line up five men like that because Belichick changed the odds.