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May 2010

May 2010


No Punting Allowed

by: Rex Lardner
Editor American Football Monthly
© May 2010

The controversy began last November 16th when New England Coach Bill Belichick went for a fourth down conversion late in a game from deep in his own territory against the Indianapolis Colts. With 2:08 left and the Colts with only one timeout, a successful conversion, in all probability, would have won the game. Belichick felt – from his own research – that the Patriots had a 60% chance of making the fourth and two for a first down. The Patriots were stopped short, the Colts took over, scored a touchdown, and ultimately won the game, 35-34. Should the Pats have punted in this situation?


For over 100 years, the punt has been considered the hallmark of sensible coaching. While some consider the punt a symbol of surrender and retreat, it is generally thought to be an automatic cautious coaching call.

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