In what was generally a meaningless game, the Patriots rested players who could have played, played players at positions they have not played and in situations they have only dreamed about, and pulled out a play that hasn't been used in the league in more than 60 years.I've seen coach Belichick smile a total of 3 times, at the conclusion of his Superbowl wins... that is, until the moments immediately following Flutie's successful drop kick. I think that the Miami players and coaches were all scratching their heads, wondering to themselves a) what was that and b) whether a drop kick was a legal play in the NFL rulebook.
Coach Bill Belichick even started at quarterback.
OK, that was a family touch pickup game near the north end zone at Gillette Stadium more than an hour after the NFL contest, but with rookie Matt Cassel throwing the potential tying pass in the direction of rookie Bam Childress, and designated No. 3 quarterback Doug Flutie scoring a point for the Patriots with the first successful NFL drop kick since 1941, the professional game witnessed by the sellout crowd was odd enough.
I was at a New Year's Day party and as expected, all the guys were watching the game at the time. After the play, there was a simultaneous exclamation "a drop kick?!" We were all wondering how many points it was worth, and no one knew. Many of us thought it had to be worth more than one point, otherwise, why not just kick a PAT?
None-the-less, the cameras shot to Belichick, standing on the sidelines, with a big cheshire-cat grin on his face.
Even with all of the first-stringers sidelined for the game, the game went down to the final 4 seconds of regulation play and the Pats nearly tied the game on a two-point conversion attempt.
I think that the Pats are definitely ready for the play-offs.