Why did Deflategate really happen? Clearly, it wasn’t because the balls were so underinflated that the Pats were cheating, because there was never actual proof that the balls were too low before the weather took effects. We know now that the real reason Deflategate happened was because the rest of the league has been convinced since the early part of the last decade that the Patriots constantly cheat.
For all we know, the Pats might bend the rules more than everyone else, I won’t contest that. But I’m not making that point right now. The important factor here is that the rest of the NFL has a paranoia about Bill Belichick because of his genius IQ and his success. And while no off the field fiasco demonstrates that more than Deflategate, no single play in NFL history demonstrates that more than the botched fake punt on Sunday Night.
Chuck Pagano tried to outsmart himself with that play, and he succeeded. Earlier today, Pat McAfee said that the team practiced that play during the week, but the guy who snapped the ball wasn’t there to practice it during the week with the team. He didn’t know that he shouldn’t snap the ball if they didn’t get the Pats to jump offsides and if the Pats had more than one guy above the center. That being said, the Colts were still in an illegal formation, which seems pretty weird when you’ve practiced something multiple times during the week.
You know what a smart coach does when you’re unprepared for a play or when you don’t have the specific personnell needed? They don’t run the play. But Chuck Pagano was so far in his own head because he was playing the mighty Bill Belichcik in his franchise’s biggest game since the 2009 Super Bowl vs. the Saints. As bad of a coach as Chuck Pagano might be, he’s still an overall good football coach by definiteion of the fact that he’s reached the NFL. A good coach doesn’t make that dumb of a move unless he’s trying too hard to do something else — in this case, to outsmart the smartest guy in the room.
Bill Belichick is so good now that he doesn’t even have to do anything to beat his opponents mentally. His persona does it for him.
As if we needed another reason to be grateful for the past 15 years.