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By and large, fourth-quarter strategy is discussed in terms of timeless horse sense. Kill clock to protect a late lead, run out of bounds to save time for a late comeback, cling to your timeouts for dear lifeùthat sort of thing. (And, of course, John Madden's sage admonition to play for overtime when tied.) Within that school of thought, punting for field position when leading and never taking sure points off the board when trailing are two sacrosanct truths. This past Sunday, New England and Jacksonville committed blasphemy. Facing 4th-and-2 from the Patriots' own 28-yard line, with just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter and a six-point lead over the Colts in Indianapolis, Bill Belichick kept his punt team on the sideline as New England's offense attempted to sustain a game-en ...

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Article written by Jack Harver

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