INDIANAPOLIS — Bill Belichick gave clear instructions to his defensive unit: Let the runner score.
Playing the odds and inviting critics, the calculating coach of the New England Patriots told his players to get out of the way, open a wide path for Ahmad Bradshaw and give Tom Brady a chance to win the Super Bowl in the final 57 seconds.
The strategy failed and the New York Giants won 21-17 on Sunday night.
But he was certain it gave the Patriots their best opportunity.
Belichick said on Monday that had the Patriots tackled Bradshaw and allowed the clock to run down, the Giants could have ended the game with a winning field goal from a distance where more than 90 percent of the kicks are successful.