Down by two with 59 seconds left in Sunday night’s game against the Buccaneers, the Patriots faced fourth-and-3 from the Tampa Bay 37.
Quarterback Mac Jones‘ third-down pass had just been batted down by linebacker Lavonte David to set up a significant decision — would the Patriots go for it or attempt a 56-yard, go-ahead field goal?
Of course, the Patriots sent out Nick Folk and he sent the kick off the left upright in the rain. That was it, as New England lost 19-17.
In his postgame press conference, head coach Bill Belichick was asked if he gave any consideration to going for it on fourth down instead of attempting a field goal.
“I mean, not really,” Belichick said.
Nick Folk told reporters he had full confidence in his 56-yard attempt and had made it from 58 yards in warmups. In fact, he even thought he made that 56-yard attempt.
“This one’s on me for this team,” Folk said, via Zack Cox of NESN. “This one’s on me.”
Even if Folk had made the kick, the Buccaneers would’ve had just under a minute with two timeouts to get in field goal position. That’s more than enough time for quarterback Tom Brady, who has been in that situation countless times over the course of his long career.
But Folk missed it and Brady came away victorious in his homecoming.