The internet has brought light to the fact that Bill Belichick may indeed have a funny bone and possible muscles to smile (at least behind his mask) with the fact that he wore a Navy Midshipmen mask before the Patriots’ win over the Bills this past Monday.
For those that really only follow the NFL and may not know the singular offensive scheme that the Naval Academy runs, let it be known that Navy’s football offense is so run-heavy that since 2003, it has never ranked below fifth in run play percentage.
The offensive scheme is not solely running, though, as it is legendary for running the Triple Option, so at least it has the option to throw. Army, Air Force, and Georgia Tech (at least, until a couple of seasons ago), all utilize the Triple Option, but even the Air Force hardly ever airs it out.
Nevertheless, comments about Belichick having revealed the game-plan before the game has the internet abuzz because conditions at the Patriots v. Bills game were perfect football weather. If perfect football weather entails, 25 – 35 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 50 mph, of course.
The tropical depression-esque wind forced the Patriots to only attempt to pass 3 times even with Mac Jones as quarterback. With a laser focus on the ground game, the Patriots ran the ball 46 times garnering over 220 yards and 2 touchdowns.
This amounts to 94 percent of plays being on the ground. One can see Navy foaming at the mouth and deep breathing at that percentage. Perhaps we will see Navy take that as a challenge for next season.
Nonetheless, Belichick knows Navy’s game-plan and run-dominant offense well. His father coached as an assistant for the team and taught at the Naval Academy for over 30 years. However, Belichick did not utilize the full power of the Triple Option because, again, the wind was too much of a billowing wall for the air to even be considered. Even the Air Force would have had to ground their birds for this game.
With the power of the Goat on their side, the Patriots went on to win in Navy-like fashion 14-10.
Even if the Navy mask were not an intentional choice, perhaps Belichick should consider saying it was just for the fact 2021 has been quite the year for football at large, especially since Buffalo, New York is much closer to West Point than Annapolis.