Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots dominated the New York Jets on Monday night, cruising to a 33-0 victory.
In the fourth quarter of the game, Belichick exploited a loophole in the rulebook that allowed him to drain 90 seconds off of the game clock without snapping the ball.
The move was so slick it almost coaxed a smile out of the notoriously stone-faced Belichick.
After the game, Belichick admitted that he had exploited the loophole, and said that the NFL would likely fix it soon.
Bill Belichick is probably pretty pleased with his team's effort on Monday night.
On the road against the New York Jets, the Patriots put forth yet another dominant performance, taking a 33-0 victory behind yet another monstrous game from the best defense in the NFL.
Belichick even managed to nearly crack a smile at one point during the game — a shocking thing to see from the notoriously stone-faced coach.
In the fourth quarter with a 33-0 lead, the Patriots faced a fourth down at the Jets 33-yard line with just over 11 minutes left on the clock. While New England could have gone for the first down and further bury the Jets, Belichick elected to punt instead.
Wanting to use every second of the clock and also give his punter a bit more room to work with, Belichick took a delay of game penalty. Jets head coach Adam Gase declined the penalty, giving the Patriots a fresh play clock and importantly, keeping the game clock rolling.
As the play clock ticked towards zero, Belichick had one of his lineman intentionally false start, thus giving the Patriots another penalty that the Jets elected to decline. Once again, the Patriots got a fresh play clock, and the game clock rolled on.
The false start was an especially crafty move on Belichick's part, as taking two consecutive delay-of-game penalties would have resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Patriots, which would have automatically brought a clock stoppage.
By the time the Patriots finally punted, 90 seconds had come off the clock, and Belichick offered a smirk that is about as happy as you'll see him all season.
After the game, Belichick admitted that he had exploited the rulebook to drain the clock, and even added that he believed the loophole he used would soon be closed now that he had revealed in on national television.
"It was just the way the rules are set up," Belichick said during his post-game press conference. "We were able to run quite a bit of time off the clock without really having to do anything. It's a loophole that probably will be closed, and probably should be closed, but right now it's open."
Belichick is notorious for using every advantage he has to find a victory — so much so that it's almost surprising that he revealed this loophole in a game that was already decided rather than saving it for a moment that might have had higher stakes.
But regardless of how the NFL decides to handle the rule moving forward, chances are Belichick has another ace up his sleeve he'll be ready to pull out when the time is right.