Bill Belichick admits he took advantage of NFL rule loophole late in Patriots’ win

Viewers who stuck it out to the fourth quarter of Monday night’s dreadful game between the Patriots and Jets saw something unusual: Patriots coach Bill Belichick smiling on the sideline.

Well, it was more of a devious grin, but it still made the ESPN announcers chuckle.

The moment came during a sequence when New England was punting from the Jets’ 33-yard line. The Patriots were ahead 33-0 at the time (and that would end up being the final score).

The Patriots took a delay of game penalty but Jets coach Adam Gase declined it for some reason, so that started the clock. With the clock running down, New England intentionally took a false start penalty, which the Jets again declined. That again started the clock.

When New England finally punted, more than a minute had run off the clock from the previous play.

Here is the sequence:

After the game, Belichick told reporters he knew he was exposing a loophole to waste some time.

“It was just the way the rules are set up,” he said. “We were able to run quite a bit of time off the clock without really having to do anything, so that’s probably a rule loophole that will be closed and probably should be closed, but right now it’s open.”

From covering the World Series to the World Cup, Pete has done a little bit of everything since joining The Star in 1997. He writes about baseball and has a quirky blog that augments The Star’s coverage of area teams.