In a kind of perverse way, you've got to admire the Globe's Ron Borges. In case you missed it, here was an item from his Sunday "Football Notes" column regarding the Pats-Dolphins regular-season ending contest:
Regardless of what you thought about Bill Belichick's bush league decision to let Doug Flutie dropkick an extra point in the meaningless (yes, we can say that after the way Belichick approached the game) season finale, the whispers that Belichick might have discussed the possibility with Dolphins coach Nick Saban before the game seem ludicrous.
If Saban knew it was coming, why didn't he tell his team to (A) avoid burning a timeout because they were confused as to what was happening and (B) rush the heck out of Flutie when he dropped back? If the coaches did have such a discussion, is that not collusion if Saban went along with it and left his team in the dark?
"We couldn't figure out what was going on," said Saban. "They've got a quarterback in, four tight ends, and a receiver -- I might be off by one on that -- and there was no kicker. I thought they were going to run some kind of quarterback sweep or go for 2.
"I'm kind of pleased to know someone can still dropkick. When I was a kid, we all practiced that. I thought it was a lost art."
Belichick is free to do what he wants in any game -- including tank one if he feels it's better for his team's playoff chances -- but in the future he can spare us all the speeches about how he plays every game the same and every game is as important as any other game and so on, because the only thing he didn't do after Matt Cassel air-mailed that 2-point conversion pass was high-five him for it.
This is where credibility comes in with Belichick. Losing to the Dolphins to face a team with a quarterback problem and three starting defensive players hurting rather than face the high-flying Steelers in the first round is fine. The Bengals certainly appeared to be doing something similar.