Mike Gesicki nearly saved the Patriots on Sunday night with what would have been one of the more unusual fourth down conversions we’ve seen in a while.
Down a score to the Dolphins and on their final drive, the Patriots had a 4th-and-4 they needed to convert to keep the game alive. Mac Jones hit Gesicki after he cut towards Miami’s sideline, reeling in the pass short of the first down.
Knowing he was going to be short, Gesicki had the presence of mind to lateral the ball back to guard Cole Strange, who attempted to push his way to the marker while in the middle of a scrum. The ruling on the field was a first down, but upon review they said Strange came up short, securing the 24-17 loss.
It was a valiant effort, even if for naught. Pats head coach Bill Belichick praised Gesicki’s awareness Monday in his weekly appearance on The Greg Hill Show.
“Yeah, that was a real, I thought, very instinctive, heads-up play by Mike," Belichick said. "Smart player, we have a lot of guys like that, but that was a smart play. The right decision on his part probably in that situation to do something to try to get a first down. Unfortunately, I guess we came up a couple inches short.”
Had New England converted, it would have been on Miami’s 29 with about 38 seconds to play and a fresh set of downs. The Patriots needed a touchdown, so their work still would have been cut out for them, but they would have had a few good shots at forcing overtime.
As for the actual spot, Belichick wouldn’t say if he thought they got the call right.
“It doesn’t really matter what I think,” he said.