Much has been made about Randall Godfrey's objections to the Patriots decision to leave their starters in late in the game with a significant lead. Many media outlets echoed Godfrey's comments on Monday, claiming the Patriots needed to show some respect for Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs and some respect for the game.
"I told [Belichick], 'You need to show some respect for the game.' You just don't do that," Godfrey said according to NBCSports.com "I don't care how bad it is. You're up 35 points and you're still throwing deep? That's no respect."
Godfrey also said that the Redskins wouldn't have done that, and it was a classless move. "This is the pros you show some respect, show some class."
Bill Belichick refused to acknowledge the possibility of running up the score. When asked why go for it on a fourth down up by 30 points in the fourth quarter, Belichick just glared at the reporter and said sternly, "What do you want us to do, kick a field goal?" When pressed, Belichick replied "It's 38-0. It's fourth down. [Were] just out there playing. [Were] just out there playing.
When asked about the issue on Tuesday, Belichick again declined to elaborate on what was said about the game, specifically about Godfrey's comments.
"Well, Randall is entitled to his opinion," Belichick noted. "You can talk to him about that. I'm sure he'll give it to you." Did Belichick feel as if the complaint of going for it on fourth down was valid? He responded with clarification of his options.
"The first fourth down play was fourth-and-1 on the 7. Do you kick a field goal and make it 41-0? Or go for it on fourth down? So, those are your two options," the Patriots coach explained. "The second was fourth-and-7 on the 38, or whatever it was, a 55-yard field goal. So those are your options."
Whether Belichick actually answered the question is a matter of contention, but he did explain his options, and decided both times it was better to try to go for the first than kick the field goal.
Head Coach Joe Gibbs said on Monday, he didn't have the same reaction that Godfrey had, although it was obvious the coach wasn't pleased.
"I always look at it as you can not let yourself get in a situation like that. You cannot let yourself be in a situation where somebody else has an opportunity to do that [run if the score]." Gibbs said on Monday. "My approach has always been if it happens and we put ourselves in a situation like that, I am certainly not going to be somebody that complains about that. I always look at it more about us making sure that doesn't happen."
Gibbs showed restraint when pressed on the issue. He could have voiced his displeasure, but didn't.
Until a team stops the Patriots from scoring over thirty points a game or winning by 17 points or more, the question of running up the score will continue to be a hot topic. New England has averaged 41.4 points per game through the first eight games, a clip higher than the best ever NFL record of 38.8 held by the 1950 Rams through a 12-game season.
Other notes on the Patriots scoring ability:
-- The Patriots have scored at least 34 points in 8 consecutive game, matching the 2000 St. Louis Rams. The Rams lost 27-24 the following week.
-- Brady's passer rating of 125.5 on Sunday gave him a rating of at least 100.0 in all eight games this season.
-- After defeating the Washington Redskins on Sunday, Tom Brady became the second player to defeat all 31 teams in the NFL. Peyton Manning completed the same feat earlier in the day when the Indianapolis Colts downed the Carolina Panthers.
-- The Patriots have set a new NFL record of most consecutive victories by 17 points or more to begin a season (8).