Something Fishy In Indy

Sunday wasn't just a battle of unbeatens, it was a battle to fix the technology behind the scenes. That technology impacted the game, but didn't change the outcome.

Communication Breakdown

One thing, which went unnoticed by the fans, is that the Patriots sideline coach to quarterback communications malfunctioned during the game. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talked about that in his Monday press conference.

"Well, we definitely had a lot of problems with the coach-to-quarterback [communications]," said Belichick. "Basically, we didn't have a coach-to-quarterback operation, so we had to signal in all of the plays, which is unusual, but that's the way it was."

The communication problem was an issue for the entire game, which could have turned out to be a blessing according to Belichick. By the time the Patriots were making their 10-point fourth quarter comeback bid, they already had the signal calling taken care of using a combination of manual methods to call plays.

"When it happens when you're not expecting - You know, like you've had good communication the whole game and all of a sudden for whatever reason something happens, and now the quarterback is kind of counting on it and he doesn't have it, whereas [Sunday] it wasn't like that at all," the Patriots coach explained. "It was a problem from the first series. We stopped using it - We tried to use it, but it was ineffective."

Although the Patriots didn't have use of their communications, the Colts weren't required to remove theirs to make things even. Belichick addressed the difference in the rule of playing without coach to quarterback communication vs. coach to press box communications.

"The headset rule is if you don't have communication with the press box, then you call the officials over and you tell them that, that we don't have communication with the press box and then the officials say, 'OK, well then you 'guys take off all of your headsets.' And then they go over to the other sideline and say, 'You guys take all of your headsets.' And at some point - a touchback or a change of possession or something - then they'll come back and check with the sideline.' Belichick explained.

The problem during the game wasn't with the coach to press box equipment, it was with the sidelines to quarterback communication, and a different set of rules apply.

"The coach-to-quarterback is independent," Belichick explained. "Its not, if I don't have coach-to-quarterback, you don't have coach-to-quarterback. You have to work through your situation and whoever else has to work through theirs. Turn the volume up, turn it down - I don't understand it all."

Conspiracy theorists might speculate that the "glitch" impacted the game and may have been something a home team took advantage of on purpose. Belichick had no explanation for the communication problems, but admitted the Patriots didn't try to rely on it.

"What-all was going on, I can't tell you, but I can tell you that, from a functional standpoint, the coach-to-quarterback was basically useless."

Even the lack of technology wasn't enough to derail the Patriots two late game scoring drives when the crowd was at a fever pitch. Sometimes, good old-fashioned hand signals are enough to get the job done. At least that's the way it was on Sunday when New England won 24-20.

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