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Fans Criticizing Bill Belichick For Not Going For It On 4th & 1 Before Missed Field Goal

Stephen Gostkowski attempting a field goal.

NBC

This has not been a good Super Bowl for kickers thus far.

Earlier in tonight's Super Bowl, Eagles kicker Jake Elliott missed an extra point. Now, the Patriots have had a similar special teams break down.

Down 9-3, with a 4th & 1 at the Eagles eight-yard line, the Pats had a big choice. Bill Belichick made the conservative choice.

Rather than go for it, he elected to kick the field goal to cut the Eagles lead to three. Stephen Gostkowski, the Pats kicker, has long been among the more sure options in the NFL.

That's what made the result very shocking. Gostkowski hit a low line drive and curved left, and then back right, and off the upright.

It was about as ugly a missed field goal as you'll see. Of course, on a closer look it doesn't look like it was all the kicker's fault.

A bad snap begot a bad hold, and finally, a bad kick. And with it, the Eagles hold on to a six-point lead.

In case you missed it, here's video. Courtesy of 12Up Sports:

SB Nation got a good screengrab of the muffed hold. It explains a lot.

Of course, none of it happens if Belichick goes for it. He's the greatest coach ever, but he's catching heat online.

Interestingly, after Belichick passed on the 4th & 1, he went for it on 4th & 5 later on. Brady's attempt to Rob Gronkowski fell incomplete.

The Eagles just scored on the next drive. Philly leads 15-3.