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Bill Belichick details thinking with how Patriots approached end of win

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Some have asked the question of whether Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots could have managed the end of Saturday's 35-31 victory over the Baltimore Ravens better.

The Patriots had the ball at their own 20-yard line with 1:39 remaining, and the Ravens had one timeout remaining. The Patriots elected to take three kneel-downs. When the Ravens called timeout with 14 seconds remaining, it set up a punt by Ryan Allen from the 15-yard line.

This gave the Ravens a last-gasp attempt to pull out the win.

Bill Belichick was asked about the team's thinking at the time.

"It went pretty much exactly the way we thought it would," Belichick said in his Monday afternoon conference call. "We knew they had one timeout. We expected to be punting the ball with about 15 seconds, which was pretty much what it was. We didn't want to go through any handoffs or take any chance on any exchanges and the penetration, like the play they had on the goal-line, anything like that. We felt like we would be able to secure the ball, punt it back to them in the neighborhood of 15 seconds, and then that would leave them probably at the most two, possible one play, depending on what happened on the punt -- whether the ball was returned or went out of bounds.

"In the end, we felt like defending the Hail Mary was better than taking any chances at all handing [off] the ball, which I'm not sure how much time that would have run off the clock anyway. Maybe a couple seconds, I don't know. A first down, throwing the ball, wasn't really part of our thinking at that point in that game."