Robert Kraft (right) saw his team beat former Patriots player Wes Welker on Sunday. (Elise Amendola/AP Images)
As the Patriots and Broncos readied for overtime on Sunday night, many Americans wondered aloud why Bill Belichick opted to give Denver the ball (with the wind in its face) rather than take possession to start the period.
Count Pats owner Robert Kraft among the befuddled.
‘‘When Bill chose the wind, I said, ‘What is he doing?’’ Kraft told Karen Guregian of The Boston Herald before handing out turkeys during his annual Thanksgiving giveaway at Goodwill headquarters near Boston on Tuesday night. ‘‘Someone [in my box] said, ‘Don’t you have a phone down there?’ . . . But I spoke with [Belichick] and chatted about it with him afterward, and once again, he was on top of things. What they figured out was, by choosing the wind, it was an incremental 20 yards that they needed to be able to kick, and sure enough, it was a very wise decision.
The Patriots won, 34-31, after the Broncos turned the ball over on a punt deep in their own end, and New England improved to 8-3 and 6-0 at home. They had come back from a 24-point halftime deficit.
Still, Kraft was wary of giving Peyton Manning the ball to start overtime.
‘‘Probably, as a fan, I don’t think 80-90 percent of our fans would think giving Peyton Manning the ball in overtime was going to be in our best interest," Kraft said, adding that he'd never seen such a turnaround in a game, and that it was one of the team's “special all-time wins.”