So one coach went for it on 4th down and one the game; the other went for it on 4th and two and lost it. Both coaches went for it because they would win the game if their team converted. Naturally, the latter coach, Belichick, was criticized loudly from every corner; the former, Rex Ryan, barely received comment on it at all.
The basic problem here is results-oriented thinking: people tend to criticize others based on the results of an action as opposed to the probable results of the action at the time it was tried. Intellectually we realize this—hindsight is 20/20 is a cliché after all—but we generally aren’t very good at putting it into practice. Not something I’m very fond of at all.