Bill Belichick’s tenure with the New England Patriots is over.
It couldn’t have been a worse ending for an NFL head coach to spend 24 years with the biggest franchise today.
Belichick walked off the field at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, only his eyes covered in a blizzard, after a heartbreaking 17-3 loss at home to the New York Jets — the latest loss of a season filled with them.
With 13 losses, it has been Belichick’s worst campaign in 29 years as a head coach, so he and owner Robert Kraft have agreed to part ways.
Belichick – a six-time Super Bowl winner with the Patriots – will always be seen as one of the best to stand on the sidelines.
In a game that was designed for collaboration, he managed to dominate like we’ve never seen before or will ever see again.
There is no Hollywood ending to the NFL’s lord of the rings
It wasn’t the way he would have wanted — or deserved — to go out, but it summed up the sadness of Belichick’s final campaign in New England.
In a terrible season, the Patriots were defeated by the Jets, a team they beat 15 times per spin. It’s true that Belichick has won two Super Bowls in which his team was able to control the points in short order.
The Jets are a team where Belichick was the head coach for only one day, as he used the controversy that meant his first press conference to resign shortly before joining the Patriots in 2000.
Jets fans had to watch as Belichick broke new records and records, along with quarterback Tom Brady, and the duo combined to win three Super Bowls in their first four seasons together and went on to win nine of nine games in the majors. . game for 18 years.
Throw in two wins as the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants and Belichick has eight Super Bowl rings – another NFL record to go along with the most wins as a head coach (six) and the most appearances (12).
Belichick is the head coach with the most games played (19), games (44) and wins (31) and, with 333 total victories, he is second on the all-time list behind the legendary coach of the Miami Dolphins Don Shula with 347. .
Brady exit at the beginning of the end
There has always been a debate as to whether Brady or Belichick ran the Patriots better. In fact, it was a very similar story.
Fierce competitors, both respectable wins by arrogant numbers and both believe in the no-nonsense ‘Patriot Way’ that Belichick promoted in New England – and “do your job” is his favorite motto.
At least three of their six Super Bowls owed more to Belichick’s defensive masterclass than Brady’s arm, most notably their sixth, a 12-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, where the quarterback led the biggest comeback in sports history against Atlanta Falcons in. someone.
Then, in 2020, Brady left to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and won his seventh Super Bowl, while the Pats went down without him, with only one winning season in four and an overall record of 29-39, including one playoff. throw away.
Appearances on the field fell and Belichick, in his other role as de facto general manager, didn’t do much good at recruiting the right players to get his team over the top — especially at quarterback.
So with Belichick in charge of recruiting and coaching, the buck stopped with him. In a cutthroat business like this, even a six-time Super Bowl winner has a shelf.
What’s next for Belichick?
Belichick will turn 72 in April and has coached in the league since 1975, but there is no reason to retire, Shula’s record looks good.
There should be plenty of takers for a coaching legend who, as bad as New England was this season, had a solid defense.
There are a few big questions, though, such as whether the school’s style of coaching, the way-or-the-highway, can still work in today’s game, especially for a new team.
Belichick may also want to take control of everything if the general manager can handle this kind of work in New England – suddenly giving him a manager to answer to is not going to go well – and if the team could be in danger after his recent showing could be worth it. sticking point.
The Los Angeles Chargers and Arizona Cardinals have been mentioned but, as a family man, whether he would be willing to move across the country is up for debate. Washington managers with new ownership may be a possibility.
One thing’s for sure, though: wherever Belichick ends up coaching next season and beyond, he’s cemented his legacy as one of the all-time greats — and one who deserves to ride off into the sunset instead of sledding in the snow.