Things have not gone well for Bill Belichick and the Patriots this season. No shit, right? Even saying that, losing to a Commanders team that just traded two of their best players is really bad. Losing that game at home? Oof.
Despite the six Super Bowl wins, Belichick is no stranger to losing games as a head coach. In fact, he's only six away from being the all-time loser in head coaching history.
Top 5 Most Losses In NFL History
1. Dan Reeves 165
1. Jeff Fisher 165
3. Tom Landry 162
4. Bill Belichick 159
5. Don Shula 156
To be fair, you have to coach a long time to be on this list. Hue Jackson "only" has 44 losses but would never be given the keys long enough to amass 100 losses much less 159. You do have to mix in a ton of wins to last that long in the NFL. Let's put up the other leaderboard:
Top 5 Most Wins In NFL History
1. Don Shula 328
2. George Halas 318
3. Bill Belichick 300
4. Andy Reid 254
5. Tom Landry 250
With a nod to Rico Bosco, here's a healthy debate: Who do you think has a better chance of catching Shula: Bill Belichick or Andy Reid? Keep in mind that Reid is 6 years younger. With Mahomes locked up for the next few years, I might have to really consider Reid.
But Belichick's record as a whole might be worth a deeper look. It could take some time for him to catch Shula. Even reaching Halas isn't going to happen before 2025 at the earliest with this shabby Pats roster. Belichick with Tom Brady was an unstoppable force and the greatest 19 year run in NFL history. Without Brady? Not good.
Bill Belichick with Tom Brady: 219-64 (.774)
Bill Belichick without Tom Brady: 81-95 (.460)
Patriot fans love to argue that point by saying any couch would struggle without their best QB. That's just not true. If you took the Hall of Fame QB's (Johnny Unitas, Bob Griese, Dan Marino) away from Don Shula, his winning percentage actually IMPROVES (.696 by going 74-32-1).
For transparency's sake, I must admit I am a biased Jets fan. I hate Belichick. But even I must admit he should be in a Hall of Fame. I don't think he's the best coach ever though. His record without Brady (and we are talking about 11 seasons of games) is so weak that I have to put Shula ahead of him.
I think the best comparison to Bill Belichick might be Connie Mack. Mack managed the Philadelphia A's for 50 years. He has the most wins and losses in MLB history. He was the owner of the team so no one could fire him. Because of that, he managed until he was 87 years old. When he had great teams, he was amazing. He won 5 World Series and won 9 American League pennants. But when he was bad, he was awful. He lost 100 or more games nine times.
It's not a perfect comp. Belichick hasn't been awful like Mack was. But both were charge for several decades and if things weren't great, they were rarely good. Both were the de facto GM's of their teams. Both did themselves no favors as they got older and the game had clearly passed them by. Neither wanted to retire.
That's all to say that Bill Belichick is a great NFL head coach. That's not even arguable. But like Connie Mack, he's not the best ever. Joe McCarthy is the best in baseball history. Don Shula is the best in NFL history. If the man who prides himself on sleeveless hoodies doesn't walk away soon, Andy Reid might just pass him by as well.