UA-59049186-1 Belichick-mate - Good if it Goes


Thursday night, we saw something that has not happened very often over the past decade or so. And that was the New England Patriots being underdogs at home in a regular season game. The Texans came into Thursday night’s contest as 1.5-point favorites and if you watched any of the daytime sports shows or pregame show you saw just about every sports analyst on TV throughout the day pick the Texans to win. Since the Patriots essentially established their dynasty and dominance with their 4th Super Bowl it almost seems sacrilegious to go against the Patriots at home in the regular season. However, for the first time since I can remember there was an overwhelming majority picking against them. And why not? The New England Patriots are without not just 1 QB but 2 as the backup’s backup Jacoby Brissett, a 3rd-rounder from NC State, was forced into his 1st start ever on national TV against 1 of the most talented defenses in the NFL. Gronk was returning to the lineup and set to be on a limited snap count. And the Patriots are still missing key offensive lineman and some very good defensive players. Everything about this game screamed Texans victory. But what all the fans, all the pundits, even myself, forgot to factor in was the Belichick factor. Despite literally all the odds being in the Texans’ favor, the Patriots not only won they dominated what I still feel is a good Texans team, shutting them out 27-0. How in the hell does that happen? I’ll tell you how: Belichick, that’s how.

The fact of the matter is Bill Belichick is not only the best coach in the NFL right now, the man is the greatest coach in the history of the NFL. I’m not saying this as some prisoner of the moment statement basing it on how the team has looked in their first 3 games without Brady this season. I’m factoring in his entire resume with the Patriots and telling you he was the greatest coach ever before this season even started and all there first 3 games have done is confirmed
something that quite frankly everyone should’ve already known. I think Belichick’s greatest ability is the way he can get his teams to morph into whatever they need to be to win football games. When he first got to the Patriots they were a defense-first and ball control offensive team that wanted to play conservative and risk-free football and let their defense win games. As Brady continued to grow and get better as a player, they gave him more and more responsibility. And as the Patriots defense got older and lost players, it became less effective and all of sudden
the Patriots became this offensive juggernaut that was lighting teams up through the air. Then one season, Brady goes down for the year in the very first game and all they do is still manage to go 11-5. Randy Moss leaves and all of sudden, they switch the offense to a quick hitting offense that centered around 2 very good tight ends. Few years later, that tight end gets charged for murder and his NFL career is done. No problem, the Patriots go to a multi-receiver offense filled with what would normally be slot guys on most other teams but on the Patriots, they play all receiver positions. And that brings us to this season. Brady’s suspended the 1st 4 games and the 3rd-year QB that has never started a game comes out in his 1st 2 games and looks like a Brady clone almost running the offense in the exact same way. Now I don’t say that to diminish Brady because Jimmy Garoppolo was able to do that because he’s a very talented guy.
But let’s look at Thursday night’s contest. Jimmy G went down in the Pats’ week 2 contest vs. the Dolphins. However, by the time he left the game, the Patriots were already up 21-0 and the game was pretty much decided. Thursday was a completely different story. Going against a 2-0 team that will almost certainly make the playoffs and that is hungry to finally beat your franchise, you have to send out a 3rd string QB that’s a rookie 3rd rounder and probably not ready for this challenge. Coming into this game, the Texans’ coaching staff had to know the Patriots were going
to throw the ball very little and run the ball a ton to keep the ball out of Brissett’s hands. The Texans, with 1 of the most talented defenses in the entire league, KNEW what Belichick and his team was going to try and do coming into the game, the Patriots come out and do EXACTLY that and it works. WHY? Because not only did the Patriots do what the Texans and all of us expected, but they did it in their way. The Patriots do a great job of preparing their team for the specific opponent they play which often times leaves their opponent completely at a loss. We all
expected a heavy ground dose from New England Thursday night, but what we didn’t expectwas QB option plays. Even with a QB with wheels, there is just no way anybody could have possibly thought that we would see a Belichick-coached team come out with QB run design option plays. They completely took the Texans by surprise and they simply had no answer for those plays. The Patriots put up 27 points in a game where the QB only completed
11 out of 19 pass attempts for 103 yards and 0 passing TDs. Winning a game in the fashion the Patriots just won it with the starting QBs stat line looking like that is almost unheard of in this day and age.
The next most impressive thing about coach Belichick’s is the next man up/do your job culture that he has created. A lot of teams holler next man up when starters go down year after year but for pretty much all the other teams, it’s just lip service and cliches. For the Patriots, it’s a way of life. Countless great players have left via trade or free agency in the off-season or gotten hurt during the season and yet the Patriots just roll along continuing to win no matter who leaves the team, gets hurt, or gets suspended. Not only that, Belichick is awesome at taking a player and
maximizing whatever talent that player has and getting the most out of him by putting all of his players in the best position for them to succeed. Even free agents that other teams didn’t want or couldn’t have success with we’ve seen Bill take those players and turn water into wine. From no-names like Wes Welker and Dion Lewis, to superstars like Randy Moss and Corey Dillon and everything in between. They all seem to play better in New England and to this day, I’ve yet to see a Patriots player leave New England and play better for another team. Even on this year’s
team, if you look at guys like Chris Long, who the Rams gave up on and thought wasn’t a very good player, all of sudden looks rejuvenated with the Patriots. How about Shea McClellin, who played okay in his last season with the Bears, but by and large, his career up to this point has been considered somewhat a disappointment. In these first 3 games, he looks very good with the Patriots. How about Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan being 1 of the best cornerback duos in the league when just 2 years ago, they were both stuck at the bottom of the Pats defensive back
depth chart. Of course Belichick can take an undrafted free agent like Butler and give him significant snaps during the Super Bowl and the kid ends up winning the game for him. The way he prepares his teams to be ready for every game is unlike any other coach we’ve ever seen or probably ever will see again. He’s the greatest coach of all-time and it should come as no surprise really that live on national TV, Thursday night’s chess match between Bill O’Brien and Bill Belichick resulted in a Belichick-mate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *