Set to take part in an NFL contest on Thursday evening against the Pittsburgh Steelers that will have the lowest over-under for a pro game in 15 years (30 points), the New England Patriots are an unmitigated dumpster fire of dysfunction and head coach Bill Belichick is ultimately the one holding the matches, the gasoline — and the trash.
The Patriots, who lost to the Chargers 6-0 on Sunday and are the first team since the 1938 Chicago Cardinals to lose three straight games when allowing 10 points or fewer, have won just two games this season and lost 10. That number will likely climb to 11 after Thursday Night Football as the Patriots will be rolling with No. 2 starter Bailey Zappe at quarterback after benching former No. 15 overall pick Mac Jones and will also be without their top offensive player, running back Rhamondre Stevenson, who is out with a high ankle sprain.
Once considered to be the premier franchise in the NFL, the Patriots are now last in the NFL in scoring at 12.3 points per game, the lowest average for any team at this point in the season since 2011. Belichick, who went 36-44 as the head coach of the Browns before taking over in New England in 2000, has a record of 27-36, including a humiliating playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills, since Tom Brady took his talents to Tampa Bay.
Informed Prediction: Belichick-Kraft Partnership Will “End Badly”The Patriots are 25-26, including playoffs, in the post-Tom Brady era
In charge of New England’s roster as well as its sideline, Belichick the general manager has essentially crippled Belichick the coach as the Patriots are devoid of talent on both sides of the ball. Injuries have also played a part in the team’s struggles this season, but Belichick’s horrendous drafting and boneheaded signings in free agency have left the team extremely thin at nearly every position except on special teams, an area of pro football that has vastly decreased in importance in recent years.
Chasing Don Shula’s all-time wins total, 71-year-old Belichick is now far closer to setting the all-time loss total for a coach in the NFL. With a regular-season record of 300-162, Belichick needs just three more losses to tie Dan Reeves (190-165-2) and Jeff Fisher (173-165-1) as the NFL’s all-time loser. With five games left to play including tonight’s matchup with the Steelers, there’s a great chance Belichick will be the all-time loss record-holder by season’s end.
There’s also a great chance that Patriots owner Robert Kraft will decide that enough is enough and push the man who pushed Brady out of New England out the door after this season. Should that happen, the prevailing assumption is that Belichick, who is the highest-paid coach in the U.S. with an estimated salary of $25 million annually, would immediately take over another team. If fans have any input, they don’t want their team to be the one to hire him.
The product the Patriots are putting out on the football field is the main reason why more than 70% of fans would not want Belichick coaching their team, according to a poll conducted by ProFootballTalk on X (at the time of writing, 24,739 votes have been cast, with 72.9% saying they would not want Belichick to be hired by their team). But another factor has to be the way the six-time Super Bowl winner carries himself while dealing with the media. Arrogant and snippy to the point of being childish, Belichick was able to get away with his behavior when he was winning. He’s not winning anymore and the act, like his roster, has worn thin.
Maybe there’s still a chance that Belichick, who is on pace to have the lowest win percentage (.167) in a season by any head coach with a team he had previously won the Super Bowl with, can save his job. But if he does pass Tom Landry, who set the current season-long low with the 1988 Cowboys (.188), Kraft will have almost no other option besides firing him, the same way that Landry was. Landry didn’t coach again after being fired — and Belichick might not either.