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Bill Belichick, Patriots to reportedly ‘part ways’ after 24 seasons, 6 Super Bowl titles

January 11th, 2024

The NFL doesn’t offer perfect endings to many figures. Not even to a coach with more championship rings than anyone in league history, who took a New England Patriots franchise from the bottom of the NFL to one of the greatest 20-year runs in sports history.

In a headline that would have been hard to believe a few years ago, Bill Belichick was ousted as the Patriots’ head coach. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Mike Reiss, Belichick and the Patriots have decided to “part ways” after 24 seasons and six Super Bowl titles.

The rise of the Patriots under Belichick, with six Super Bowl titles (to go with the two he had as New York Giants defensive coordinator) will forever be part of NFL lore. The story will also include how quickly and completely it all fell apart with the Patriots after Tom Brady left the team.

Belichick has a great case as the NFL’s greatest coach ever, but he’s no longer the head coach of the Patriots.

Bill Belichick’s time with Patriots ends

From 2001-2019, the Patriots won 17 of 19 AFC East titles including an NFL record 11 division crowns in a row, made the AFC championship game 13 times and won nine, and went on to win six Super Bowls.

In an age of parity in the NFL, it was an unbelievable run. Then the Brady-Belichick relationship fell apart.

Whatever the root cause, the Patriots and Brady split. Brady went on to immediately win a championship with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which will forever help shape the debate of whether Brady or Belichick was more important to the Patriots’ run.

It didn’t help Belichick’s case that the Patriots were unable to win a playoff game without Brady. New England missed the playoffs in the 2020 season, made it back in the 2021 season with rookie Mac Jones at quarterback but were blown out by the Buffalo Bills in the wild-card round and didn’t make it back to the playoffs.

The Patriots’ 2023 season got off to a miserable start with the team losing five of its first six games. New England took the worst loss of Belichick’s career, a 35-point defeat to the Dallas Cowboys, then followed that up with a 34-point loss to the New Orleans Saints.

There were a lot of firsts for Belichick this season and none of them were good. As the season was slipping away and the Patriots fell to the bottom of the AFC, a previously unthinkable idea started to bubble up: Could team owner Robert Kraft move on from Belichick, and perhaps do it during the season?

Belichick had a legendary run

Belichick’s run wasn’t without controversy, of course. He was masterful in going all the way up to the edge of the rules. Belichick’s critics will always downgrade his accomplishments due to Spygate, a sign-taping scheme that the Patriots were punished for.

Belichick’s résumé is undeniable, however. He took over a Patriots franchise that had never won a Super Bowl and collected six of them. He presided over the first 16-0 regular season in NFL history with the 2007 Patriots. He became the third coach in NFL history to reach 300 regular-season wins. His time with the Patriots ended before he could pass Don Shula’s record of 328 wins, however. His 31 postseason wins are an NFL record, however.

Belichick’s time with the Patriots didn’t end in celebration, but it doesn’t for most coaches and players. It ended with a horrendous season that had more losses by the end of October than New England would have in most of Belichick’s seasons as coach.

The Patriots’ franchise history can’t be told without Belichick and the fantastic run he had. That great run ended a few years ago and as a result, the Patriots will be looking for a new coach for the first time since January of 2000.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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