Some would argue he is the GOAT.
Many were interested in how he would fare once his star QB Tom Brady (a GOAT in his own right) fled to Tampa Bay this season.
It’s still early in the season, and many things will play out…but there were a ton of people that always claimed Tom Brady was just a product of Belichick and the “system”. I think we’re seeing now that’s not even close to being the case.
— John Ashworth (@CoachAshworth) October 25, 2020
So far, it has not been good.
The Patriots are 2-5 in 2020 after losing a close game to the Buffalo Bills yesterday by the score of 24-21.
Admittedly, the Patriots have issues on both sides of the ball, but it is glaringly obvious that Belichick (and the Patriots) miss Brady.
This begs the question.
Can Belichick win without Brady?
Belichick’s Regular Season Career Record
Bill Belichick has won 275 games and lost 132 in his career during the regular season.
That means he won approximately 67% of his games over a 20 year span as the head coach of the Patriots.
Obviously, that’s a tremendous accomplishment over his long tenure.
Record With Brady
With Brady as the starter, he is 224-66.
That is about a 77% success rate.
Bill Belichick's coaching career:
With Tom Brady as his starting QB: 224-66
With anybody else as his starting QB: 51-66 pic.twitter.com/UvXClmtbZk
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 1, 2020
Record Without Brady
.@MikeTanier: Patriots are bad because Belichick and his staff made multiple mistakes while basking in “unassailable genius we aren’t worthy to criticize” accolades, then hoped Newton could spackle over the issues the way Tom Brady did.
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) November 2, 2020
Belichick is 51-66 without Brady.
He only won 47% of his games without Brady.
Can Belichick Win Without Brady?
The last time the Patriots were more than 2 GB in the division at any point in a season was in 2000.
They finished the season 6 GB and were 3.5 back at the end of Week 7.
2000 was Bill Belichick's (and Tom Brady's) 1st season in New England
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 25, 2020
The numbers don’t lie.
Belichick struggles without Brady.
But if you consider the Belichick-Brady duo spent 20 years together and won 6 Super Bowls, it isn’t hard to see why even the GOAT Coach is suffering.
For one thing, the sample size without Brady is very small.
The offensive system was built around Brady for so long.
Even if Cam Newton was playing at the top of his game, there would be growing pains.
Brady’s successor was bound to struggle and so was Belichick.
But that doesn’t mean Belichick won’t ever win again without Brady.
It just isn’t going to happen in 2020.
The Patriots will need to go back to the drawing board and make smart transactions via trade or draft picks.
How Long Will Belichick Coach?
While it is certainly possible for Bill Belichick to win a Super Bowl without Brady, there is one lingering question.
How long does he plan to coach?
He is 68 years old and has spent 45 years in the NFL.
From all appearances, he is a workaholic who is consumed by the game.
But he may decide to retire one of these days and enjoy a less stressful life away from the NFL.
Then again, he could decide to coach for another decade or more which gives him plenty of time to rebuild and succeed.
No one knows, probably not even Coach Belichick at this point.