With Bill Belichick on the hot seat in New England, there’s a very real chance that this week’s game against the Jets could end up being his final one as the coach of the Patriots.
Although New England won’t be fighting for a playoff spot this week, there will be a lot on the line for Belichick: If the Jets beat the Patriots, the 71-year-old will tie the NFL record for most losses ever by a head coach.
At the start of the 2023 season, Belichick had 152 career losses, which put him well behind the NFL record of 165, a mark that’s held by both Jeff Fisher and Dan Reeves. Before this year, Belichick had never suffered a 13-loss season in his 23 years with the Patriots, so the idea of him tying the record in 2023 didn’t really seem possible, but with the Patriots now sitting at 4-12, Belichick is now just one loss away from tying the mark.
Here’s a look at the current list for most all-time losses:
1. Dan Reeves: 190-165-2
2. Jeff Fisher: 173-165-1
3. Bill Belichick: 302-164-0
4. Tom Landry: 250-162-6
5. Don Shula: 328-156-6
If you include playoff losses, Belichick is also just one loss away from tying the all-time record, which is held by former Cowboys coach Tom Landry.
Most losses (including playoff games)
1. Tom Landry: 270-178-6
2. Bill Belichick: 333-177-0
3. Dan Reeves: 201-174-2
4. Don Shula: 347-173-6
5. Jeff Fisher: 178-171-1
If Belichick were to tie the record by losing to the Jets, it would definitely add insult to injury and that’s mostly because the Jets have been the one team the Patriots have been able to dominate more than any other. New England currently has a 15-game winning streak against the Jets, which dates back to December 2015.
Even though this could be Belichick’s final game in New England after 24 seasons with the team, he didn’t want to talk about his future this week when.
“I’m committed to the team that I’m coaching right now, the players that are here,” Belichick said. “They deserve my best every day, and that’s what I’m going to give them.”
Although Belichick might eventually set the record for most losses, it’s unlikely anyone will be holding that against him when he eventually retires. The fact of the matter is that breaking the record is actually a testament to his success and his longevity. If you’re in the NFL long enough, no matter how successful you are, you’re definitely going to fail at times. If you fail too often, you’ll get fired and you won’t be around long enough to lose 165 games.
No matter what happens with the six-time Super Bowl-winning coach on Sunday, he’ll always be remembered as one of the best coaches in NFL history. And let’s not forget, Belichick will also likely soon set the NFL record for most wins.
As things currently stand, Belichick has 333 career victories, including playoffs, which puts him just 14 wins behind Don Shula on the all-time list. If the Patriots beat the Jets, that means Belichick could tie or break the all-time wins record as soon as next year as long as he’s still coaching.