How End of Belichick Era Compares to Other Great NFL Coaches

How End of Belichick Era Compares to Other Great NFL Coaches
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Bill Belichick ranks as the third-winningest coach in NFL history with 302 victories, but his time with the New England Patriots is over after missing the playoffs for the third time in the past four seasons.

That was enough for Patriots owner Robert Kraft to move Belichick out after 24 seasons and install Jerod Mayo, who was in New England for the past 13 years with eight as a player and five as an assistant coach.

Belichick wants to keep coaching — check out the Bill Belichick Next Head Coaching Job Odds here — and there are currently seven openings for NFL coaches. For those wondering if the coach with six Super Bowl rings still has what it takes to lead an NFL team, took a look at how his past five seasons compare to what the game’s other coaches on the victory list did in their last five years.

We used to research how those coaches’ teams performed, including two who are still active.

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How Top 12 Coaches Did in Last Five Years

NameLast TeamCareer WinsLast Five Years
Andy Reid*Chiefs25863-20 (.759)
Mike Tomlin*Steelers17348-34-1 (.584)
Don ShulaDolphins32847-32 (.595)
Marty SchottenheimerChargers20047-33 (.588)
Bill BelichickPatriots30241-42 (.494)
George HalasBears31839-28-5 (.576)
Chuck NollSteelers19338-41 (.481)
Tom LandryCowboys25036-43 (.456)
Jeff FisherRams17331-45-1 (.403)
Chuck KnoxSeahawks18631-49 (.388)
Dan ReevesFalcons19028-48-1 (.364)
Curly LambeauRedskins22619-38 (.333)
* — Active coaches.

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Nearly .500 in Past Five Years

The Patriots’ record of 41-42 leaves Belichick ranked sixth among the coaches with at least 173 victories to rank as the top 12 in NFL history.

The two active coaches rank first and second with the Chiefs’ Andy Reid at 63-20 and the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin at 48-34-1. Reid is 65, but with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback no one expects the coach with 258 career victories to go anywhere anytime soon. He’s 11-2 in the playoffs in the past five seasons with two Super Bowl victories in that time.

The Chiefs are 2.5-point underdogs going into Mahomes’ first road playoff game at Buffalo, according to BetMGM Massachusetts.

Tomlin is tied for 11th with 173 victories overall, but there were rumblings he could be headed out of Pittsburgh after falling in his last three playoff appearances in 2020, 2021 and 2023. Tonlin told his players Tuesday he plans to coach the Steelers next season.

The top three in their final five seasons who are not active are Don Shula, Marty Schottenheimer and George Halas. Shula, the game’s winningest coach ever with 328 victories, was 47-32 in his final five years, and he led Miami to a 2-3 playoff mark in 1992, 1994 and 1995 before retiring after the final playoff loss.

Schottenheimer, who had 200 career victories, was 47-33 with the Chargers, but 0-2 in two playoff appearances. The final one was the most disappointing. A wildly successful 14-2 run in 2006 ended with a 24-21 divisional round playoff loss to the Patriots. That ruined a year when LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 1,815 yards and 28 touchdowns and caught 56 passes for 508 yards and three more scores. The other two losses that year were also by three points, 16-13 to the Ravens in Week 4 and 30-27 to the Chiefs in Week 7.

Belichick ranks No. 3 all-time in victories behind Shula (328) and Halas, who has 318. Halas ranks just ahead of Belichick in overall victories in his final five years, but the NFL had 12- and 14-game seasons in Halas’ days. His 39-28-5 record included his sixth and final NFL championship in 1963 with a record of 11-1-2 and a 14-10 win over the New York Giants in the title game.

Halas was 26-27-3 in his final four years before retiring at the age of 72, which is how old Belichick will be when the 2024 season begins.

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Douglas Pils has been a sports journalist for 30 years in Texas, Arkansas and New York having worked for the San Antonio Express-News, the Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News and Newsday. He currently runs the Student Media Department at Baylor University.

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