Here Are The Top-10 Bill Belichick Moments Of All Time

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Robert McGreevy Contributor
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The New England Patriots are parting ways with legendary coach Bill Belichick, according to a Thursday report from ESPN. 

Belichick leaves New England as easily the best coach in franchise history and arguably the greatest of all time. 

In his 24 seasons with the team Belichick helped lead them to nine Super Bowls, winning six of them. His 266 regular season wins are by far the most in franchise history, and the 42 playoff games he won with the team make him the NFL’s winningest playoff coach of all time. 

With all the records he’s shattered and the joy he’s brought New England faithful, there’s no doubt his legacy will live on for years to come. Let’s take a look at the top 10 moments of his New England career.

10. Coaching the Jets for literally a day

After helming the Cleveland Browns for five years and being fired in 1995, Belichick puttered around as an assistant for the Patriots and the New York Jets under his mentor Bill Parcells. Then, when Parcells retired as Jets head coach in 1999 he hand-picked Belichick as his successor. Belichick accepted the job on Jan. 3, 2000, but one day later, at the press conference where he was supposed to be announcing his new job, he quit. His shock resignation came in the form of a note scrawled on a napkin saying “I resign as HC of the NYJ.” Not long after, the Pats traded the Jets a first-round pick for the right to sign Belichick and brought him on as head coach. The rest is history.

9. Undefeated regular season

The 2007 New England Patriots did something no team since Don Shula’s 1972 Miami Dolphins did, they beat every team they faced in the regular season. Though Belichick’s squad would eventually lose Super Bowl XLII to the New York Giants, under his tutelage the Patriots won all 16 regular season games and the two playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl. The undefeated regular season is a feat that hasn’t been repeated since. (RELATED: Los Angeles Chargers Reportedly Looking At Jim Harbaugh, Bill Belichick For Next Head Coach)

8. A Randy Moss Halloween

Belichick is infamous for his somewhat curmudgeonly demeanor, so when star receiver Randy Moss meekly extended an invitation to his 2009 Halloween party to Belichick, he probably didn’t expect the coach to be enthusiastic about it. But, to the surprise and delight of his players, Belichick showed up dressed as a pirate. Images of him skating around the roller rink Moss had rented out with an eyepatch on were not only great for player morale, but created an all time iconic moment.

7. We’re on to Cincinnati

Despite being the second-winningest head coach of all time, just 14 behind Shula, Belichick’s illustrious career has not come without its fair share of losses. In 2014’s week four the Patriots suffered a humiliating loss at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, falling 41-14 in a game where Tom Brady threw two picks. Now nearly a decade removed from their last Super Bowl, the Patriots were starting to inherit a massive amount of criticism from fans and pundits alike. But old Bill Belichick just kept on chugging. Inundated with questions about the Patriots supposedly collapsing dynasty, Bill had just one answer: “We’re on to Cincinnati.”

Belichick would go on to wallop the Cincinnati Bengals the next week and later that year would lead his team to another Super Bowl.

6. Malcolm Butler

Another legendary coach who is departing a sideline he had long prowled is Pete Carroll, whose departure as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks was announced just one day before the Belichick news. Carroll was on the losing end of Belichick’s fourth Super Bowl in 2015.

With his team down just four points and on the goal line, Carroll (who preceded Belichick as the Patriots head coach) made the inexplicable decision to throw the ball rather than hand it off to superstar running back Marshawn Lynch.

The now infamous moment saw Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler nudge his way between a pair of Seahawks and snatch the ball from the air, securing an interception and the Patriots’ fourth Lombardi.

While this moment may seem more like a Carroll blunder than a Belichick achievement, let’s not forget that luck is just an opportunity meeting preparation. (RELATED: REPORT: Tennessee Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel Is New England Patriots’ ‘Home Run Choice’ To Replace Bill Belichick)

Was the decision to throw a boneheaded one? Yes. But Belichick was ready for it anyway. Not only had Belichick specifically game-planned for that play, but he had coached Butler up for the moment, telling him “Malcolm you’ve gotta be on that,” according to CBS Sports. Well, Butler was indeed on that, helping secure the franchise’s first ring in over a decade and kickstarting a second separate New England dynasty. 

5. Holding McVay and Goff to just three points in Super Bowl LII

Super Bowl LII was a strange one. What turned out to be Belichick’s sixth and final ring with the Patriots was arguably the greatest defensive masterclass he had ever pulled off. Facing a Rams team that was averaging nearly 33 points a game Belichick’s defense held them to just three, capping off a second dynasty and cementing his legacy as one of, if not the greatest coach of all time.

4. Defeating “The Greatest Show On Turf”

In just his second season coaching New England, Belichick managed to steer a flailing franchise from a 5-11 record in 2000 to 11-5 in 2001. After losing his starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe to injury in week two, many had written off Bill’s Patriots. But Belichick had the foresight to turn to a little-known sixth-round quarterback named Tom Brady.

Belichick rode Brady to the Super Bowl, defeating Kurt Warner’s Los Angeles Rams. The Rams, loaded with offensive weapons like Isaac Bruce and Marshall Faulk, were known as “The Greatest Show On Turf” for their high-flying, prolific offense. Belichick’s defense held them to just 17 points en route to his and the franchise’s first Super Bowl championship.

3. Adam Vinatieri and going back-to-back

Adam Vinatieri will forever be known as a Patriots legend for kicking the game-winning field goal in Super Bowl XXXVIII, but the legend played his part in helping secure the Lombardi the next year too. After drilling the game-winner against the Carolina Panthers in 2004, he collected six points the following year helping the Pats defeat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX by just a slim 24-21 margin.

2. Atlanta comeback

In 2017 Bill Belichick presided over the largest comeback in Super Bowl history and one of the most epic battles the sport has ever seen. Down an insane 28-3 to the Atlanta Falcons deep into the 3rd quarter, all hope seemed lost. But Belichick’s squad never gave up, as receiver Danny Amendola would later tell the press. “We never felt like we were out of the game. We just wanted to keep fighting, keep going, and keep believing.”

The Pats would indeed keep believing. A series of improbable events, including an absurd Julian Edelman catch, helped New England claw back to even and force overtime. A James White touchdown would secure the improbable comeback and bring Belichick and Brady their fifth title.

1. Tom Brady

Like it or not, the best thing Belichick ever did for the Patriots, and probably the league at large, was give Tom Brady a shot. A sixth-round pick out of Michigan, Brady was an afterthought. His draft report indicated that he was highly unlikely to stick on an NFL roster, let alone lead a team to multiple championships. But Bill saw something in Tom that nobody else did and he gave him a shot.

Seven Super Bowl rings and five MVP trophies later, I’d say Bill’s gamble paid off.