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Belichick Is Simply The Best Super Bowl Coach Ever

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When Bill Belichick puts on his hoodie and takes to the sidelines for Super Bowl 52, he will tie Tom Landry for the most postseason appearances as a head coach. Belichick has guided the New England Patriots to a ridiculous .730 winning percentage in 37 postseason appearances. It’s genuinely hard to typify just how great Belichick has been as a coach in general, but especially when the lights shine the brightest.

Belichick is on the verge of a historic feat, as another Super Bowl ring means that he will have won six with the Patriots. That would make Belichick the first bench boss in NFL history to win six Super Bowls with the same team. However, Belichick’s Super Bowl experience isn’t limited to New England, as he was the defensive coordinator for the 1986 and 1990 New York Giants teams that ended up hoisting the trophy. All told, Belichick may be the greatest postseason coach to ever grace a football field. But let’s take a closer look at how Belichick and his vaunted defenses have performed in the Super Bowl.

Belichick As A Defensive Wizard

Belichick cut his teeth under legendary coach Bill Parcells. He spent years under the master of the 3-4 defense, learning its intricacies and minute details to the point where I’m sure he could draw up an effective game plan in his sleep. Belichick has had direct control over the defense or defensive play-calling in a Super Bowl on nine occasions and his defenses held their opposition to 22.9 points per game. Comparably, those nine opponents averaged 26.1 ppg through the regular season.

Belichick’s defense has faced the league’s highest-scoring regular-season team in the Super Bowl on three occasions (1990 Bills, 1996 Packers, 2001 Rams). In those three games, opposing offenses were held to 23.7 points (compared with a combined average of 28.9 ppg) while being forced into a collective 10 turnovers.

It’s obvious that Belichick has always been a defensive mastermind, but his ability to limit some of the best offensive teams in history in the biggest game is astounding. The New England defense finished the regular season No. 1 in the NFL in scoring defense. The last time the Patriots did that, they won the Super Bowl.

Fourth-Quarter Dominance

In the Patriots’ previous six Super Bowls under Belichick, the team has slowly evolved in front of our eyes into one of the best closers in sports. In Super Bowl XXVI and XXXVII, the Pats were outscored in the final frame 33-21 (-6.0 ppg). However, since then, the Patriots have dominated the last stanza by outscoring opponents 58-21 in the fourth quarter and overtime (+9.3 ppg). 

Of course, Belichick’s in-game adjustments showed through most dramatically in Super Bowl LI when New England overcame a massive 28-3 deficit and outscored the Atlanta Falcons 31-7 after halftime. 

This fourth-quarter play from the Pats does not just apply to the biggest game of the year. In the past five regular seasons, Belichick and the Patriots ranked inside the top 10 in points allowed in the fourth quarter on four occasions, including 10th this season.

Unparalleled Experience

As we’ve already gone over, Belichick has been among the league’s best in the coaching ranks for over a decade. Belichick, who is now the longest-tenured coach in the NFL, has watched the other 31 teams in the NFL employ 175 head coaches during his time with the Pats.

This experience cannot be overlooked, as Belichick has gone a ridiculous 26-3 since 2010 against coaches he has faced for the first time. That speaks to both his amazing coaching ability and the turnstile approach of other organizations. This could spell good news for New England backers, as Doug Pederson will be squaring off against Belichick as a head coach for the first time in his career.

Now, Pederson has only been a head coach for two seasons but he was also a highly sought-after offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. Those Chiefs faced off against the Pats just once during Pederson’s tenure as their offensive coordinator, a huge 41-14 victory in 2014. Pederson developed a perfect offensive attack that saw Alex Smith complete 76.7 percent of his passes for three touchdowns and no interceptions. Though Belichick would never admit it, you know he wants to avenge one of the worst defensive performances of his coaching career against Pederson.