Tom Brady, the front-runner for the league MVP, has steered the Pats to a 13-2 record. The team will watch the rest of the AFC contenders duke it out in the first round of the playoffs soon enough before they welcome in an unlucky foe to Gillette Stadium in the second round.
But Brady’s record-setting season isn’t the only straw stirring the drink. In fact, Brady is overshadowing the coaching of Bill Belichick, who is well on his way to earning the NFL Coach of the Year award, an honor he’s earned twice before in both 2003 and 2007. While it’s not even the postseason yet, one has to wonder: Is this Belichick’s best season as Patriots head coach?
In the Pats’ record-setting 2007 season, Belichick had far more weapons — both offensively and defensively. This year, Belichick’s young defense has been exploited on a nearly weekly basis, but the head coach still finds ways to win. On offense, Belichick has been steam-rolling the competition with a pair of undrafted free agent running backs in BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead. The way he dealt with the Randy Moss situation has proven to be crucial as the Pats are clearly a better team without the locker room nuisance and future Hall of Famer.
However, if the Pats put up another stinker in the postseason — as they did last year against the Ravens — this season will be easily remembered for folding in the playoffs, opposed to cruising through the regular season on the heels of an MVP quarterback and Coach of the Year.