Are Bill Belichick’s days with the New England Patriots numbered?
Probably not. But Pat McAfee, a former NFL punter-turned-podcast host, couldn’t help but raise the question Monday, one day after the Patriots were officially eliminated from playoff contention with a 22-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.
The Patriots, who have lost two straight, now own a 6-8 record with two weeks remaining in the 2020 NFL season, and some of New England’s inconsistency can be attributed to uncharacteristic mistakes.
“(Sunday), we just watched their defense have too many men coming out of a timeout — not normal Patriots (expletive),” McAfee said on “The Pat McAfee Show.” “Then, at the end of the game, down 10, in field goal range, on fourth down, no timeouts left, they don’t choose to kick the field goal. Instead, they keep the quarterback out there, they take a sack, game over.
“There’s a lot of things happening up there that are very un-Bill Belichick like. There are a lot of decisions and situational football situations that are not being run well. I am wondering if Bill Belichick is checked out. Is Bill Belichick done? Because this is not normal.”
Warning: the clip below features language that’s NSFW.
To be clear, McAfee didn’t exactly write off Belichick, one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. In fact, he later brushed off a tweet from someone who suggested Belichick isn’t talented enough to rebuild the Patriots and that New England should move on from the 68-year-old.
Still, McAfee broached a subject that’s probably uncomfortable for many Patriots fans after two decades of dominance. Tom Brady already left, signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency last offseason, and it’s fair to wonder how much longer Belichick will stick around.
“Is Bill Belichick checked out and done with the Patriots because he said, ‘Hey, listen, I brought a (expletive) dynasty here, greatest dynasty of all time. I’m out of here. You guys stink,’ ” McAfee added. “What would (Robert) Kraft do? Him and Jon Bon Jovi eating popcorn up there. There ain’t nothing he could be able to do if Bill Belichick leaves that place. GM and head coach needed, that’d be wild.”
There’s a different feel to things nowadays in Foxboro, with the Patriots missing out on the postseason for the first time since 2008. Belichick leaving would really turn the franchise on its head.