The New England Patriots played one of their most complete games of the season tonight against the Denver Broncos. Their 41-16 victory does not only help the Patriots improve their record to 7-2 while further solidifying their AFC East lead, it also helped head coach Bill Belichick further climb up the all-time wins list: Belichick is now tied with former Dallas Cowboys head coach Tom Landry for third-most of all time.
While Landry achieved all of his 270 wins with one team, Belichick came to New England with 37 victories already under his belt as head coach of the Cleveland Browns in the mid-1990s. Since joining the Patriots in 2000, the future Hall of Fame head coach added 233 wins – 20 of which in the playoffs, five in the Super Bowl – and might pass Landry as soon as next week against the Oakland Raiders.
Only two coaches in NFL history have won more games than the Patriots head coach – although neither has a better winning percentage than Belichick's .680: Don Shula, formerly of the Baltimore Colts and Indianapolis Colts, has won an all-time best 347 games, former Chicago Bears great George Halas 324. While they are firmly ahead at the moment, Belichick might still be able to reach and surpass them.
After all, the Patriots have won almost 13 games per year with Belichick at the helm. If they keep this average, the 65-year old would catch Halas within five years, Shula within six. Nothing out of the ordinary for a team and head coach that have broken one record after the next over the last two decades.