The New England Patriots beating the Cleveland Browns 38-15 in Week 6 did not just improve their record to 3-3 on the season, it also allowed their head coach to reach a new career milestone. The victory over his former team was Bill Belichick’s 324th combined regular season and playoff win.
Belichick has therefore now moved into second place all-time, tying legendary Chicago Bears head coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer George Halas. Both men are 23 wins behind Don Shula’s record of 347.
Speaking to the media after the game, Belichick deflected praise for the accomplishment onto the players and coaches he worked with through the years.
“You can’t win games in this league without good players,” he said. “I’ve been very fortunate to have coached a lot of great players and have a lot of great coaches on my staffs through the years. A lot of those guys have gone on to have tremendous careers. And the players, obviously, many of them are Patriots Hall of Fame, NFL Hall of Fame, or are going to be.
“Winning games in this league is about having good players. I’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of them. Had them in New York, had them in Cleveland, have them here.”
Belichick will have a chance to move into sole possession of second place next Monday. Coincidentally, the Patriots will face off against Halas’ former team: they will be hosting the Bears at Gillette Stadium in Week 7.
At the moment, though, Belichick is still sitting at 324 wins. Of those, 37 came with the Browns between 1991 and 1995. The other 287 — including six in the Super Bowl — have been accomplished since Belichick joined the Patriots in 2000.
Him climbing up the all-time list also was not lost on his players.
“I don’t know if everybody knew about it, but I knew about it,” said cornerback Jalen Mills. “When we took that last knee I kind of gave Coach a high-five and a hug and told him congratulations. That’s big. He’s a part of history, and he deserves it.”
“That’s just a lot of hard work, a lot of hours, a lot of execution, a lot of attention to detail that he bestows upon his players and we just go out there and execute,” added linebacker Matthew Judon. “So, for him to tie that record and hopefully overcome it, that’s nice. That’s just really nice.”