Bill Belichick's record without Tom Brady: How legendary Patriots coach has fared before, after divorce with QB

Bill Belichick's record without Tom Brady: How legendary Patriots coach has fared before, after divorce with QB

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift may qualify as the NFL’s most dynamic duo of the 2023 NFL season, but that title belonged to Bill Belichick and Tom Brady not too long ago.

For two decades, the Patriots coach and quarterback dominated the NFL. They created a dynasty — winning 17 division titles in 20 seasons together and six Super Bowls — while redefining the way that NFL offenses were supposed to operate.

Then came the much-publicized split between the two. Tom Brady went to the Buccaneers during the 2020 NFL offseason while Belichick and the Patriots moved on to Cam Newton. Each man was motivated to prove that he could succeed without the other after being tied at the hip for 20 years.

Brady was able to do that. Belichick? Not so much.

Now into his fourth season since Brady’s departure, Belichick’s Patriots are beginning to bottom out. The team is among the worst in the NFL and appears to be in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick.

Naturally, the “Brady or Belichick?” debate has kicked into high gear because of this, and Belichick’s recent performance without Brady has left many backing the future Hall of Fame signal-caller as the more important piece in that pairing.

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So, how has Belichick done during his career when not paired with Brady? Here’s a breakdown of his record without the former Patriots passer and how each of his non-Brady quarterbacks has fared.

Bill Belichick coaching record

Belichick has posted a record of 331-173 during his 29 seasons as an NFL head coach. He has a record of 300-160 in the regular season and an impressive mark of 31-13 in 44 career postseason games.

Belichick’s 331 wins are good for the second-most in NFL history. Only Don Shula, the coach of the undefeated 1974 Dolphins, is ahead of him with 347.

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Below is a look at the other legendary names whom Belichick has surpassed on the NFL’s all-time wins leaderboard:

Rank Coach Wins1 Don Shula 3472 Bill Belichick 3313 George Halas 3244 Andy Reid 2735 Tom Landry 2706 Curly Lambeau 2297 Paul Brown 2228 Chuck Noll 2099 Marty Schottenheimer 20510 Dan Reeves 201

Indeed, Belichick’s mark has been impressive, and given his appreciation for NFL history, he would probably like to chase down Shula’s record before he retires.

That said, it may take Belichick some time to get there, especially when considering how he has fared without his future Hall of Fame quarterback, Tom Brady.

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Bill Belichick record without Tom Brady

Through Week 10 of the 2023 NFL season, Belichick has a record of just 82-98 without Brady as his quarterback. That’s good for a winning percentage of just .463 and pales in comparison to what Belichick has achieved with his long-time quarterback.

Bill Belichick Wins Losses Winning % Super Bowl titles (as HC)With Tom Brady 249 75 .769 6Without Tom Brady 82 98 .456 0

Some may draw the conclusion that Belichick simply isn’t a good coach without arguably the greatest quarterback of all time at his disposal.

Brady doesn’t agree with that assessment. He commented on his “Let’s Go” podcast after the Patriots’ losses to the Cowboys and Saints that Belichick has the same work ethic and coaching style that led the duo to two decades’ worth of sustained success.

So, what’s the issue? Brady acknowledged that it could be a myriad of things.

“When I’m sitting here watching from afar I realize, God, there’s a lot of variables, there’s a lot of things that need to go right in order to have team success,” Brady explained when discussing the Patriots’ 2023 season.

And while Belichick may be partly responsible for that, ultimately, the responsibility of finding success goes beyond just him.

“It takes a great coaching staff to win. It takes great players to win,” he added. “It takes great front office support to win. It’s an organizational win. It’s an organizational loss. To ascribe a win or loss to one player — and they did that for me a lot with winning and I always say, ‘It’s not about me, it’s about us.’ And when you lose, as a leader, when you lose you take the blame and you give the credit when you win. But at the end of the day, it’s a team sport.”

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So, at least in Brady’s opinion, Belichick’s success wasn’t solely because the two ended up paired together.

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Bill Belichick record by quarterback

And one only needs to look at the results Belichick got from other quarterbacks to see that Brady is probably right. While Belichick’s overall record without Brady is middling at best, so too is the group of passers that he worked with beyond him.

The highlights of the non-Brady quarterbacks with whom Belichick has worked? Bernie Kosar and Drew Bledsoe — who endured injuries under his watch that rendered them ineffective — Matt Cassel, who became a Pro Bowler in his lone year starting under Belichick, and Cam Newton in the final stages of his career.

Below is a look at each of the non-Brady quarterbacks that have started under Belichick and the records they have posted for him as of Week 5 of the 2023 NFL season.

Quarterback Team RecordMac Jones Patriots 18-23Vinnie Testaverde Browns 17-16Bernie Kosar Browns 11-18Matt Cassel Patriots 10-5Cam Newton Patriots 7-8Drew Bledsoe Patriots 5-13Mike Tomczak Browns 4-4Jimmy Garoppolo Patriots 2-0Bailey Zappe Patriots 2-0Mark Rypien Browns 2-1Todd Philcox Browns 2-3Jacoby Brissett Patriots 1-1Eric Zeier Browns 1-3Brian Hoyer Patriots 0-2

While one can make the case that Belichick’s results without Brady aren’t as impressive as they should be, it’s not like he was working with top-tier quarterbacks. Some of them — like Kosar, Bledsoe and Newton — were high-end investments but were past their primes.

Others were high-end investments that just didn’t quite work out, like Jones.

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Belichick probably deserves at least some blame for the shortcomings of his non-Brady passers. That’s especially true of Jones, who has not had a good supporting cast since his first season with the Patriots.

It is also worth wondering just how much Belichick could have elevated each of his quarterbacks. Perhaps Kosar and Bledsoe should have done better under his tutelage but neither fared better than average after leaving Belichick’s teams anyway.

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Tom Brady’s record without Bill Belichick

While Belichick’s record without Brady is below average, Brady’s record without Belichick remains solid. He posted a mark of 37-20 during his three seasons with the Buccaneers and helped lead them to a win in Super Bowl 56, a height Belichick has failed to reach without Brady.

Tom Brady Wins Losses Winning % Super Bowl titlesWith Bill Belichick 249 75 .769 6Without Bill Belichick 37 20 .649 1

Brady’s pristine record demonstrates that the all-time great signal caller was a massive part of the Patriots’ dynastic success.

Still, it’s worth noting that Brady’s overall winning percentage is lower without Belichick than it was with him. Brady also posted his only losing season as a starting quarterback during his three-year stint with the Buccaneers.

So, while one can make the case that Brady deserves more credit for the Patriots dynasty than Belichick, the truth is that the combination of the two is what made New England such a fearsome team.

And even if the rest of Belichick’s career without Brady is comparatively mediocre, the 71-year-old remains one of the greatest coaches in NFL history.