The New England Patriots have won six straight games and will face the Buffalo Bills on “Monday Night Football” for a chance to take outright possession of first place in the AFC East. Mac Jones is a heavy favorite for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Matthew Judon, third in the NFL with 10.5 sacks, trails only Myles Garrett, T.J. Watt and Trevon Diggs in the Defensive Player of the Year odds. The Patriots are -1200 to make the playoffs, 500 to be the No. 1 seed in the AFC and 450 to win the AFC, the third-lowest odds behind only Buffalo and Kansas City.
All of this is to say the Patriots are back to being contenders in the AFC, but Bill Belichick is not the Coach of the Year. That designation implies that Belichick is doing something extraordinary. Belichick is coaching at the same high level he always coaches, so to call him Coach of the Year implies he had previously been coaching at a subpar level. That is absurd. He is 252-96 as coach of the Patriots and has won six Super Bowls. I don’t really see how Belichick is suddenly Coach of the Year after 252 regular-season wins, not to mention 30 postseason wins.
Belichick is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and the five-year waiting period should probably be waived. But I don’t think he’ll win Coach of the Year, regardless of how many more games the Patriots win. Belichick should win GM of the Year, which is an actual award for general managers, but it’s not a betting award.
Belichick deserves GM of the Year for the $200 million in free-agent deals he made to bring in Judon, Kendrick Bourne, Hunter Henry, Jalen Mills, Jonnu Smith, Nelson Agholor and others. Belichick deserves GM of the Year for drafting Jones 15th after three other quarterbacks had been selected. He deserves it for drafting Christian Barmore in the second round. But Coach of the Year? Belichick is just doing what he does every year.