As many times as the football world has bowed down to Bill Belichick, you'd think there would be a ton of bad backs out there.
Guess what? It's time to do it again.
The man is a football genius. There, I said it.
So let's bow to him again. After he took his Patriots into Arizona on Sunday night and beat the Cardinals 23-21 without Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski -- two of the top-10 players in the league and one who is perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time -- how can we not marvel at his coaching ability?
He just might be the best of all time -- although there certainly are arguments to be made.
There is a perception out there with Patriots fans that I am anti-New England, which is way off base. I have nothing but respect for the Patriots organization and the way it's run.
Yes, I often point out the mistakes that Belichick makes in game management. There have been plenty by the way, and he made another one late against Arizona when he let valuable seconds tick off the clock before he called a timeout. That was before Arizona missed a potential game-winning field goal.
What if Arizona made the kick instead of missing? Those seconds were his, but that's a story that never materialized.
The focus, though, should be on the good Belichick did on the night and how he now coaches the team that's atop my Power Rankings after passing the Green Bay Packers.
The most impressive thing against Arizona was how the Patriots took away the deep ball from a team that loves to throw it that way. At times, the Cardinals looked impatient, wanting the big shots that never really came.
The other thing that stood out was how prepared Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was in his first start against a team that uses a lot of different looks. He was calm and cool. Plus, a line that sometimes had two rookie guards did a nice job with the pressures.
That's coaching. And it's why Belichick deserves consideration for the greatest of all time -- even if he, like so many others, messes up the situational stuff at the end of games.
|Most thought they would go 2-2 at best without Brady. Now 4-0 seems more than possible.||1||8-9-0|
|It wasn't pretty at Jacksonville, but they found a way. The defense needs to play better than it did.||1||8-9-0|
|Andy Dalton came back after his injury last December and played well. The offensive line had issues against the Jets that need to be worked out.||2||12-4-0|
|They didn't do much on offense against the Dolphins. This offensive line had issues again and now Russell Wilson is hurt.||--||9-8-0|
|With that defense, it might not matter what they get from the quarterback position. But Trevor Siemian needs to drive the football down the field.||3||5-12-0|
|As long as Ben Roethlisberger is under center, they are a Super Bowl contender. The defense looked improved against the Redskins too.||1||9-8-0|
|It's tough to open on the road, let alone against the Super Bowl champs. They can't let Cam Newton take the shots he did against Denver.||1||7-10-0|
|The defense looked improved against Dallas, which makes them the favorite in the division. The offense did some good things too.||1||9-7-1|
|They just looked out of sorts against the Pats. But they are too talented to stay that way.||6||4-13-0|
|That was a heck of a comeback against the Chargers. But why did they get so far behind at home?||--||14-3-0|
|With their defense, they might not need much from the quarterback. The defense scored twice against Tennessee. Who starts at quarterback next week?||--||13-4-0|
|The Oakland defense was not good enough against the Saints. They have to tighten things up.||2||6-11-0|
|The defense came up big against the Bears. They get a playoff rematch against the Chiefs this week. Their new-look speed on offense will present big problems for teams.||3||3-13-1|
|Dak Prescott did some nice things against the Giants, but he's not Tony Romo. Let's stop that madness now.||1||12-5-0|
|They had to be thrilled with what they got from Joe Flacco in the opener. The defense also looked improved against the Bills.||2||10-7-0|
|They rolled on offense against the Colts, but the defense had a rough go of it. They might play some high-scoring games this season.||5||9-8-0|
|They have to learn to win games like they lost to the Packers. Now they face a long, tough trip West to play the Chargers.||5||9-8-0|
|Their defense is a major issue. That showed up in a big way against the Lions. Andrew Luck needs help.||3||4-12-1|
|The season begins and now the questions about Kirk Cousins surface again. Is he the long-term answer?||1||8-8-1|
|You get nothing for moral victories, but they got one in Seattle. Now comes a tough road game at New England. The schedule-maker was not kind.||1||9-8-0|
|They had a real shot to beat a good Bengals team, but lost a close one. Now they get to face Rex Ryan.||2||7-10-0|
|That defense was impressive against the Rams. But let's see what happens against Cam Newton this week.||9||13-4-0|
|Jameis Winston is off to a fast start. Can he keep it going against the Cardinals in the desert this week?||3||8-9-0|
|It won't be easy getting over that loss to the Chiefs. They flat out blew it.||--||10-7-0|
|They have to be thrilled with the way Carson Wentz started his career against the Browns. But now comes his first road game at Chicago.||4||14-3-0|
|The defense is so bad that Drew Brees throwing for more than 400 yards couldn't overcome it. They will be in a lot of wild games this season.||4||7-10-0|
|They have big problems which could lead to the firing of Rex Ryan. They have a quick turnaround against the Jets Thursday night.||7||13-3-0|
|The Bears had their chances to win at Houston, but they just don't have the talent yet. The young players have to grow up.||1||3-14-0|
|Their defense isn't very good. They just don't rush the passer well enough.||1||7-10-0|
|The ground-attack system didn't work against the Vikings because of all the mistakes. They have to let Marcus Mariota become the focal point of the offense.||--||7-10-0|
|That was disgusting against the 49ers. They need to play the kid. Put Jared Goff in the lineup. He couldn't be any worse.||6||5-12-0|
|It's going to be a brutal season for the Browns. They just lack talent.||--||7-10-0|