The football analytics website Pro Football Focus made waves in the NFL today with their ranking of the league’s best coaches. Conspicuously absent from the top five was none other than the New England Patriots‘ six-time Super Bowl champion head coach Bill Belichick.
Belichick wound up coming in sixth, behind Andy Reid, John Harbaugh, Matt LaFleur, Sean McDermott and Sean Payton in that order. Given that Belichick has more Super Bowl rings than all of them combined, it’s understandable that some would be upset.
PFF analyst Eric Eager explained that from a purely analytical perspective, Belichick has “lagged behind for the past decade” in terms of fourth-down situational football. But ultimately he earns his place on the list for his track record in player development.
Patriots fans weren’t hearing it though. Adam London of NESN.com wrote a scathing rebuttal to PFF, saying that “wins and losses” are the only thing that people should be concerned about.
“The only numbers we should be concerned about as it pertains to this argument is wins and losses, and Belichick has a pretty good track record of perennially racking up the former. Last season was an exception, but nearly going .500 with a roster as poor as the 2020 Patriots’ is nothing to scoff at.”
London is far from the only one outraged over the ranking. Colin Cowherd – who always raves about analytics – ripped PFF for putting Belichick below Packers head coach Matt LaFleur.
"I don't care about the data. Matt LaFleur is not Bill Belichick… You took the ball out of Aaron's hands and gave it to the greatest QB ever."@ColinCowherd reacts to @PFF ranking Matt LaFleur ahead of Bill Belichick: pic.twitter.com/78cLtTmeYI
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) June 9, 2021
Cowherd was joined by a ton of people defending Belichick in the comments section of PFF’s Twitter page. While most of them acknowledged that the 7-9 season they had in 2020 was bad, they still feel that Belichick was done dirty here.
the fact that bill belichick is 6th makes this list irrelevant
— FA Yannis (@Yannismiu) June 8, 2021
We all just forgot Bill Belichick won 6 Super Bowls just Cus he had one bad season with the worst Patriots roster we’ve seen in a long time?
— Billy (@Billy__Jack3) June 8, 2021
The greatest head coach of all time is the 6th best coach heading into 2021? Im not sure that much thought went into this list except “how can we get the most controversy”.
— Kevin Rossetti (@Rossetti217) June 8, 2021
Cowherd and some commentators believe that this list may have hurt PFF’s credibility.
Do you agree?