Photo from CBS Sports
The Patriots currently sit atop the AFC East at 9-3 and are right in the thick of the hunt for a first round bye, if not the top seed in the AFC. Yes, the Broncos control the #1 spot with a 10-2 record, but the Patriots still have an outside chance if Denver slips. I think it's fair to say that the Patriots have been exceeding expectations so far, with some impressive wins over tough opposition. And the 3 losses the Patriots have recorded have been tight (OT against the Jets, 13-6 against Cincinnati and a last minute loss against Carolina), so how have the Pats been able to keep their train on the tracks, so to speak?

The 2 most important people on any team, as far as winning games go, are the head coach and the quarterback. Tom Brady has done a great job on the field, but this may be one of Bill Belichick's finest ever coaching jobs. The Patriots had already dealt with a lot before the season had even begun, and after the season, as well. Shane Vereen went down with injury early and Stevan Ridley had ball security issues, as well as Gronk taking his time getting back. When things like that happen, the coach is usually the one who is responsible for keeping the ship afloat, and making the necessary adjustments, and that's what Belichick did. He was able to keep the Patriots ship heading in the right direction until Shane Vereen and Rob Gronkowski returned from injury, and he kept the Patriots right in the middle of the playoff race.

And I haven't even gotten to his in-game adjustments, specifically pertaining to these past 2 games, and the game against Miami at Gillette a few weeks ago. In the first half of the Denver game, Peyton Manning's offense put up 24 points without the Patriots putting up a fight. In the Texans game last week, the Pats were outscored 21-7 before turning up the offense in the second half and winning 34-31.

All in all, this might be one of Bill Belichick's best ever seasons as coach of the Patriots. Of course, Brady gets his fair share of the credit, but we can't forget about the job Bill Belichick has done.

Twitter - @ConorJF1016

Conor Frederick 12/05/2013 06:15:00 PM Edit

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