A refresher on Belichick's troubling record against ex-Patriots pupils


New England Patriots vs. Las Vegas Raiders may have lost a little luster over the past few months. But Bill Belichick vs. Josh McDaniels still should make for appointment viewing.

While the Patriots (6-6) and Raiders (5-8) both enter Sunday's game with mediocre records, it will be fascinating to watch Belichick battle wits with his former offensive coordinator, who spent a total of 18 seasons in New England before taking the Raiders' head coach job in January 2022.

Cassel's Mailbag: Getting to the root of Patriots' offensive struggles

And if history is any indication, McDaniels could give Belichick and Co. plenty of trouble. Here's a brief recap of Belichick's history against former Patriots assistants and players who went on to become NFL head coaches.

How has Belichick fared against ex-Patriots assistant coaches and players?

Belichick has an 18-19 all-time record as a head coach against his former assistant coaches and players. That .486 winning percentage is a remarkable departure from his .669 overall winning percentage as a head coach, and suggests his former pupils have a better shot at beating Belichick's Patriots than the field.

How has Belichick fared against ex-Patriots assistants and players since 2018?

The recent numbers are even worse for Belichick, who is 6-10 against his former pupils in the last five seasons (including playoffs). That includes losses to Matt Patricia, Mike Vrabel (twice), Brian Flores (four times), Romeo Crennel and Kevin O'Connell.

Here's a breakdown of those 16 games, with wins in bold:

  • Sept. 9, 2018: 27-20 win over Houston Texans (Bill O'Brien)
  • Sept. 23, 2018: 26-10 loss to Detroit Lions (Matt Patricia)
  • Nov. 11, 2018: 34-10 loss to Tennessee Titans (Mike Vrabel)
  • Sept. 15, 2019: 43-0 win over Miami Dolphins (Brian Flores)
  • Dec. 1, 2019: 28-22 loss to Houston Texans (Bill O'Brien)
  • Dec. 29, 2019: 27-24 loss to Miami Dolphins (Brian Flores)
  • Jan. 4, 2020: 20-13 loss to Tennessee Titans in AFC Wild Card Round (Mike Vrabel)
  • Sept. 13, 2020: 12-11 win over Miami Dolphins (Brian Flores)
  • Nov. 22, 2020: 27-26 loss to Houston Texans (Romeo Crennel)
  • Nov. 29, 2020: 20-17 win over Arizona Cardinals (Kliff Kingsbury)
  • Dec. 20, 2020: 22-12 loss to Miami Dolphins (Brian Flores)
  • Sept. 12, 2021: 17-16 loss to Miami Dolphins (Brian Flores)
  • Nov. 28, 2021: 36-13 win over Tennessee Titans (Mike Vrabel)
  • Jan. 9, 2022: 33-20 loss to Miami Dolphins (Brian Flores)
  • Nov. 24, 2022: 33-26 loss to Minnesota Vikings (Kevin O'Connell)
  • Dec. 12, 2022: 27-12 win over Arizona Cardinals (Kliff Kingsbury)

If you remove Belichick's former players from this list -- Kingsbury, Vrabel and O'Connell -- the Patriots head coach has won just three of his last 10 games (3-7) against former New England assistants.

How has Belichick fared against McDaniels as a head coach?

Sunday will be the second meeting between Belichick and McDaniels as head coaches. The first came on Oct. 11, 2009, when McDaniels' Denver Broncos beat the Patriots 20-17 in overtime at Gillette Stadium to improve to 5-0 on the season.

McDaniels apparently used his knowledge of Belichick to his advantage in that game. NBC Sports' Chris Simms, who was Denver's backup quarterback at the time, told Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio this week that the Broncos heavily utilized the Wildcat formation that week because they McDaniels knew Belichick's defense would check to a specific front.

So, Denver would line up in Wildcat, get New England to tip its defensive hand, then shift back to a normal formation and run a play designed to beat the Patriots' coverage.

It's possible we could see similar mind games this week, as McDaniels should be very familiar with what Belichick's Patriots do on offense.

.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }
Contact Us