×

Win No. 300 comes in what should be Belichick’s year

You want to know when it’s your year?

When the opposing team’s offensive lineman’s foot kicks the ball out of his running back’s hands, and your linebacker picks it up and runs it in 26 yards for an easy score.

Or….when the opposing team’s same running back burts into the secondary, through a myriad of missed tackles, perhaps on his way for a 60-yard score, and the defender from behind knocks it out, with a teammate recovering 4 yards from the end zone.

That’s when you know destiny is on your side. Oh, and maybe when the next time that opposing team, in this case the Cleveland Browns, turned the ball over again the next time they touched it – three straight plays, three straight turnovers, 14 points in a 27-13 loss at Gillette Stadium. Oh, and let’s not forget about an ill-advised Baker Mayweather shuffle pass picked off by Patriots lineman Lawrence guy.

Fans, we bring you the 2019 New England Patriots, now 8-0 with head coach Bill Belichick picking up his 300th career win.

Sunday the NFL brought us the 2019 Cleveland Browns, coached by Freddie Kitchens, who won’t sniff 300 wins, maybe not even 30 at the rate he’s going.

Dont’a Hightower picked up the gift fumble and his TD helped make it 10-0 nearly just 10 minutes in. The speedy Jonathan Jones caused the second Nick Chubb fumble and Devin McCourty, who had missed a tackle, recovered.

W e say that coaching in the NFL away from Foxborough has never been worse, to go along with the quality of play. Kitchens is a bad chef, and the Patriots basically have the master of the recipe for success.

“I think it’s crazy,” Hightower said, “for (Belichick) to get 300 wins in this league. He says it a lot, how hard it is to win in this league, and for him to do it 300 times?”

Each year, Belichick takes it as a challenge to start from scratch and see what will work for his team. This year, it’s defense – well, he tried to go for the gusto with Antonio Brown, and that didn’t work – but right now it doesn’t bother anybody as long as the Patriots win.

Maybe not even the players on offense, who had to deal with difficult elements Sunday and probably didn’t really strut its stuff until midway through the third quarter when at Tom Brady screen pass to James White went for 59 yards. That set up basically the clinching score, a Brady 14-yard TD to Julian Edelman that helped make it 24-10. Game over, no matter whether the Browns have Odell Beckham, Jr. (five catches, 52 yards), Jarvis Landry (five catches, 65 yards), or even if they had Jerry Rice, for crying out loud.

“He’s got a special way of making guys want to go out and work to their fullest for him,” Patriots receiver Julien Edelman said of Belichick, who no doubt has brought out the best in the receiver, who he also had playing defensive back at one point several years ago.

“Three hundred wins is pretty spectacular,” Brady said. “He’s the best coach of all time and it’s a privilege to play for him for as many years as I have. … Being here 20 years ago, it was his first year, it was my first year. It’s been a great journey.”

And that journey has reached new levels with this team. The Patriots could very well run the regular seaosn table for the second time in Belichick’s tenure, have just about zero challengers in the AFC, but Belichick takes that journey one foot – or game – at a time. Anything else is unacceptable.

“Yeah, pretty quick,” he said when asked how soon he will move on to try to get No. 301. “It’s a a great privelege to coach this team and to coach the guys that I’ve coached throughout my career. Fortunately, I didn’t play in any of those games. That’s a good thing for us, but I’ve had a lot of good players, a lot of great players and they’re the ones that win the games.”

When the gun sounded, Belichick waved to the crowd. His firs win came as the head coach against the Cleveland Browns. And it was against the New England Patriots.

Like we said, destiny. You can tell it’s your year. Kitchen’s Browns committed 13 penalties for 85 yards. There seemed to be so many false starts you think the Cleveland team bus will be flagged leaving the stadium.

It would be a long, long week of practice if the Patriots would ever do that under Belichick. Just win. He doesn’t care about win No. 250, or 299. Win No. 300 was nice. Time for No. 301.

“We’ve got bigger goals ahead,” he said. “We know the Ravens are going to be be tough next week. They don’t care about this game or what I did or what anybody else did, so we’re going to haveto turn the page and quickly move on to Baltimore.”

The Ravens. The franchise that used to the be the Browns.

Yes, it’s the Patriots’ year.

Tom King may be reached at 594-1251,tking@nashuatelegraph.com, or@Telegraph _TomK.