The Associated Press has named Pats Bill Belichick the National Football League’s Coach of the Year. It is the third time that Belichick has earned the honor. He was also named coach of the year following the 2003 and 2007 seasons.
Belichick guided the Patriots to an NFL-best 14-2 record in 2010. He became the first head coach ever to win at least 14 regular-season games in four separate seasons (2003: 14-2, 2004: 14-2, 2007: 16-0 and 2010: 14-2). Only four other coaches – San Francisco’s George Seifert (3), Washington’s Joe Gibbs (2), Chicago’s Mike Ditka (2) and Miami’s Don Shula (2) – have more than one 14-win season.
The 2010 Patriots set and tied numerous NFL records in 2010. The team set an NFL record for fewest turnovers in a 16-game season with 10, set an NFL record by playing seven straight games without a turnover, set an NFL record with seven straight games with 30 points and no turnovers, tied an NFL record with eight straight games of 30 points or more and tied an NFL record for fewest interceptions in a season with five.
The 2010 team also set a franchise record by finishing the season with a turnover differential of +28, forcing 38 turnovers while allowing just 10 turnovers. The turnover differential of +28 is the second-best since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, trailing only the +43 posted by the 1983 Washington Redskins.
In addition, the 2010 Patriots finished first in the NFL in scoring (518 points for a 32.4 average) and eighth in the NFL in fewest points allowed (313 points for a 19.6 average).
Belichick has led the Patriots to a winning record for 10 consecutive seasons (2001-2010). The only other NFL coach to have at least 10 consecutive winning seasons with one team since the 1970 merger was Tom Landry, who led the Dallas Cowboys to 16 consecutive winning seasons (1970-1985).