Bill Belichick is no stranger to the playoffs. He’s been on the sidelines for 38 postseason games as a head coach with 28 victories, and entering the 2017 playoffs, he was tied with Don Shula and Tom Landry for most playoff games coached (36). Of his three opposing head coaches in the 2017 playoffs — Mike Mularkey, Doug Marrone, and Doug Pederson — none had made the playoffs before this year.
Prior to their games with the Patriots, Marrone and Pederson had been 2-0, while Mularky had been 1-0, giving Belichick a 35-game/25-win advantage over Mularkey and Marrone, and a 36-game/26-win advantage over Pederson (who, like Belichick, had a bye this postseason). It should go without saying, but let’s state the obvious truth: a 36-game coaching edge, and a 26-win coaching edge, are both playoff records.
The table below shows the largest coaching disadvantages in playoff history prior to 2017 (since now the top three rows would all be Belichick). Note that all of the data presented below is the coaching experience prior to the start of that postseason, so Belichick would show up as +36 against each of Mularkey, Marrone, and Pederson.
We can do the same thing for playoff experience using wins instead of games coached. Belichick set a new record by being +25 against Mularkey, and will set a new one by being +26 against Pederson, but he already held the record:
And here are those previous playoff win differentials for each of the times Belichick has lost in the postseason.
|Year||Coach||Opp Coach||Team||Opp||Boxscore||Round||Result||Prev W||Opp Coach PW||Diff|
|2015||Bill Belichick||Gary Kubiak||nwe||den||Boxscore||C||L 20-18||22||2||20|
|2010||Bill Belichick||Rex Ryan||nwe||nyj||Boxscore||D||L 28-21||15||2||13|
|2009||Bill Belichick||John Harbaugh||nwe||rav||Boxscore||W||L 33-14||15||2||13|
|2013||Bill Belichick||John Fox||nwe||den||Boxscore||C||L 26-16||18||6||12|
|2012||Bill Belichick||John Harbaugh||nwe||rav||Boxscore||C||L 28-13||17||5||12|
|2007||Bill Belichick||Tom Coughlin||nwe||nyg||Boxscore||S||L 17-14||13||4||9|
|2011||Bill Belichick||Tom Coughlin||nwe||nyg||Boxscore||S||L 21-17||15||8||7|
|2006||Bill Belichick||Tony Dungy||nwe||clt||Boxscore||C||L 38-34||11||5||6|
|2005||Bill Belichick||Mike Shanahan||nwe||den||Boxscore||D||L 27-13||10||7||3|
|1994||Bill Belichick||Bill Cowher||cle||pit||Boxscore||D||L 29-9||0||0||0|
What stands out to you?