Pats in the Season’s Second Half Under Belichick
It’s known that the Pats play consistently better in the second half of the season than the first since Belichick took the reins—thought I’d take a minute to quantify it.
Sure enough, the Pats have improved in the season’s last 8 games compared to the first 8 every year under Belichick but one: they fell to 4-4 in the 2nd half of 2009 after starting 6-2. That was the year of the infamous “4th & 2” game—the team pretty much collapsed after that. That team was, I gather, the least favorite of Belichick’s during his time here, so it’s not surprising they showed such uncharacteristic softness as the weather turned colder.
--By season, the differential from the first half of the season compared to the second has been: +1, +3, +1, +2, even, +2, even, even, +1, -2, +2, +3.
--5 out of the 6 years the Pats have gone either 7-1 or 8-0 in the second half, they’ve won the AFC, winning the Super Bowl, obviously, 3 times of the 5. The only year they failed to advance the Super Bowl after winning at least 7 games in the 2nd half was 2010, where they botched the playoff game against the Jets.
--The Pats have gone 6-2 or better in 9 out of the 12 years—every year but 2000, 2002, and 2009.
--Bottom line, not that it’s any surprise to people here, you can predict with a pretty high degree of confidence (with the constant caveat of injuries, acts of God, etc.) that the Pats will finish either 12-4 or 13-3. Which would likely be enough for a bye. I realize the bye has lost its luster for some due to the Pats getting it a couple of times and not winning the Super Bowl, but come on: two weeks to prepare for a home game, which if you win you’re in the AFC Championship game? Yes please.
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