Bill Belichick's coaching tenure with the New England Patriots could potentially begin and end with links to the New York Jets.

When New England hosts New York on Sunday in the season finale for both teams, it will be just over 24 years since Belichick shocked the NFL by resigning as the Jets' coach on the same morning he was set to be introduced as Bill Parcells' successor.

Belichick was soon hired by the Patriots, and the rest is history.

Six Super Bowl wins later, Belichick will be leading New England against the Jets (6-10) in what could be his final game with the Patriots (4-12) as he wraps up his worst season as a head coach.

It will all be set against the backdrop of what is forecast to be a dreary, snowy day in New England.

But none of it has changed the demeanor of the ever-stoic Belichick, who insists it's just another week of football.

“I’m looking forward to working, getting ready for the Jets,” he repeated in multiple variations this week when asked about his future in New England.

It's created a cliffhanger to a season that began with hope for a Patriots team poised to recover after missing the playoffs in two of the three seasons following Tom Brady's departure. Instead, injuries and an anemic offense sank a team that once won 11 straight AFC East titles. New England finds itself at the bottom of the division and conference.

Frustrations have been just as high for the Jets, who had dreams of a Super Bowl run after acquiring four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers, only to lose him to a torn Achilles tendon four snaps into the season opener.

They tried to rally behind former No. 2 overall draft pick Zach Wilson, who again struggled with inconsistency before being eventually benched, then reinserted, before recently suffering a concussion. Trevor Siemian will make his third consecutive start in Wilson's place.

With their patchwork roster, the Jets will be again trying to break through against a Patriots team that has beaten them 15 consecutive times.

Whatever happens with Belichick, Jets coach Robert Saleh said his legacy is secure.

“He’s transcended the sport just in terms of how they prepare, their in-game management, their communication, everything they do and, at least, he does,” Saleh said. “They’ve been a model of consistency. They have produced a lot of really good football players, obviously, and they’ve had a lot of championships. The guy has won over 300 games. You’ve got to stick around for a while to do that. He’s a special, special football coach, but he’s a good one.”


Garrett Wilson has been a playmaker for the Jets throughout his first two seasons — no matter who has thrown him the ball.

Wilson, last season’s AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, is the first wide receiver in Jets history to have 1,000 or more yards receiving in each of his first two seasons. And he has done it while catching passes from seven quarterbacks — Wilson, Rodgers, Siemian, Mike White, Joe Flacco, Chris Streveler and Tim Boyle.

Despite that QB carousel, Wilson is the 16th player in NFL history with consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons to begin a career, and has the most catches (176) through a receiver’s first two seasons in Jets history. He’s also the third receiver in Jets history to record 80 or more receptions in back-to-back seasons and the ninth player in NFL history to have that many in each of his first two seasons.

“Garrett moves unlike anybody I’ve played with,” Siemian said.


The Jets lead the NFL in one category they’d rather not: penalties.

They’ve had 123 in 16 games, 10 more than Dallas. That total includes 26 in the last two games. Last season, the Jets were tied for the 10th-fewest penalties with 91.


Only four teams have ever beaten an opponent as many times as the Patriots have beaten the Jets in the regular season. Kansas City’s 16-game streak against Denver ended earlier this season.

Washington had a 16-game winning streak against Detroit from 1968-97, San Francisco beat the Rams 17 times in a row from 1990-98, and Miami had 20 straight wins against Buffalo from 1970-79.

If the Patriots lose, it won’t just be an end to that streak. It would also mark the 178th loss of Belichick’s career, including the playoffs, which would tie Tom Landry for the most ever. A loss on Sunday would also tie the record of 165 regular-season losses held by Jeff Fisher and Dan Reeves.


The Patriots' struggles this season can at least partially attributed to injuries.

Heading into Sunday's finale, only three position players — center David Andrews, safety Kyle Dugger and defensive lineman Davon Godchaux — have started every game. Linebacker Tahlani Tavai has been durable as well, appearing in all 16 games with 15 starts.

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