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Monday, December 15, 2008
Belichick has Pats storming down homestretch


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

As much as Mike Smith, Tony Sparano and Jeff Fisher deserve coach-of-the-year consideration, I still contend Bill Belichick is doing the best job of his career.

When Belichick's ramshackle team shellacked the Oakland Raiders 49-26 on Sunday, he recorded his 100th victory in 142 games with the New England Patriots.

Only three other NFL coaches reached the century mark faster with one team: John Madden (136), Don Shula (137) and Paul Brown (138).

I hear those guys were somewhat respected in their day.

New England's victory also guaranteed a winning record for the eighth consecutive season and improved an already-gaudy late-season win percentage over the past six seasons.

Since 2003, the Patriots are 23-3 in regular-season games played after November. All three losses were to the Miami Dolphins. Go figure.

The Patriots have won 10 straight games in December.

Here are the top five regular-season records after November since 2003: