Pro Football Weekly analyzes the performance of each NFL head coach and puts Bill Belichick in the "head of the class" category for his work this season (link here).
The PFW piece leads off with this thought:
The lockout robbed the league's coaches — seven of whom took over their respective teams for a full season for the first time — of most of the offseason. That led many observers to believe that owners would cut coaches some slack this year. However, the NFL head-coaching business appears to be as cutthroat as ever...
PFW then puts Belichick in the top category along with four other head coaches.
It's easy to point to how bad the Patriots' defense has been this season, and the fact that defense is Belichick's specialty. But last season, when the Patriots were 25th in total defense, Belichick won Coach of the Year honors. The "D" is worse this season, and the offensive line has had plenty of shuffling, yet the Patriots are one of the AFC's top teams.