The New England Patriots will retire the number 12 shirt and build a statue in honour of iconic quarterback Tom Brady.

Brady was inducted into the Patriots' Hall of Fame on Wednesday, having led them to six Super Bowl titles during his 20-year stint with the franchise.

The three-time MVP is the all-time regular-season leader in pass attempts (12,050), completions (7,753), passing yards (89,214) and touchdown passes (649) in the NFL.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said the statue would be placed outside the franchise's Hall of Fame to recognise Brady "not as the greatest in franchise history, but as the greatest in all of NFL history".

"I am eternally grateful. I am Tom Brady. And I am a Patriot," Brady said at the ceremony at the Gilette Stadium.

Former Patriots coach Bill Belichick added: "Thank you for all that you've done for us. Thank you for all you've done for me. And thank you for the example and motto you've been for all of us on a daily basis for 20 years."

Former New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon has credited Bill Belichick with helping Tom Brady become the greatest player in NFL history, saying the legendary duo "needed each other".

Belichick and the Patriots parted ways last week, bringing an end to one of the most remarkable coaching tenures in league history.

The 71-year-old led the Patriots for 24 seasons, overseeing 18 playoff visits and taking the team to nine Super Bowls, winning six of those showpiece games with the most recent coming in 2019.

However, New England missed the playoffs in three of their last four seasons under Belichick, prompting team owner Robert Kraft to replace his long-serving coach with former linebackers coach Jerod Mayo.

Some have suggested Belichick's failure to win a Super Bowl without Brady diminishes his achievements somewhat, with the coach's overall NFL record without the quarterback standing at 85-102, but Harmon does not subscribe to that view.

"I think both those guys are motivated by one thing; being the best they can each and every day," Harmon – who played for Belichick's Patriots between 2013 and 2019 – told Stats Perform.

"Tom's job would be to be the best quarterback and rally his team. Bill's job was to be the best head coach and rally his team as well, and to make sure the coaches understand his vision so they can pass it to the players and put the best product on the field. 

"It's easy to try to put those two against each other, but I think at the end of the day, they needed each other. 

"They understand that they couldn't have accomplished what they accomplished in New England without each other.

"I think there's a great amount of respect that they have for each other. I'm still grateful and appreciative that I got to be around the greatest quarterback and the greatest head coach of all time."

Brady did manage to win one more title after he and Belichick parted ways in 2020, collecting his seventh ring by leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to glory at Super Bowl LV.

Harmon does not believe Brady was motivated by a desire to prove he could succeed without Belichick, saying: "I truly don't believe he needs any extra motivation. 

"This guy wanted to be the best player that he can be every day, whether it was with the Buccaneers, whether it was with the Patriots, he just wants to get the best out of himself every day. 

"I don't think it was, 'I want to prove I could do this without Bill', I think more so it was just him going to Tampa and doing what he does. 

"The thing that people don't realise, and I know Tom was always a great competitor, but the cultural style that came from Bill to him is what I believe gave him that extra motivation, that extra push to make Tom truly who he is. 

"As a young player, when he first took from Drew Bledsoe [in 2001], it was a very veteran-based team, so he wanted to gain the respect of not only the players, but also Bill Belichick. 

"Bill pushed him as best he could to be the best that he could be, and in the end, he became the best ever."

Having won three Super Bowls in six years in New England, Harmon is uniquely placed to offer an insight into the relationship between Belichick and Brady at the height of the Patriots' dominance.

"It was like yin and yang. It was Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson. Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson," he recalled.

"I was fortunate enough to be captain one year with the Patriots and saw how they interacted in the captains' meeting and how they were always on the same page. 

"There were times when Bill got on Tom in front of everybody, and it wasn't to demean Tom, but it was to let everybody know that there is a standard in this organisation, it doesn't matter who you are, whether you're the best player or you're the last guy on the practice squad. 

"Seeing those guys work together allowed me to see what that head coach-quarterback partnership is supposed to look like at the highest level."

Duron Harmon's defining memory of playing for Bill Belichick is not one of their three Super Bowl triumphs together, but the coach using a jar of marshmallows to motivate him in preseason. 

Belichick's remarkable 24-year stint in charge of the New England Patriots came to an end last week after he oversaw a career-worst 4-13 season in 2023, with former linebackers coach Jerod Mayo taking charge.

The 71-year-old led New England to nine Super Bowls throughout his 24 seasons at the helm, winning six of those with the most recent coming against the Los Angeles Rams at Super Bowl LIII. 

Safety Harmon was present for that triumph, as well as wins at Super Bowls XLIX and LI, as a regular fixture in a dominant Patriots side led by legendary quarterback Tom Brady.

Harmon remembers his time under Belichick fondly, but it is the coach's personable side, rather than his tactical acumen, which stood out most prominently. 

Asked for his defining memory of Belichick while speaking to Stats Perform, Harmon said: "It's crazy. It's not even a football field memory. It was a training camp. I can't remember what year it was. It had to be 2016.

"We still had Logan [Ryan], it was me, Logan, Devin [McCourty], and I think at the time we were all maybe dealing with something, like little injuries. I don't think we were practicing. 

"Bill came up to us. Logan, Dev, and I were stretching. I look up and he says, 'you Rutgers guys, you know what? You guys are soft like marshmallows'.

"We're like, 'what are you talking about?' He was like, 'not even practicing'. He goes on his spiel. 

"The next day, when we go into the meeting room, there's three big jars of marshmallows at our seats. We just start dying, laughing, because a lot of people don't see that side of Bill, but for us, that's the side that we've seen all the time.

"Then that preseason game against the Panthers, all three of us got interceptions and he came up to us at the end of the game and said, 'maybe I need to put marshmallows by your seats weekly'. 

"His great coaching style that I really appreciated was one thing, but having memories like that, where we can have a personable connection, will always go a long way for me."

Harmon believes Belichick's incredible work ethic is the secret to his success, saying: "When we won the Super Bowls, he let himself loose a little bit. I will tell you that. That's when you see him really just take a step back and enjoy it.

"I've been very privileged to be in this league for 11 years, and I can honestly say I've never been around anybody who works as hard as him each day. 

"That is the reason why the Patriots organisation has been successful for as long as it has been. He believes that if you want to have a championship team, there has to be a standard of excellence no matter what you're doing."

The consistency Belichick instilled in the Patriots was perhaps his most impressive accomplishment, with the team enjoying 19 consecutive winning seasons from 2001 to 2019.

Harmon hailed his ability to motivate players to go again, saying: "When we came back after winning the Super Bowl, he'd let us know that it's over, we don't talk about previous years.

"There were even times when he wouldn't let us wear the Super Bowl gear that we got in the building anymore, because he wanted us to realise this is a new year. 

"He does a tremendous job of letting us know we've got to put that year to bed. Now it's time to get working on the new one. Everybody buys in, because we know what happens when we do."

Bill Belichick's exploits with the New England Patriots will never be replicated and mark him out as the best coach in NFL history, according to the team's former safety Duron Harmon.

Last week, team owner Robert Kraft announced the end of Belichick's remarkable 24-year stint in charge of the Patriots, who he led to six Super Bowl titles – the most of any coach in the league's history.  

Belichick led New England to 18 playoff trips after taking charge in 2000, but the team missed the postseason in three of his final four campaigns at the helm. 

Their 4-13 record throughout the 2023 season was their worst under Belichick, whose last playoff win came back in 2019 as the Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams at Super Bowl LIII.

Despite a less-than-stellar end to his distinguished run in New England, Harmon – who won three Super Bowls throughout a six-year stint with the team between 2013 and 2019 – says Belichick's place in the history books is secure.

Asked what Belichick's Patriots legacy amounted to, Harmon told Stats Perform: "In my opinion, he's just the best coach who ever graced the NFL. 

"What he was able to accomplish over those 20-plus years as a Patriots coach, we've never seen it before. It will never be duplicated. 

"He set the standard extremely high for when people try to talk about dynasties. I'm just forever grateful that he chose me to be a part of his team and to be a part of his legacy."

While Belichick will turn 72 in April, it has been suggested that he may stay in the league as he chases down Don Shula's all-time record of 347 wins (regular season and playoffs), a tally he is currently 14 shy of.

The Los Angeles Chargers have been touted as a potential destination for Belichick, but Harmon cannot see the Patriots legend coaching elsewhere.

"I just can't see it," he said. "He and Tom Brady are the Patriots. They're what the Patriots stand for, to do your job, hard-nosed gritty football, those two together built the Patriots organisation. 

"So to see him go somewhere else... me personally, I can't see it, but the beauty about sports is you just never know. In due time, we will figure out whether he'll be somewhere else."

For the Patriots, attention quickly turned to the search for Belichick's successor, and 37-year-old former linebackers coach Jerod Mayo became the league's youngest head coach when his promotion was made official on Friday.

Having shared a locker room with Mayo throughout his first three seasons with the Patriots, Harmon believes he has all the attributes required to be a success. 

"My time there with him… he's a tremendous, tremendous leader. A leader of men, an intelligent person," Harmon said of Mayo.

"Most people say he's just a smart football player, but he's just an intelligent person. Straight out of retirement, he went and worked for a company, a big Fortune 500 company. 

"It shows who he is as a person and as a leader, that as soon as he gets done playing, somebody wants to hire him to lead this division of their company. 

"If I had to put my hat on or give my blessing to anybody, it would be Jerod Mayo."

Bill Belichick is still the right coach for the New England Patriots despite their struggles this season.

That is the view of Duron Harmon, who played for the Patriots between 2013 and 2019, winning three Super Bowl rings in that time.

All of those triumphs came under Belichick's guidance, with the 71-year-old having been head coach of the Patriots since 2000.

His 24th straight season in charge has proved a dismal one, with the Patriots sinking to a 2-10 record.

New England have lost their last five games including their 6-0 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 13.

Their displays have cast doubt over the future of veteran coach Belichick, but Harmon – who is on the practice roster at the Cleveland Browns – does not think making a change is the right solution.

"I just think it's timing," he told Stats Perform. "How many organisations do you know that are this successful for this long? That's life.

"You look at all the great organisations, the [Chicago] Bulls when they had their run, then eventually, you've got to go through [hard times]. 

"That's just a part of sports that happens because when you're at the top, everybody's gunning for you. Everybody's trying to figure out how to get better.

"They're taking from you, they're taking coaches from you. They're taking players from you. That's sports, it's life.

"We've come where it's time for the Patriots to be on the other side for a little bit. I think if there is one person that can reverse it and turn it the other way, it's the man that's right there, and that's Bill Belichick – he's done it before.

"If he has the, I don't want to say patience, but if he wants to go through that again, I think he's the man to do it."

Harmon also believes Belichick would choose to stay on with the Patriots, rather than end his tenure on a low ebb.

He added: "Besides Tom Brady, he's the most competitive person I know. People don't realise, Bill is a competitor. He loves to win, but he hates to lose even more. And you can kind of just see it in his demeanour.

"Losing is not a part of his nature and I can't see him just going out like this.

"I think this would be the motivation. He does everything there. He's the coach, he's the front office. It's all on him."

Former New England Patriots offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien has rejoined the team over a decade after his previous stint.

The ex-Houston Texans head coach spent five seasons as part of Bill Belichick's staff between 2007 and 2011.

During that time, he helped the Patriots to a winning record in each campaign, plus two AFC Conference Championship crowns.

Following a dismal 2022 season that saw the Patriots miss out on the playoffs with an 8-9 record, Belichick is delighted to have O'Brien back on-board.

"I am looking forward to working with Bill again," New England's head coach said. "He is an outstanding coach and an asset to our staff."

The return of O'Brien to the Patriots' staff will raise question marks over the future of Joe Judge, who succeeded Josh McDaniels following his move to the Las Vegas Raiders last year.

O'Brien joined the Patriots in 2007 as a coaching assistant, before holding various positions such as wide receivers coach and quarterbacks coach.

The 53-year-old also spent seven seasons in charge of the Texans, earning four AFC South titles during his tenure.

He also spent time with Penn State, and most recently worked as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with Alabama under Nick Saban.

The New England Patriots are aiming to fend off the Cleveland Browns and the Carolina Panthers by extending inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo's contract.

While Cleveland are looking for a new defensive coordinator after firing Joe Woods, while the Panthers want a new head coach.

There appears little appetite from the Patriots' side to let linebackers coach Mayo leave, however, with a team statement confirming talks on a contract extension were under way.

"The Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick have begun contract extension discussions with Jerod Mayo that would keep him with the team long-term," read a statement released to the media.

Mayo has spent his entire senior career with the Patriots since he was drafted by New England in the 2008 draft.

He retired in 2016 after three successive seasons derailed by injury, but joined the coaching staff in 2019.

New England also confirmed they are on the search for an offensive coordinator after a disappointing campaign saw them miss out on the playoffs.

Bill Belichick has confirmed he will continue as head coach of the New England Patriots for a 24th season in 2023.

Turning 71 in April, Belichick has been at the helm since 2000, guiding the Patriots to six Super Bowl rings and establishing the franchise as a dominant force in the NFL.

However, Belichick's Patriots have posted a losing record in two of three seasons since Tom Brady left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, having previously not had a losing season since his first year in charge.

Defeat to the Buffalo Bills in Week 18 saw the Patriots miss out on a playoff spot for the second time in three years but work ahead of the 2023 season is set to begin, with Belichick set to remain in his post.

"Our record is around .500, which is what it has been right around this year. With that, there have been some good things and some not so good things," he told reporters.

"Nobody is satisfied with that, it's not our goal, and we need to improve on that. All of us, there is accountability everywhere, starting with me, the coaching staff, the players, each unit, there are things that we will all address, and that process will start later today.

"We'll begin to turn the page and move on, to start to do the things we need to do to improve our team, to be competitive, and get better results.

"We haven't started that yet, we're still in the wake of yesterday's game. I'm sure there will be different aspects to that, as we evaluate everything, to have a stronger team in the future."

Despite being tied for the league-lead in sacks, Matthew Judon insisted he is only the second-best pass-rusher playing for the New England Patriots after Josh Uche's career night against the Arizona Cardinals.

Uche, 24, was a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but struggled in his first two seasons, totaling only four combined sacks.

In Monday's 27-13 win against the Cardinals, he led all comers with three, taking his season tally to 10 – and all 10 have been in the past six weeks.

Judon was credited with one-and-a-half sacks on Cardinals backup quarterback Colt McCoy – who was thrust into the action after just three plays following Kyler Murray's knee injury – taking his total to 14.5 to tie with elite San Francisco 49ers talent Nick Bosa for the league's most.

Uche and Judon are the only pair of teammates this season with at least 10 sacks each.

The Patriots' defense was the dominant force in the win, turning a 13-13 tie into a two-score lead after returning a fumble for a touchdown, and securing an interception on the next drive to set up Pierre Strong Jr's sealer.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Judon said Uche's dominant performance was no surprise.

"I told y'all I wasn't our best pass-rusher," he said. "Our best pass-rusher is emerging. 

"People are going to have to block him, and if they don't, and they chip my side and worry about me, Uche will do that every week.

"I love the way he's playing with confidence, and poise, and this is the most he's played since he's been in the NFL. It's taken a toll on him, but he's going out there and having a lot of success.

"We all knew it, we all knew the type of player he was, he was drafted pretty high here, and now he's just emerging. Folks are going to have to watch out."

When asked how he feels about the Patriots' defense often having to carry their struggling offense, Judon said he has no issues with it.

"Honestly, as a defender, you relish it," he said. "You relish it.

"We'd love for our offense to go out there and score 40 points each game, but as a defender, it's like, skip it. It is what it is. We're going out there, and we've got to do our job.

"We can't let our offense down and come out there and slip, and let stuff go. Every play we have to defend every blade of grass, and that's what we came out and did.

"We got a lot of tipped balls, we put pressure on the quarterback, we were hitting receivers, jamming them – and that's how you beat a team like that with an explosive offense."

Judon's admiration of Uche is reciprocated, with Uche making a point to credit Judon in aiding his development.

"I've learned a lot, I've been through a lot of adversity," he said. "Just leaning back on my faith, my family, my teammates, my girl, my parents – everybody. Just leaning back on them, and them helping me stay up.

"Judon has been a blessing in my life, man. That's big bro. I don't know where I'd be without him."

Future Hall-of-Fame coach Bill Belichick also singled out Uche when asked about his defence's performance.

"Uche had a couple big plays for us," he said. "He hit McCoy to force the interception to [Marcus] Jones. 

"We were able to hit the quarterback, but of course that comes from getting ahead, and playing from ahead, and it became a passing game in the second half.

"Our defense did a pretty good job tonight. They have a lot of firepower, and Arizona moved the ball, but we fortunately got a couple red-area stops, and didn't give them much in the second half, so it was good."

The Patriots are now 7-6, and occupy the final AFC Wildcard spot with four weeks to play.

Bill Belichick believes it is too late in the season to rip up the playbook for the New England Patriots, even as the perennial contenders continue to struggle with their form.

A 24-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills last Thursday saw the Foxborough outfit drop to 6-6 for the season, leaving them outside the AFC's wild card slots with a handful of games to go.

Though there is plenty of time to still salvage their season, the Patriots appear to be in something of a rut, with quarterback Mac Jones involved in a sideline outburst last week.

Belichick, however, will not introduce wholesale changes, claiming they are too deep into the season to do so, and stating they merely need to execute their existing tactics.

"I think we need to do what we're doing better," he told radio station WEEI. "I don't think at this point making a lot of dramatic changes. It's too hard to do that.

"If we can just do, consistently, what we're doing, I think we'll be all right. We just haven't been able to have enough consistency. That's hurt us.

"It's not one thing. One time, it's one thing, [and] next time, it's something else. We just have to play and coach more consistently.

"I think we'd all certainly like to be doing better than what we've been doing, from a record standpoint and from an individual execution [standpoint]. But we're going to look ahead and not backward."

The Patriots are not in action for another week now, and will return to the field against the struggling Arizona Cardinals next Monday.

Hunter Henry felt the officials made a mistake by not awarding him a touchdown in the New England Patriots' Thanksgiving Day defeat to the Minnesota Vikings.

Henry was initially awarded a touchdown after taking a pass from Mac Jones midway through the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium on Thursday.

That appeared to have given the Patriots a 30-23 lead, but the call was overturned as the pass was deemed to be incomplete following a lengthy review.

The Vikings went on to win 33-26, so the decision to rule out Henry's touchdown proved to be a huge call.

The tight end was adamant that he had control of the ball under pressure from Vikings defensive back Chandon Sullivan.

He said: "I believe I caught it. He said it hit the ground. But I believe my hand was under the ball.

"The hand was under the ball, with hitting the ground, that's what kind of caused it to jump up. They made the call. Just got to live with it."

Quarterback Jones said the Patriots cannot use that contentious call as an excuse for their loss.

"We have to move on from that [overturned] play and play the rest of the game. There was plenty of time left," he said.

"There were other times we could have punched it in and that wouldn't have been an issue. One call can't determine the outcome. We have to be able to do better, so it's not even close."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick urged reporters to ask the officials why they overturned the decision.

"Why don't you guys go to them with your pool reporter and ask them about the play? Isn't that what you do?" he said.

After a busy NFL trade deadline, the focus is back on the field this weekend.

Josh Allen faces Zach Wilson as the New York Jets confront a major test of their defense against the soaraway Buffalo Bills, while the Los Angeles Rams will look to keep up their remarkable record against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Could Derrick Henry have another monumental game in him after last week's big effort, and after he dispelled worries about a foot problem?

Stats Perform has taken a look at the numbers ahead of Sunday's games, beginning with the travails of the Brady bunch.

Los Angeles Rams (3-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)

The Buccaneers are on the slide, and the Rams are just about the nightmare opponents this weekend, judging by recent games between the teams.

Including Los Angeles' win in last season's Divisional Round, the Rams are 9-1 in their last 10 games against the Bucs, and that includes a 5-0 streak in Tampa.

This game is big for both, and for the Bucs it offers a chance to halt a losing sequence of three. They were beaten 27-22 by the Baltimore last week and are on their longest single-season losing run since a dismal four-game run in the 2019 season.

It remains to be seen whether Tom Brady can get them out of this mess. Brady threw for 325 yards and zero interceptions in last week's loss to Baltimore. Across his stellar career, he is 54-7 when throwing 300 yards and no interceptions, but this season he is 1-2 in such games.

Brady might fancy the job against a Rams team who have scored 14 or fewer points and lost by double-digits four times already this season, including last time out in a 31-14 home loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Rival quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 187 yards last week on 33 attempts. His team are 2-9 in games where Stafford has thrown the ball at least 30 times and finished with fewer than 200 passing yards.

Buffalo Bills (6-1) at New York Jets (5-3)

The Buffalo Bills are 6-1 for the first time since 1993, the season they last made it through to the Super Bowl. This weekend they go after a fifth win in a row after getting the better of the Green Bay Packers last time out.

What's more, they have strung together a four-game winning streak in road games against the Jets, second only in franchise history to a seven-game streak from 1987 to 1993.

The Bills have outscored this season's opponents by 105 points (203-98) so far, the widest differential in the NFL.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen has urged the Jets to show patience with his struggling counterpart Zach Wilson, who has completed just 54.9 per cent of passes this season, the second-worst rate in the NFL heading into Week 9. Wilson has thrown for 1,048 yards across five games, with three touchdowns and five interceptions, compared to Allen's 2,198 yards for 19 TDs and six interceptions from seven games.

Stefon Diggs has at least 100 yards and a receiving touchdown in three straight games, the longest streak of the Bills wide receiver's career and tied for the longest streak in team history with Elbert Dubenion (1964). The last NFL player with a longer streak was Adam Thielen in 2018 (five). How Diggs fares against Jets rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner will be a factor.

The Jets have already topped last season's four wins, but they are 8-30 against divisional opponents since 2016, the worst record in the NFL.

Tennessee Titans (5-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)

What does Titans running back Henry have in store for an encore? Henry last week recorded his sixth career 200-yard rushing game, with 219 yards and two touchdowns against the Texans, tying Adrian Peterson and O.J. Simpson for the most all-time. All other active players have combined for just four such games.

The Chiefs will be wary of that threat, and will look to their own WR, JuJu Smith-Schuster, to make his own impact. After failing to reach 90 yards or find the endzone in his first five games this season, Smith-Schuster now has back-to-back games with at least 100 yards and a touchdown. He had not had such a game since Week 8, 2019 and now has eight such games in his career.

The Titans have won four straight regular season matchups with the Chiefs but lost in the 2020 AFC Championship Game in Kansas City.

Their respective 5-2 records this season disguise the fact each of those wins has been relatively close. The Titans and Vikings have only won by single digits this season. Only five teams in NFL history have seen such a streak reach six games – the 2020 Chiefs, 1997 Vikings, 1994 Giants, 1988 Saints and 1986 Giants. Of those, only the Chiefs' streak reached seven.


The Miami Dolphins (5-3) will be looking for a fourth consecutive road win against the Chicago Bears (3-5), which would make the Dolphins the first AFC team since the conference came into being in 1970 to have such a streak in Chicago. Miami's Tyreek Hill has gone 52 consecutive receptions without a receiving touchdown. That accounts for the longest streak of his career, nearly doubling his previous career-long streak (27, twice).

Memories of a record-setting 2014 game between the Carolina Panthers and the Bengals will be stoked when the teams meet in Cincinnati on Sunday. The last time these teams met at the home of the Bengals it finished in a 37-37 tie, and entering Week 9 in 2022 that remains the highest-scoring tie in an NFL game since the NFL and AFL merged in 1970.

The New England Patriots are 4-4 for the fifth time in the Bill Belichick era (since 2000) as they approach a home game against the Indianapolis Colts (3-4-1). The other four times the Patriots started 4-4 under Belichick, they made the playoffs three times (2001, 2005, 2021) and missed the playoffs once (2002). Between the regular season and playoffs, Belichick owns an 18-9 career record against the Colts, with only Don Shula (36 wins as coach of the Dolphins from 1970 to 1995) having achieved more such wins.

Bill Belichick has become the outright number two in NFL career victories as a head coach after claiming his 325th win on Sunday.

The New England Patriots head coach surpassed George Halas' tally, notching up his 258th regular season scalp at the expense of the New York Jets.

Combined with the 36 wins he claimed in charge of the Cleveland Browns, along with postseason victories and six Super Bowl triumphs, Belichick now trails only Don Shula (347). 

After a 22-17 win over the Jets, to move 4-4 for the season, the 70-year-old expressed his gratitude to the players who have enabled him to have such success.

"Maybe we can talk about that [his tally of wins] when it's over," Belichick stated. "Add them up at the end here or whatever. I appreciate all the great players we've had that have won those games.

"We had a couple of them in the locker room there. Besides our players -- guys like [Devin] McCourty and [Matthew] Slater -- [Jerod] Mayo, Troy Brown, those guys won a lot for us, for me. So it's really a team win."

Belichick's record now stands at 325 wins from 440 games, with Halas racking up 324 in 497.

He is significantly behind Halas for regular season victories as a head coach with one team, with his 258 wins in charge of the Patriots considerably fewer than the former Chicago Bears chief, who notched 318.

Mystery remains around the New England Patriots starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the New York Jets with head coach Bill Belichick refusing to declare his hand.

Mac Jones was benched after three series for backup Bailey Zappe in the Patriots' 33-14 home defeat to the Chicago Bears on Monday.

Belichick insisted that decision was not performance-based after the game, alluding to the fact Jones was returning in Week 7 following a three-game absence due to a high ankle sprain.

Jones was not listed on the Patriots' injury report this week, yet Belichick declined to elaborate on the situation on Wednesday ahead of practice.

"We'll see how it goes today," Belichick told reporters five times when asked about the QB situation.

Onlookers at Patriots practice on Wednesday claimed that Jones took the vast majority of first team reps in an indication he will start on Sunday.

Jones, who was taken with the 15th pick in last year's NFL Draft, has started four games this season, completing 67 of 103 attempts for 799 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions.

The second-year quarterback admitted that he had not been told by Belichick if he would start against the Jets but insisted he was fine with that.

"He's done a good job, been very open with me," Jones said. "I think that's all you can ask for, clear communication. Putting all the rat poison away and playing the best I can play and becoming the best quarterback I can be.

"Like I said, those are things that we want to work through as the week goes along. I don’t really care if they tell me or not, it's just important that I'm ready to go. Just as Zappe is ready to go.

"It's the same way every week, you want to prepare as a starter… I plan to start every game I've ever played in."

Mac Jones' benching in the New England Patriots' 33-14 home defeat to the Chicago Bears was not performance-based, head coach Bill Belichick insists.

It was not the return from a high ankle sprain Jones would have anticipated, with the starting quarterback playing only the first three series and recording a sixth interception of the season.

A disgruntled home crowd started calling for Jones' backup Bailey Zappe, who entered the fray in the second quarter.

The Pats made a couple of quick touchdowns but fizzled out from there as Justin Fields led the Bears to 23 unanswered points and left both teams at 3-4 for the season.

Speaking to the media after the game, Belichick said the plan was always to use both quarterbacks and Jones did not re-enter the field as the game was getting away from the Patriots.

"That's [benching Jones after the interception] not what it was, but you can write whatever you want to write. That's not what it was," Belichick said.

"We had planned to play – I told the quarterbacks that we were going to play both of them, and that's what we did.

"We went through the week of practice. Mac was inactive last week. [Jones] would have gone back in. The score got out of hand. I didn't think that was the right thing to do."

Pushed on whether Jones had enough game time to have the confidence to face the New York Jets next week, a curt Belichick replied "I don't know" and said "I don't see that" when it was suggested he could switch up his quarterbacks week to week.

Belichick also confirmed the thinking to play both quarterbacks was related to Jones' ankle injury but that was not a factor at the time he was pulled from the field.

The stats did not make for kind reading, with Jones going 3-of-6 for 13 yards and the pick. Zappe was 14-of-22 for 185 yards, including a touchdown, two interceptions and a lost fumble.

For Jones' part, the chants for Zappe are not something playing on his mind and he is focused just on improving his own performance.

" I just have to do better at my job, and that's all it comes down to. That's all I can control," he said.

"Honestly, we've got a good chance here to go against the Jets, and that's what I'm focused on. I'm going to do my best to put my best foot forward. 

"I've been in this situation before, and just going to try to help the team. Whatever my role is, I'll be ready, and I'll give it 100 per cent."

Asked if he was surprised by the timing of Belichick's decision, he added: "I think coach Belichick had a really good plan for us. 

"Obviously, that's kind of internal stuff, but I understood the plan and what was going to happen. I wish we got off to a better start, and I played a little bit better, but I'll have a chance to practice and get back into my routine. 

"Something that I want to work on is getting back in my routine. I'm a very routine person, and I'm excited for this week. That's all you can do, right? 

"You can't really look back in the past. The game wasn't good by any of us, and that starts with me."

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