Did Bill Belichick’s Poor Coaching Cost Tom Brady a Super Bowl?

Published 03/27/2022, 12:06 PM EDT
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – JANUARY 02: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers walks off the field after defeating the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on January 02, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Buccaneers defeated the Jets 28-24. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

In the past, New England fans have already had their good proportion of celebrations. During Tom Brady’s stint with the Patriots, he won six Super Bowls. However, the franchise also had some setbacks down the road. Fans could never neglect the 2019 playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles when Bill Belichick forced CB Malcolm Butler to warm the benches. Did the Patriots’ HC’s terrible decision-making ruin the championship game of Tom Brady?

The cornerback sitting on the sideline takes in some heat by the fans during the game. It was obvious that the team needed the athlete, but Belichick just didn’t make the move to do so. Furthermore, they didn’t even address the situation either, leaving the fans with just speculations.


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However, in an interesting turn of events, after losing starting cornerback J.C. Jackson in the offseason, the Patriots held a tryout with a friendly yet perhaps unanticipated figure. 4 years after being benched in the Patriots’ Super Bowl LII loss, Malcolm Butler is returning to Foxborough.

A notorious Super Bowl-losing analysis?

During the FS1’s Skip & Shannon: Undisputed Chat Show, Jenny Taft asks Shannon Sharpe regarding the mysterious benching of Malcolm Butler, and did Belichick’s decision cost the Patriots a Super Bowl?

Sharpe addresses with a statement, “We’ll never know what happened. Coach Belichick hadn’t really explained it. Malcolm butler really hadn’t touched it. Nobody is really really saying what really transpired, so we’ll never know.”

This led to a minor argument among the hosts. However, Skip Bayless addresses the infamous benching as “the greatest unsolved mystery in the history of sports.” 

Coach Belichick’s decision to sideline someone for the entire Super Bowl after he had played the most defensive snaps all season was rather startling to the fans.


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Following the words that free-agents, Malcolm Butler and Leonard Fournette are heading to the New-England facility for a stopover; ESPN reports that the retired CB has agreed to a 2-year deal, worth up to $9 Million with the New England Patriots. This marks Butler’s return to Foxborough after they part ways 4 years back.

The restoration of the Super Bowl XLIX hero to the Patriots has an interesting perspective into it. Although some may perceive it as Belichick choosing a course of action for the interest of the Patriots, a pessimistic follower could reasonably assume that this would be an old mentor seeking to get one over on his protégé, Tom Brady, by seizing one of his most precious commodities.


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In some ways, we may see it as a reconciliation trajectory, including both Butler and Belichick, bringing the narrative to a pleasant and peaceful conclusion.

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Pavitra Shome

548 articles

Pavitra Shome is an NFL author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his M.A.