Just seven votes for Bill Belichick

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick finished third in the Associated Press Coach of the Year voting, as he garnered seven of a possible 50 votes.

The award went to Carolina's Ron Rivera (21.5 votes), with Kansas City's Andy Reid (13.5) in the No. 2 spot.

Philadephia's Chip Kelly (4), Seattle's Pete Carroll (2) and Arizona's Bruce Arians (2) also earned votes.

This was one of the more competitive votes for this award, as few would contest that Belichick and his staff were terrific in 2013.

Rivera is also a worthy winner, in part because his Panthers team beat the Patriots on Nov. 18, but more so because many viewed him to be on the hot seat when the season began. Few projected the Panthers to be a playoff contender, let alone the NFC's No. 2 seed. Rivera deserves a lot of credit for that.

I don't have a vote, but my thoughts on this award trended toward Reid at the midpoint of the season and then Rivera and Belichick by the end of the season.