Bill Belichick passes George Halas on NFL career wins list

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Bill Belichick moved into sole possession of second place on the all-time wins list as the visiting New England Patriots defeated the New York Jets 22-17 on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Belichick now has 325 wins (regular season and postseason), with Sunday's game breaking a tie with Hall of Famer George Halas, the longtime Chicago Bears coach (40 years). Don Shula holds the all-time mark with 347 victories.

Belichick downplayed the milestone, crediting players and saying: "Maybe we'll talk about that when it's over, add them up at the end."

However, Patriots owner Robert Kraft presented Belichick with a game ball for his achievement.

In addition, quarterback Mac Jones opened his postgame news conference by saying: "Congratulations to Coach Belichick on his accomplishment. Obviously he's done a great job here and it's a blessing to play for him. Obviously we don't do the whole individual awards, but that's a big one."

Outside linebacker Matthew Judon also noted Belichick passing Halas.

"We're very proud of our coach. He tells us players win games, but he won all those games -- he game-planned, he did the film, the preparation, the study, and put his players in position to make plays. Him being second all-time, that's just an accomplishment to him as a coach, the longevity he's had, and like he said, the players as well," Judon said.

Belichick is in his 23rd season as Patriots coach and 28th overall when including his tenure with the Cleveland Browns (1991-95).

The Patriots needed a comeback Sunday to help Belichick break the tie, initially falling behind 3-0 in the first quarter and then 10-3 in the second quarter in a mistake-filled first half.

After closing to 10-6 at halftime -- following a stunning turn of events in which Jones had his interception returned for a touchdown negated by a roughing the passer penalty -- the Patriots outscored the Jets 13-0 in the third quarter to take control of the game.

Breaking a tie with Halas by beating the Jets might have some added meaning for Belichick, who was a Jets assistant from 1997 to '99 and was primed to take over for Bill Parcells as the franchise's head coach before he shockingly resigned as "HC of the NYJ."

That ultimately led Belichick to the Patriots, who surrendered a first-round draft choice to hire him from the Jets as their head coach in 2000.

Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid, one of Belichick's close friends, earlier acknowledged Belichick being on the cusp of passing Halas, saying: "It's an amazing number. It's so well deserved, for the effort he puts in. He's a relentless worker. I can see how it's been done because he's a heck of a football coach."

The Patriots (4-4) next host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.