If you are an NFL coach and your name is not Bill Belichick, there is an unfortunate but inescapable truth for you: Belichick is better than you.

His four Super Bowl triumphs as head coach of the New England Patriots are testaments to that. But the proof keeps coming. It was on vivid display yet again Thursday night in Foxborough, Massachusetts, as the Patriots thoroughly outclassed the Houston Texans in a 27-0 victory orchestrated by rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett in his first NFL start.

Brissett was good. But this was about coaching.

Brissett, a third-round draft choice out of N.C. State, should be the Patriots’ third-stringer right now. But Tom Brady is serving his four-game Deflategate suspension and Jimmy Garoppolo hurt his right shoulder in Week 2. Garoppolo was on the inactive list Thursday, meaning the Patriots had only one quarterback eligible to play. And Belichick and his offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, had a short week to get Brissett ready for his first start.

“Even with the way they coach,” said Charley Casserly, the former general manager in Houston and Washington, on Wednesday, “this will be hard. Houston will be better than them. But they’re brilliant game-planning. If they beat Houston, the rest of the league can just go home for the season.”

Commence the going home.

Looking ahead to the Week 4 matchup against Buffalo, the Patriots are looking at four options at quarterback. A daunting task for most but just another week in Foxborough, where it could be:

Brissett, if his injured thumb allows him to play.

Garoppolo, if his injured shoulder allows him to play.

Julian Edelman, the receiver and former college QB, but even his father wonders: “Can Jules do it? Yeah, he could definitely do it. But could he do it well? I’m just not sure,” Frank Edelman told ESPN on Thursday. “I don’t know how many picks he would throw. I’ll say this: He does know the offense like the back of his hand. That wouldn’t be a problem.”

Some off-the-street, free-agent option. Folks like T.J Yates, Matt Flynn, Ryan Lindley and others have been rumored.

Sure, there is a question mark … and another full week for Belichick and staff to prepare to open the season 4-0.

So much for the rest of the AFC getting a head start on the Patriots while Brady was suspended.

Garoppolo looked terrific in his two starts before getting hurt. The Patriots simply moved on and came out Thursday with an entirely new look and feel to their offense, even with only a few days to prepare, to put Brissett in position to succeed. Brissett didn’t have a turnover. He threw the ball efficiently, although he had only 103 passing yards. He ran for a 27-yard touchdown. He was sacked only once. Running back LeGarrette Blount, who rushed for two touchdowns, and the New England defense took it from there, with plenty of help from the Texans.

Houston’s performance was about as inept as it gets. The Texans twice lost fumbles on kickoff returns. Quarterback Brock Osweiler threw an amateur-hour first-half interception. (The second-smartest person in the league after Belichick, it seemed Thursday night, was Broncos executive John Elway, who allowed Osweiler to leave Denver via free agency in the offseason.) The Texans mixed in silly penalties and missed tackles. They didn’t take an offensive snap in Patriots territory until the second half.

J.J. Watt, the reigning two-time NFL defensive player of the year, was practically invisible. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had some catches but little to no impact on the game. But that is what a Belichick-coached team does to an opponent: It takes away the best players and makes someone else win the game.

McDaniels deserves much of the credit for Thursday’s superb game plan; he needs to be given another NFL head coaching opportunity in the not-too-distant future. But look at what Belichick’s top assistant-coaching lieutenants in New England have done on their own as head coaches elsewhere. Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, McDaniels and Eric Mangini did not prove to be coaching geniuses of their own accord. That suggests the real brilliance comes from Belichick, not those around him.

The act can wear thin. The press conference non-answers can become tiresome, given that it’s all an act and Belichick can be engaging and insightful whenever he chooses. The sideline hoodies and sweatshirts are less than dashing. Think what you want about Spygate and Deflategate and what the scandals mean to the legacies of Belichick and Brady. Call the Patriots cheaters if you like. That debate never will be resolved, with the team’s backers yelling that everything ending in “-gate” is about the petty jealousies of those unable to beat the Patriots on the field.

But whatever you do, don’t sell Belichick short.

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