If you watched Thursday night's game between the Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, it's easy to figure out why the New England Patriots have won so many Super Bowl titles since the turn of the century.
The AFC doesn't have any other head coach in the class of the Patriots' Bill Belichick.
He might be Public Enemy No. 2 (quarterback Tom Brady is No. 1) in Baltimore because of Deflategate, but Belichick doesn't beat himself. He doesn't leave you puzzled about his coaching decisions.
They are sound and solid. His teams rarely self-destruct because they have discipline.
On Thursday night, Ravens coach John Harbaugh was bad and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was worse.
The week before, Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis had a bad quarter or two, and it's really easy to see how Belichick has dominated the AFC.
The others don't measure up. It's great that the Ravens finally won their first game of the season and now have a reasonable chance of hitting .500 with upcoming games against Cleveland and San Francisco, but there were a lot of questions about decisions both coaches made Thursday night.
"When you lose, you're open to criticism," said Tomlin.
That also happens when some things don't make sense. Like on a fourth-and-2 at the Ravens 39-yard-line on Pittsburgh's first possession in overtime, the Steelers ran quarterback Michael Vick around left end for no gain.
On Pittsburgh's next possession, Vick threw incomplete to receiver Antonio Brown on a slant in at the Ravens 33 on fourth-and-1. So, let's get this right: The Steelers have one of the best running backs in the NFL in Le'Veon Bell who had already rushed for 129 yards, and he doesn't get one touch in those situations.
Instead, they put the ball and the game in the hands of a quarterback who has more mileage than an old World War II fighter jet and had only two to three days to prepare.
Worse yet, Vick, who is inaccurate but still can throw deep, threw only two passes over 20 yards against a team that had been victimized by the long ball in the previous two weeks.
New England would never have made such poor calls, and Belichick would have seized on those opportunities to go deep. In fact, he did at times last year in his team's AFC divisional win against the Ravens.
The Ravens made some poor decisions against Pittsburgh, too.
Several times they ran patterns 3 or 4 yards short of the first-down marker on third-down situations. In what was the most important play of the game at the time, the Steelers faced a third-and-5 at the Ravens 24 with 1:51 left in the game. As Pittsburgh came to the line of scrimmage, the Ravens had only 10 players on the field.
Fortunately, the Steelers called a timeout.
There was the 1-yard pass to receiver Steve Smith Sr. on a third-and-2 at the Ravens 48 late in the third, and the failed fake field goal on the previous series when a field goal would have pulled the Ravens within 20-17.
Another beauty was the quarterback sneak by Joe Flacco on a fourth-and-1 at Pittsburgh's 43 with 4 minutes, 20 seconds left in regulation.
Why was Flacco running the ball the ball in that situation after already having fumbled three different times? Why not give the ball to running back Justin Forsett who rushed for 150 yards? In a worst-case scenario, just punt the ball and pin Pittsburgh back because the Steelers weren't going anywhere with Vick.
Nearly a week ago, against the Ravens, Lewis decided to gamble on a fourth down near the goal line (which he lost) instead of taking a field goal and going up by 17 points at halftime. Bad move.
In that game, Smith had 13 catches for 186 yards and two touchdowns as the Bengals refused to double-team or bracket him. The Ravens had the same trouble with receiver A.J. Green, who caught 10 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns. It was the second straight year Green had lit up the Ravens, but the Ravens had no answers for him.
That is disturbing. One of the first things Belichick does is neutralize your top weapons on both offense and defense. He adjusts well to his own personnel, which is why Brady is throwing shorter, quick passes these days as opposed to longer passes when he was younger.
You don't see Patriots receivers run short of the first-down marker on third down. They don't try end-arounds with slow receivers. Good coaching makes a difference, which is why the Patriots keep going to Super Bowls.
Watching NFL games has become hard at times these days. The officiating is poor, quarterbacks untouchable and the tackling atrocious.
There are some teams and players that are fun to watch, but few teams are disciplined. In the AFC there are several good coaches but there is only one Belichick.
It is clearly apparent that he is better than anyone else out there, and it showed Thursday night.