Shula won 347 games as an NFL head coach over 33 seasons. That’s an average – an average – of 10.5 wins a year (including playoffs), and it’s worth noting that includes 15 years with a 14-game regular season. With that in mind, let’s extrapolate.
If Shula had 30 more regular season games to coach, and won .677 (his career winning percentage) of them, that would add 20 more wins and raise his total to 367.
As for the playoffs, Shula’s teams played 36 games over 19 post-season appearances, much of that coming in an era when it was more difficult to reach the playoffs. Which meant some of his better teams were left on the outside looking in.
- Like 1966, when the Baltimore Colts went 9-5, finished runner-up in the Western Conference, tied for the 3rd-best record in the NFL, and … no playoffs.
- The next year might have been the most painful. The Colts finished 11-1-2 and tied for the best record in the league, but lost the Coastal Division on a tiebreaker, and … no playoffs.
- In 1975, the Miami Dolphins went 10-4, were runners-up in the AFC East, tied for the 4th-best record in the conference, and … no playoffs. In 1977 Miami was 10-4, a divisional runner-up, tied for the conference’s 3rd-best record, and … no playoffs.
Then there’s this: In 1970, the Dolphins had the 2nd-best record in the AFC but had to open the playoffs on the road. In 1974, Miami WON ITS DIVISION but had to open the playoffs on the road. These days, the Dolphins would’ve earned a first-round bye and at least one home game.
Extrapolating the post-season further: Let’s give Shula's ’66, ’67, ’75, and ’77 teams a post-season spot. Let’s also give the ’70 and ’74 teams a bye and at least one home game. That’s a total of six more games. Shula’s post-season winning percentage was .528, which would mean at least three more wins and raise his career total to 370.
With a few breaks, it could have been more.