PFT’s 2022 NFL Coach of the Year: Brian Daboll
Coach of the Year usually refers to the coach who most exceeded general expectations prior to the start of the season. In 2022, many coaches fell into that category. One managed to lead his team to the playoffs when it seemed like there was no chance in hell.
After 17 games in a division in which none of the four teams finished below .500, the Giants finished 6th in the conference, reaching the playoffs for the second time in more than a decade, and the first time since 2016.
Brian Daboll did it with a roster largely devoid of established talent. The two most important players on the list — quarterback daniel jones and running back Saquon Barkley – They were in contract years. The defense was working. The offensive line was a liability for years. The receivers were nameless outcasts, a strange version of Frank Sinatra’s “if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere” New York, New York.
Yet somehow, Daboll and the Giants mustered enough wins to get in.
There wasn’t much signature gain. Beating the Titans on the road in Week 1 stands out, as does beating an already strong Packers team in London. The Giants otherwise often took care of business, few thought they would do enough to come away with enough wins, especially with a new coach and a new GM.
There were other very good coaches. Kyle Shanahan led the 49ers to No. 2 in the NFC despite losing a pair of starting quarterbacks to injuries. He also effectively integrated the running back Christian McCaffrey He helped spark a 10-game winning streak that nearly gave him first place in the conference. It didn’t hurt to have the best defense in the league.
In Jacksonville, Doug Pederson quickly cleaned up Urban Meyer’s mess, winning first place in one of football’s weakest divisions and laying the foundation for a bright future. Dan Campbell managed to push the Lions from 1-6 to the brink of the postseason; Mike Tomlin did the same with the Steelers after starting 2-6 and leading the team to a winning record.
In Seattle, Pete Carroll took over a team that few thought would make it back to the playoffs, without it Russell Wilson – and Boom was away from the Legion with a defense.
Then there are the Vikings. First-year head coach Kevin O’Connell managed to lead the team to a narrow victory, finishing with a league-record 11 one-point game, though the Vikings were eventually outscored 13-4.
Another first-year coach, Mike McDaniel of the Dolphins, led his team to the playoffs despite numerous concussions at quarterback. Tua Tagovailoa and a season-ending five-game winning streak.
Bills coach Sean McDermott led his team through one upset after another, possibly putting them in position to return to the Super Bowl for the first time in 30 years.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid took a new offense to No. 1. Eagles coach Nick Sirianni dominated his team for much of the season, finishing first in the NFC.
In 2022 there were really great coaching jobs. But Daboll gets the nod for leading a Giants team that seemed destined for another non-playoff season to the championship.
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