To be clear, it is 100 percent too early to have a good handle on this subject. There are plenty of things that can come up between now and the season’s start that can totally change these predictions. With that in mind, I wanted to predict some of the awards for the upcoming NFL season. With that being said, let’s take a look at some coach of the year candidates.
The Front Runners
Sean McVay: Los Angeles Rams
The Rams made the Super Bowl last year and with two years left before a big pay day for Jared Goff, The Rams are in win-now mode. The Rams went 13-3 last year, but the award went to the Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy.
This year, there aren’t many first-year head coaches that have a shot at the award. Matt LaFleur, Adam Gase, and Freddie Kitchens are the only ones who even have a chance, in my opinion. I think a veteran head coach wins it this year and who better than the youngest coach in the NFL? You could make the argument he deserved it last year too, but this year will suffice.
Andy Reid: Kansas City Chiefs
This one is simple. He’s a magician and somehow still extremely underrated. Reid can make things happen, especially, on offense. With Patrick Mahomes slinging the rock and Reid at the helm, this team can compete for a Super Bowl. They were an offside penalty away from beating the Patriots and playing in the Super Bowl last year.
The question is, can the offense withstand the loss of Kareem Hunt and probable loss of Tyreek Hill? I think they can, and it helps their cause that the Raiders and Broncos don’t look like they will be any better this year. Andy Reid already has won the award before, can he do it again?
Doug Pederson: Philadelphia Eagles
A healthy Carson Wentz and what I think was a great 2019 draft puts the Eagles in great position headed into 2019. Doug Pederson was the leader of a team that beat one of the single greatest dynasties in sports history and he did it with a backup quarterback.
Just a few days ago, Wentz was re-signed. With the quarterback of the future set, and a weak NFC east, the Eagles look poised for a big season. Did I mention the Eagles also have the seventh-easiest schedule in 2019? Their upcoming opponents had a combined win record of .477 last year.
Of course, all that can change in the blink of an eye, but for now, the Eagles are in good shape for takeoff.
Frank Reich: Indianapolis Colts
I didn’t know if he should go in the “dark horse” category, or the front runners category, but they are building a winning team in Indianapolis. It took two full years to correct the previous mistakes of Ryan Grigson, but Chris Ballard and Frank Reich have a good handle on the situation. While Ballard had another good draft, the chemistry between Reich and Andrew Luck keep this team trending upwards.
The Colts do have a tough schedule ahead of them in 2019, so that ultimately was the deciding factor in putting head coach Frank Reich in the “dark horse” category. Reich and the Colts didn’t win the division last year, but I think the AFC South is their division to lose this year.
Honorable mentions: Matt LaFleur, Mike Tomlin, Kyle Shanahan, Pete Carroll