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Who Will Be The Better Head Coach: McDaniels Or Patricia?

With McDaniels and Patricia both rumored to have accepted head coaching positions, which will have the most success?

With New England poised for another potential Super Bowl appearance, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia are looking forward to their futures after this season. Both have already been rumored to have verbally accepted deals with other teams.

McDaniels was said to have agreed in principle to become the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, while Patricia is the clear favorite to land the Detroit Lions job. With all the success they have had during their tenures with the Patriots, it was just a matter of time until they got shots to run their own teams. However, because McDaniels is more of an offensive mind, he will have the more successful career going forward. 

Colts expected to hire Josh McDaniels as head coach: (via @RapSheet + @TomPelissero)

NFL (@NFL) January 15, 2018

McDaniels had a career record of 11-17 during his 2009-2010 stint as head coach of the Denver Broncos. It’s hard to evaluate his record as a whole because he never had a true franchise quarterback, which is crucial to success in the NFL. If we assume Andrew Luck is healthy going into next year, then McDaniels will have his guy. 

McDaniels’ wasn’t a complete failure in Denver. With Kyle Orton as his primary quarterback, who has a career 81.2 passer rating, the Broncos finished in the top half of the NFL both years in total offense. Meanwhile, his defense finished 13th in points allowed in 2009 then completely fell to dead last in the league in 2010, which was the primary reason the team struggled. 

He clearly has had an elite offense during his years as the Patriots offensive coordinator. However, many people give the credit primarily to Tom Brady rather than McDaniels. Mike Wells of ESPN detailed in his article why McDaniels deserves more credit. 

McDaniels has been part of teams that have won five Super Bowls and six AFC Championships in New England. McDaniels was offensive coordinator for two of those titles. The Patriots have been ranked in the top 10 in offense in all nine seasons that McDaniels has been offensive coordinator, including this season in which they finished first overall. That would go over well with the Colts, who despite wanting to be well-rounded will be an offensive-minded one first as long as Luck is taking the snaps. Not all of McDaniels’ success is tied to Tom Brady. Matt Cassel, who replaced Brady after he suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2008, led the Patriots to a 10-5 record while passing for 3,693 yards, 21 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions.

While McDaniels might be the better of the two head coaching candidates, that doesn’t mean Patricia will fail. He will potentially be taking over a team that has its franchise quarterback in Matthew Stafford and finished as the seventh scoring offense in the league

Patricia has recorded a top-10 scoring defense in each of his six seasons with the Patriots, including allowing a league-low 15.6 PPG in 2016. The yards per game hasn’t always ranked in the top portion of the league (29th this year), but his ability to buckle down in the red zone, where the Patriots rank top five, is what makes his defenses great. If he can fix the defense in Detroit to be half of what we have been accustomed to seeing in New England, they could challenge for the NFC North as soon as next year. 

Furthermore, Patricia is widely considered a defensive-minded coach, but he does have experience coaching on the offensive side of the ball in the NFL. His first job with the Patriots before he transitioned to defense was actually as an offensive assistant in 2004 and assistant offensive line coach in 2005

Both coordinators seem to be worthy of their candidacies as head coaches, but McDaniels’ offensive prowess will prove to be the difference going forward.

Edited by Jazmyn Brown.

Where did the Patriots finish in PPG during the 2017 regular season?
Created 1/16/18
  1. 2nd
  2. 4th
  3. 6th
  4. 10th

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