NFL Coach of the Year Race: Odds, Contenders, and Surprises


Dec 6, 2023

As we dive into the NFL Coach of the Year race, the odds are shifting, and the contenders are making their cases. At the FanDuel Sportsbook, the current leader in this market is Dan Campbell at a 2 to 1 price. Right on his heels, we find DeMeco Ryans with odds set at +250, and not far behind is Mike McDaniel at 6 to 1.

Before we break down the odds, let’s acknowledge the peculiar nature of this award. Coach of the Year tends to be an unpredictable market, often favoring the head coach of a team that experienced a significant turnaround from a dismal previous season.

Dan Campbell, the charismatic and beloved figure, certainly fits the mold. He took the reins of a struggling Detroit Lions team and has led them to a surprising 9-3 record this season. His infectious personality and ability to connect with both players and fans cannot be underestimated. It’s clear that likability plays a role in the award’s voting process.

On the other hand, Ryans has worked wonders with the Houston Texans, an organization that has been mired in mediocrity for years. While their quarterback situation wasn’t ideal, Ryans managed to keep the team competitive with a 7-5 record. It’s worth pondering what Ryans could have achieved with a more star-studded lineup, as the impact of the quarterback position cannot be understated.

Enter Kyle Shanahan, the mastermind behind the San Francisco 49ers’ offensive system, often described as a “death star.” This system is so potent that it can seemingly plug and play with different quarterbacks without missing a beat. When backup Sam Darnold stepped in for Brock Purdy, the market barely flinched, a testament to Shanahan’s genius.

The question arises: Shouldn’t either Purdy or Shanahan receive recognition for their contributions? If the 49ers secure the number one seed in the NFC, it’s a valid argument.

In the end, the Coach of the Year race remains intriguing. Dan Campbell’s likability, DeMeco Ryans culture overhaul in Houston, and Kyle Shanahan’s offensive prowess all make compelling cases. Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs, despite their struggles, shouldn’t be forgotten either. If we were drafting head coaches right now, Reid would likely top the list.

As we approach the climax of the NFL season, keep a close eye on this unpredictable Coach of the Year race. The odds may fluctuate, but one thing is certain: each candidate brings their unique narrative to the table, making this award a true reflection of the league’s ever-evolving landscape.

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Thumbnail photo via Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

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