Sean Payton has to be Coach of the Year


To not lose a game with Teddy Bridgewater filling in for Drew Brees at quarterback, Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints has to be Coach of the Year.

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The New Orleans Saints are 7-1 through eight games this season. Despite losing franchise quarterback Drew Brees in the second game of the season for a month and a half, the Saints haven’t lost since falling in Week 2 to the Los Angeles Rams in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Teddy Bridgewater played great, but what about head coach Sean Payton?

On this week’s episode of Stacking the Box, FanSided‘s Matt Verderame and Mark Carman, along with former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, look at the marvelous job Payton has done as the Saints head coach through the first half of the year and see if he’s the runaway favorite to be named Coach of the Year (13:13).

“Sean Payton,” said Schwartz for his mid-season NFL Coach of the Year. “I know it might be easy if you want to go with Frank Reich, you might want to go with John Harbaugh. They won five games with a backup quarterback. Five games against good, quality opponents, some of those on the road as well.”

Schwartz would stress that those five games with Bridgewater at quarterback were not easy for the Saints to navigate. They won on the road against the Seattle Seahawks, beat the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football and then beat the Chicago Bears on the road without running back Alvin Kamara. To lose your starting quarterback and go 5-0 without him is amazing.

While Frank Reich of the Indianapolis Colts should be in the mix for the job he’s doing, especially after his starting quarterback Andrew Luck retired days before the start of the regular season, Payton’s strongest competition for Coach of the Year has to be in-conference in the form of Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers. It’s probably going to come down to those two coaches.

Of course, there’s half the season left to be played, so somebody could totally do a remarkable job coaching in the second half to force his way into this award’s conversation. That being said, this is Payton’s award to lose because he went 5-0 with Brees as his starting quarterback. Only a Hall-of-Fame level coach can pull that off.

Here are a few other topics that were discussed on this week’s episode of Stacking the Box:

  • Geoff: Saints vs. Niners is the NFCCG – 21:41
  • Verderame: Saints vs. Packers is NFCCG – 22:20
  • Super Bowl predictions – 26:02
  • Ravens-Patriots is the best game of the week – 46:10

All this and more!

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