With the 2011 NFL season just a week away from kicking off, analysts are previewing games and projecting players’ fantasy impact for Week 1. Here at Mind of Mihir, I’ve decided to look a bit beyond that. Over the next few days, I’ll be releasing a series of articles predicting end-of-the-year results for awards, team-by-team records, and even who my early favorites for the Super Bowl are. So be sure to stay tuned and check it out.

I’m going to start off with my early predictions on who will win the seven major awards this season, continuing my series with the Coach of the Year

Note, I’ve learned that there are some statistics and trends that go along with topic.

Coach of the Year


Sample: Last 10 winners

Combined Record: 123-37 (.769)

Average Record Improvement: 5.6 Games

Options: Cowboys Jason Garrett, Texans Gary Kubiak, Vikings Leslie Frazier, Rams Steve Spagnuolo, Eagles Andy Reid

The most successful teams are typically lead by brilliant head coaches and every year the Coach of the Year award is given to honor those individuals.

As you can see, the key to winning this award is to not only win a ton of games but to be part of a significant improvement over the prior season.

With so many talented head coaches in the league today, you’d think that there would be several options to choose from. But I’ve narrowed it down to the five that I believe are capable to meeting the criteria.

The Rams benefit from playing in the weakest division in all of football. With an improved roster and Sam Bradford going into his second year and now under offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels who’s a quarterback guru, I could see them pushing for their first winning record since 2003. However, their schedule is brutal so I don’t think they’ll do enough for Steve Spagnuolo to be in the running.

Meanwhile the Texans are poised to challenge the Indianapolis Colts with Wade Phillips running their newly implemented 3-4 defense. However, the lockout makes it incredibly difficult to get the players into the groove of a new system so I’m going to count them out for now. To tack on, news broke out that Arian Foster may miss a few games which hurts their offense.

As for the Cowboys and Vikings both took a free fall last season but seem prepared to bounce right back up with their newly hired interim head coaches which makes them both a legitimate option.

But my vote doesn’t go to any of those coaches. Andy Reid is also the longest tenured active coach in the NFL and has the 2nd highest winning percentage behind just Bill Bellichick. He’s even won this award before in 2002 with a 12-4 record (only a one win improvement over 2001). So even though the Eagles went 10-6 last season, Andy Reid is the guy I’m going with especially after all the blockbuster moves they made during the offseason.


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