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Judging Week 9 NFL overreactions: Are the Bills legit? Is Dalvin Cook the best RB?

  • Joined ESPN in 2011
  • New Jersey native and author of two published novels

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Coach of the Year is a weird, end-of-season award because it doesn’t always go to the guy who did the best coaching job. It tends to go instead to the coach whose team most exceeds preseason expectations. This is silly. We assess these teams in the offseason without seeing them play, then one of them plays better than we predicted it would, so we say, “Wow, that coach did a heck of a job,” when maybe the fact is we were wrong and his team was that good all along.

I thought of this while watching the Bills beat the Patriots 24-21 with a run-heavy game plan last week and then turn around and beat the Seahawks 44-34 with a pass-heavy game plan this week. Buffalo’s Sean McDermott might not be able to win Coach of the Year because so many people picked the Bills to win the AFC East before the season. But he just took out Bill Belichick, against whom he was 0-6 as a coach before last week, then turned around and okeydoked Pete Carroll, who hadn’t given up so many points since he was at USC, losing to a Jim Harbaugh/Andrew Luck Stanford team.

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