You know what they say, a great army is nothing without a great general. Ben McAdoo impressed the entire NFL in his first season as the head coach of the New York Giants. Led by a terrific defense, Big Blue finished with a 11-5 record and a playoff berth.
NFL.com analyst Elliot Harrison released his 2017 NFL head coach power rankings on Thursday and McAdoo came in at No. 20. McAdoo came ahead of two other NFC East coaches with Redskins’ Jay Gruden coming in at No. 21 and Eagles’ Doug Pederson coming in at 25.
The rationale behind the ranking for McAdoo:
Heckuva head-coaching debut in 2016 for McAdoo, who faced a difficult task in replacing a man who won two Super Bowls for Big Blue. McAdoo took largely the same nucleus Tom Coughlin had -- along with welcome free-agent additions Damon Harrison, Olivier Vernon and Janoris Jenkins -- and went 11-5. Change a few baaaaaad drops into receptions, and maybe the playoff game goes differently at Lambeau. McAdoo got through to his players, boat trips aside, and now must prove he can handle larger expectations.
The Giants grew as a defense last season. With the additions of Damon Harrison, Olivier Vernon and Janoris Jenkins, New York’s defense became one of the NFL’s best. They ranked second in the NFL in scoring defense last season, allowing a miniscule 17.8 points per game. This was nearly a 10 point improvement from the 2015 season, in which the Giants finished 30th in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing 27.6 points per game.
New York’s offense trended in the opposite direction last season. One year after finishing sixth in the NFL in total yards, Big Blue finished 25th in that category in 2016. With the added weapons of Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram, the Giants offense looks like it ready for a massive improvement in McAdoo’s second season at the helm.
McAdoo took a team that won a total of six games in 2015 to the playoffs in 2016. With additions on both sides of the ball, McAdoo will look to improve even more on both sides of the football and take Big Blue back to the playoffs.