Looking at next Sunday’s Super Bowl 51 matchup, the coaching staff intangibles is what we want to analyze here. Which coach will win Super Bowl 51?
Super Bowl 51 matchup
A lot has been made about the Atlanta Falcons being the team with no big game experience. And there’s definitely something to that, especially when you contrast them with the background of the Patriots organization. Super Bowl betting thus far has shown it. But I don’t think that this moment will be too big for the A-T-L. Let’s have a deeper look.
Yes, no question about it. Bill Belichick is THE coach of his generation. And no one is even close. He knows how to get the most out of his team, how to surprise opponents and how to handle adversity. He’s no stranger to making the wrong decision – but it’s how he handles it, always with a steely, steady demeanor.
Dan Quinn has done a marvelous job in his two years as Falcons head coach. Known primarily as a defensive coach, Quinn is winning with offense, a sign that he is willing to surround himself with other brilliant minds and let them make a few important decisions as well. It reminds me of how Brian Billick was known as an offensive coach but he won in Baltimore with defense. Quinn got to the big game as D-coordinator with the Seahawks and so he’s not a newbie when it comes to this national spotlight.
Kyle Shanahan is getting all of the attention this season as a head coaching candidate, and rightfully so. He’s turned Matt Ryan into the MVP. But Josh McDaniels is equally impressive. While his first boss job in Denver didn’t go well, McDaniels returned to the Pats and has quietly rebuilt his reputation for excellence. McDaniels has turned down some head coach interviews, preferring to wait for whatever he deems is the ideal situation. It’s also worth throwing in Matt Patricia into this mix. The bearded defensive coordinator of the Patriots has done a marvelous job of putting together a consistent, big-play D.
Edge? You have to give it to the Patriots, of course. But if Quinn lets Shanahan do his prodigy thing, this game will be very, very interesting.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Follow him @MatthewWords.