- BetOnline is favoring New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton to be named NFL Coach of the Year
- Payton's 11-2 Saints are the No. 1 seed in the NFC
- Payton previously won the award in 2006
The New Orleans Saints have come marching to the top of the NFL standings and they've taken coach Sean Payton with them.
Sunday's 28-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coupled with the 15-6 loss by the Los Angeles Rams to the Chicago Bears, left the Saints and Rams with identical 11-2 records. But the Saints moved into the top seed in the NFC by virtue of their earlier win over L.A.
BetOnline is now calling Payton the favorite to win the NFL Coach of the Year award.
Odds to Win 2018 NFL Coach of the Year
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Payton previously was named NFL coach of the year in 2006.
Payton Places Saints in Postseason
With Sunday's victory, the Saints clinched their second straight NFC South Division title. It's the first time that the Saints have ever won back-to-back NFC South crowns.
NFC South Championship celebration! 🏆🏆
Check out photos from the locker room after yesterday's win 📷: https://t.co/MbNqv808bd#GoSaints | @MBUSA pic.twitter.com/OBSznerncM
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) December 10, 2018
In fact, it's the first time the franchise has ever won successive division crowns, and only the third time in team history that they've reached the postseason in consecutive years.
Payton and Jim Mora are the only Saints coaches to post successive seasons of 11 or more wins.
Payton Faces Tough Competition
The list of contenders for NFL coach of the year is chock full of past winners of the award.
Besides Payton, there's last year's winner, Sean McVay of the Rams, Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys, the 2016 winner, and Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs (favored earlier this year), who was named NFL coach of the year in 2002, when he was in charge of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Sean Payton gives the game ball to Mrs. Benson after the Saints lock up their 2nd straight divisional championship. https://t.co/R0urFTJG95
— Al Reisz (@katrinasboy) December 10, 2018
And in case you were wondering, two guys with the same first name have been named NFL coach of the year in back-to-back years. Jack Patera of the Seattle Seahawks won in 1978, followed by Jack Pardee of the Washington Redskins in 1979.
Payton Doesn't Fit The Mold
Coach of the year candidates – in all sports, not just football – are fellows who resurrect the dead. They generally aren't guys whose teams achieve what's expected of them.
Payton's Saints were favored to win the NFC South. They were supposed to be legitimate Super Bowl contenders. There's nothing going on in New Orleans that football people didn't anticipate.
Last season, McVay's Rams jumped from 4-12 to 11-5 and an NFC West title. In 2016, Garrett's Cowboys improved to 13-3 and an NFC East crown off a 4-12 campaign. In his prior win, Payton's Saints went 10-6 and won the NFC South after going 3-13 in 2005.
Every team now looking for the next Matt Nagy. Sean McVay is so two weeks ago.
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) December 10, 2018
You know his fits this prototype the best? Chicago's Matt Nagy. His 9-4 Bears lead the NFC North. They were 5-11 a year ago.
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