1. Brandon Staley wins Coach of the Year
All the ducks are aligned for Brandon Staley to win Coach of the Year this season. All the Chargers have to do is make the playoffs and Staley is going to be a bonafide lock for the award as long as no team goes a perfect 17-0.
Granted, making the playoffs is no easy task but the Chargers certainly have the talent to do so. Justin Herbert is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, he has weapons around him and the expectation is that Staley is going to turn this defense around.
The absolute best case scenario would be the Chargers having a top 10 offense and defense in the league next season. That is far from guaranteed, but with Staley’s track record and the talent on the offensive side of the ball, it certainly is possible.
The argument for Staley is simple. He would be a first-year head coach that would be turning a non-playoff team (and one of the worst coached teams in the league) into a playoff team. Not only is it easy to make the case in that regard, but voters will be even more swayed to vote for Staley if the Chargres end up having this electric and fun offense with Justin Herbert.
The award is all about narrative and it does not simply go to the best team. Being a first-year head coach is a great narrative and the only other first-year coach that I can see having instant success is Arthur Smith in Atlanta.
The only established coach that can potentially turn something around is Bill Belichick, although I am still wary on how good that team can truly be with Cam Newton and Mac Jones as the quarterback options.
Barring a better season from Atlanta or New England, a playoff berth guarantees that Brandon Staley will take home some hardware.