One key stat shows why Sirianni deserves Coach of the Year originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Eagles will begin their second playoff run under Nick Sirianni two years to the day after he took the job in 2021.
Sirianni was viewed as a backup plan hire (in part because it seems that's exactly what he was) but as the Birds waltz into the postseason with the No. 1 seed in the NFC and the league's best record it appears Sirianni was a home run hire.
Just how good of a hire?
*Nickelback voice* Look at this graph - or, rather, table - from SumerSports highlighting the best coaches in the NFL in terms of adding win probability vs. expected win probability:
For a guy who got trolled online for a pretty cheesy intro press conference and a rant about flowers, Sirianni seems to have the best handle on in-game decision-making of any coach in the league.
Sirianni's biggest strength here is fourth down decision making. He's second only to Matt LaFleur here in adding win probability with fourth down decisions, which entails not only being bold enough to go for it with regularity but also knowing which times to kick. His second-best column is second half timeout usage, and his third-best column is first half timeout usage. When you add up timeout usage in both halves he trails only Mike McCarthy, Arthur Smith, and old friend Doug Pederson.
Sirianni is one of only three coaches on this table who doesn't have a single negative mark against him, and if you watched every game this season that feels about right. Other than questionable play calling in the run/pass splits, particularly in the first half, it never felt like Sirianni ever cost the Eagles valuable points or time because of his decisions. If anything, it felt like his calls were in line with what I wanted - and also, at least in my corner of the timeline, what Eagles fans wanted.
The fact that he has the ear of the locker room is awesome, and the fact that he's bonded with his quarterback and helped Hurts reach a new level is awesome. But these decisions, the ones he's excelled at all year long, are often the difference between a win and a loss in the postseason.
Just look at Doug Pederson's decision to go for it on fourth down against the Patriots in Super Bowl LII before halftime. Instead of taking a six-point lead into the half, a lead which would've seesawed after the Pats started the second half with a touchdown, Pederson and the Eagles had all the momentum and a 10-point lead thanks to his call.
Does Sirianni have a Philly Special in him? It's not a fair question; it might be the greatest call in Super Bowl history. But I trust Sirianni to make the right decisions in the heat of a high-stakes game, and you can't put a price on that.