Grading first-year NFL coaches off Week 1 results

How'd they do?

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Plenty of coaches debuted running their teams as the 2022 NFL season kicked off. Naturally, there was a lot to digest regarding their team’s performance and how they did themselves: Some were wonderful, and a few were, um, blunderful.

Mike McDaniel, Miami Dolphins


A great start for the team from South Beach as it downed the New England Patriots. Mike McDaniel was cool, calm, and collected when it came to making decisions. He got a solid game out of Tua Tagovailoa, which could be all Miami needs to earn wins. Grade: A

Nathaniel Hackett, Denver Broncos

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

What is worse than losing your opener in what was a revenge game for your quarterback, Russell Wilson? How about butchering the end of it on national television? Nathaniel Hackett appeared lost as the clock frittered away toward the end of the game. This was getting off on the wrong foot and we don’t mean the one of Brandon McManus. Grade: F

Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders

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Josh McDaniels was 6-0 in his first head-coaching experience with the Denver Broncos. He doesn’t have to worry about a similar start in Las Vegas. The Raiders fell to the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Derek Carr threw 3 picks. The best plans … Grade: C-

Lovie Smith, Houston Texans

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Lovie Smith has the Houston Texans tied for first in the AFC South. That would seem to be cause for celebration until one realizes the Texans coughed up a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts. The game ended in a tie, and no one should be happy. Grade: C-

Doug Pederson, Jacksonville Jaguars

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The Jags appeared to have more life than they did in 2021. However, anything would have been better than Urban Meyer. Doug Pederson had a chance to get off on the right note. Pederson was 3-0 in his first run as a head coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. He faced an NFC East team in the Washington Commanders and fell. Grade: C

Brian Daboll, New York Giants

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Talk about a huge first impression. The Giants were down 13-0 and it seemed like the same old song and dance for Big Blue. But Brian Daboll brought big plays back and then went for the game-winning 2-point conversion. That shows a change in culture and commitment. Grade: A

Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

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Kevin O’Connell came over from the Los Angeles Rams with a Super Bowl ring. He had Kirk Cousins and Minnesota looking superb in Week 1 of the NFL season as it dropped Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Of course, it helps when you have the brilliant Justin Jefferson to target with passes. But O’Connell showed a knack for knowing what to do. Grade: A

Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears

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It was played on a sloppy surface at Soldier Field and the Bears managed to overcome a 10-0 deficit with 19 straight points. Don’t be overly impressed, though. The offensive stats Chicago put up are not going to win games. This, too, was a team that was 3-0 before the roof collapsed in 2021. Grade: C

Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints

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Dennis Allen and the Saints appeared headed for defeat in his debut. Then, Michael Thomas reappeared, caught a pair of TD passes and New Orleans scored 17 in a row to down the Falcons. A nail-biter but one Allen can build on for sure, especially with Thomas back in the receiving corps. Grade: B

Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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This Week 1 performance was as brilliant as it gets for Todd Bowles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They smothered the Dallas Cowboys with a suffocating defense. Tom Brady was vintage GOAT. And Bowles is 1-0. Somehow seems crazy that the new coaches in the NFC South are with the Saints and Bucs rather than the also-ran Falcons and Panthers. Grade: A+

Story originally appeared on List Wire