NFL's Sean McVay-Doug Pederson debate needs to end, because there's only one right answer

Adam Hermann
NBC Sports Philadelphia

Another week, another list to anger Eagles fans.

On Monday, CBS Sports ranked the Top 10 head coaches in the NFL. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson appeared on the list, at No. 9. Rams head coach Sean McVay appeared at No. 6.

Hmm.

The list received a ton of blowback from Eagles fans for putting McVay ahead of Pederson. Even Eagles defensive back Jalen Mills chimed in Tuesday:

The author eventually released a video explaining his thought process:

Wagner-McGough's desire to have the debate be holistic, and not just a "Ringz!" shouting match, is admirable. But it's also misguided. At one point, he argued online that McVay's "body of work" is better than Pederson's, as if a random Week 7 game matters just as much as a playoff game when evaluating head coaching.

More often than not, great coaches win the big games, and good coaches reach them. Until recently, Andy Reid was the exception, not the rule, but now even Big Red has his trophy. And McVay isn't Reid.

Frankly, the debate over whether Pederson or McVay is a better coach isn't much of a debate.

Does McVay have a better winning percentage? Yep, absolutely. But that's where his advantages begin and end.

Pederson holds the head-to-head advantage against McVay. He also holds the Super Bowl advantage against McVay, and against basically the exact same opponent in back-to-back years.

More recently, the Rams showed major regression in 2019, not just in the win column, but all over their offense. Jared Goff often looked lost and had his worst season since his rookie year, despite retaining all of his major pass-catchers and playmakers from the past two seasons. Moving backwards is never a good sign.

The Eagles had a bumpy 2019 season, plauged with injuries across the board on offense, and yet Carson Wentz showed obvious growth, both on paper and from a leadership perspective. The team won high-pressure games down the stretch to reach the playoffs. Winning big games in the face of adversity, particularly with low-quality talent, is a hallmark of good coaching.

And this is all before factoring in Pederson needing to pilot through the end of 2017 and all of 2018 with a question mark at the quarterback position, the most important position in the game. He managed to coax Hall of Fame play out of Nick Foles, an average-at-best quarterback who wasn't even supposed to be playing. Adaptability and maximizing the hand you're dealt: another hallmark of good coaching.

I tried to see both sides of this debate, but I kept coming up short when it came to McVay. He's a fine coach, but Pederson has proven so far to be the more valuable head coach in basically every category.

We'll see what 2020 brings.

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NFL's Sean McVay-Doug Pederson debate needs to end, because there's only one right answer originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

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