2) Kyle Shanahan is worthy of assistant of the year and game plans like it
Arguably the most innovative offensive coordinator in the NFL, the young Kyle Shanahan is worthy of being named assistant of the year for his work in 2016. He has turned the Falcons offense into a scary, unbreakable machine and he has done it almost single-handedly.
Sure, the Falcons have had some truly impressive pieces on the roster courtesy of general manager Thomas Dimitroff, but Shanahan’s ability to mold an offense that is adaptable and successful both running and passing is truly impressive. His work is reminiscent of work that is usually done on the New England Patriots sideline.
In a matchup between Shanahan and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, the money should be on Shanahan. If this game becomes a shootout, the Falcons have a coordinator who can get things done in more ways and at a higher level. This doesn’t factor in the Bill Belichick effect, but in a straight up battle of OC’s, the money should be on Shanahan.
The Falcons only scored less than 23 points once in 2016 and they scored 40+ in six contests, including completely dominating the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game. Shanahan’s offense comes to play and he finds ways to use his gifted athletes in different ways to take advantage of the opposing team’s defense’s weaknesses.
He’ll have a tough game against the Patriots, but it won’t be his first time taking on the Pats as an OC. As offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans in 2009, the Texans ran up 34 points against the Pats to win the game. In a 2011 loss while with the Washington Redskins, his team still posted 27 points. Shanahan has shown he can get it done with different teams against the Patriots before. He should be able to do it again in Super Bowl 51.