The last time Josh McDaniels coached against Steve Spagnuolo, it didn’t end well for McDaniels’ team.
The New York Giants stunned the New England Patriots, 17-14, in the Super Bowl in 2008. The loss dropped New England to 18-1. McDaniels was the coordinator of the Patriots’ record-breaking offense. Spagnuolo was the Giants’ defensive coordinator.
Spagnuolo‘s defense stifled McDaniels’ offense with constant pressure. It was considered one of the greatest upsets in NFL history and McDaniels remembers the loss vividly. He told me in the summer of 2009, months after leaving New England for the head job in Denver, that he’d never forget that game.
He remembers it even more this week because Spagnuolo and the St. Louis Rams visit Denver on Sunday. McDaniels has reviewed the painful loss in preparing for Sunday’s game.
“I think this is a situation where it makes sense to go back there, because there are some things that certainly they found to take advantage of, and I think the schemes are still the same,” McDaniels told reporters in Denver on Thursday. “The players are obviously different on both sides of the ball, but the scheme itself is very much the same for them and for us. Just trying to make sure you cover your basics and don’t let something happen two or three times this week that may have hurt us then.”