Stats & Info: Josh McDaniels

McDaniels hopes revenge is sweet Saturday

January, 13, 2012
When the Denver Broncos run out of the visitors tunnel at Gillette Stadium this weekend, they’ll notice a familiar face on the New England Patriots’ sideline.

Former Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels will be there as a part of the Patriots coaching staff. McDaniels, who served as the St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2011, was hired by New England for its playoff run following the departure of former offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, who left to become the Penn State head coach.

McDaniels’ history with Denver dates to 2009, when he got off to a blazing 6-0 start during his first season as the Broncos skipper. But after a bye week, it all went downhill from there. The Broncos lost eight of their final 10 games in 2009, missing the playoffs. In 2010, Denver started 3-9 and McDaniels was fired after Week 13.

McDaniels, who drafted Tim Tebow in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, now has a unique chance to get revenge and knock the Broncos out of the playoffs. Here are some other notable playoff matchups featuring a coach against his former employer:

January 31, 1999: Super Bowl XXXIII
Dan Reeves coached the Broncos for 12 seasons, including three Super Bowl appearances. After a four-year stint with the New York Giants, Reeves took over as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. In his second year in Atlanta, Reeves led the Falcons to the Super Bowl, where the Dirty Birds fell short against the Broncos, 34-19.

January 26, 2003: Super Bowl XXXVII
After coaching the Oakland Raiders for four seasons, including two AFC West titles, Jon Gruden left the Raiders to take over as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his first year in Tampa Bay, Gruden led the Bucs to the Super Bowl, where he defeated his former team, 48-21.

January 4, 2004: NFC Wild Card Playoffs
Mike Holmgren guided the Green Bay Packers to the playoffs in six of his seven seasons in Green Bay, including a victory in Super Bowl XXXI. But Holmgren left the Packers after the 1998 season to become the Seattle Seahawks head coach.

In the 2003 NFC Wild Card Playoffs, Al Harris intercepted Matt Hasselbeck in overtime and returned it 52 yards to give the Packers the victory. This came after Hasselbeck’s infamous comment upon winning the coin toss at the beginning of overtime, saying “We want the ball, and we’re going to score.”

January 11, 2004: NFC Divisional Playoffs
Andy Reid spent seven seasons as an assistant with the Packers before being hired as the Philadelphia Eagles head coach in 1999. In the 2003 NFC Divisional Playoffs, the Eagles beat the Packers thanks to some late-game heroics by David Akers, who kicked a game-tying field goal to send the game into overtime and another one in the extra period for the win.

Rocky Mountain low

December, 6, 2010
Josh McDaniels had one of the most promising starts to an NFL head-coaching career, as he led Denver to a 6-0 start in 2009. While that was only one season ago, it is now a distant memory for Denver Broncos fans. Let's revisit some of the statistical highs and lows from McDaniels' tenure in Denver:

• We mentioned that McDaniels won the first six games of his NFL head coaching career. He and Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell became the fourth and fifth NFL head coaches since the 1970 merger to begin their careers with six straight wins. Caldwell, in fact, started 14-0. Meanwhile, McDaniels' Broncos finished 8-8, losing eight of their final 10 games.

• In starting 2009 a perfect 6-0, the Broncos surrendered an NFL-best 11.0 points per game. Since that time, the Broncos have allowed 26.9 points per game. That ranks second-worst in the NFL. The only team allowing more points per game since then is the Detroit Lions (27.8 PPG).

• That porous defense made winning games difficult. In the 22 games McDaniels coached after his 6-0 start, he managed just five more wins. Again, the only team with fewer wins over this span was the Detroit Lions (three).

• McDaniels finished his tenure with the Broncos sporting an 11-17 record. That is the worst record by a Broncos head coach since Lou Saban led the team to a 7-14-2 record in 1970 and 1971 (the franchise's first two NFL seasons).