Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Peter King FMIA 11-15-21: The Award Section - Mike Vrabel


By Peter King | November 15, 2021

Coaches of the Week

Joe Barry, defensive coordinator, Green Bay. For pitching the first shutout of Russell Wilson’s NFL life. That’s right. This was the 166th game of Wilson’s 10-year pro career, regular season and playoffs, and never before had he been shut out. Barry’s scheme counted on the defensive front swarming around Wilson while six and seven in the secondary made it hard for any Seahawk to be open regularly. Wilson didn’t look right returning from his middle finger injury, and his 39.7 passer rating was a combo platter of pressure, coverage and Wilson perhaps not being fully ready to return; only he knows the latter. Whatever, holding a Russell Wilson offense to 208 total yards will be, and should be, a career highlight for Barry.

Mike Vrabel, head coach, TennesseeTitans laid a gigantic egg Oct. 3 at the Jets to fall to 2-2. Since then, the Titans:

  • Trounced Jacksonville by 18.
  • Came back from four deficits to beat Buffalo, the second seed in the 2020 AFC playoffs, by three.
  • Went up 27-0 at the half and beat Kansas City, the defending AFC champ, by 24.
  • Got down 14-0 early at Indianapolis, another 2020 playoff team, but came back to win a 71-minute OT game by three.
  • With Derrick Henry gone for two months, beat NFC power Los Angeles on the road by 12.
  • Beat another NFC power team, the Saints, at home by two on Sunday.

Vrabel sets a tone for his team and his players take no crap from anyone. To go 5-0 against five defending playoff teams is a great accomplishment, particularly playing the last two without your best player. That’s why Vrabel is coach of the week.

Josh Boyer, defensive coordinator, Miami. I’m sure Thursday’s night’s imaginative game plan in the 22-10 win over Baltimore also had Brian Flores’ fingerprints on it, but what a smart and forceful idea it was to safety-blitz more than any team in the NFL in the last six years. The Ravens couldn’t figure out a solution for Dolphins secondary players blitzing a stunning 38 times. (Lamar Jackson had 47 pass-drops in the game.) Boyer’s D held Lamar Jackson to 39 yards rushing and the Ravens to 304 yards overall. These were the Baltimore drives between a field goal in the sixth minute and a TD in the 55th: missed field goal, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, fumble, punt. Great job by the Dolphins.


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