With many of the league’s new coaches and even some of the veteran ones, Mike McDaniel appears to just understand what to do and when to do it.
Right off the bat, I liked what Mike McDaniel did. He challenged the first play of the game that saw Stefon Diggs catch a ball and Xavien Howard looked like he made him fumble. In real time, we couldn’t tell. Upon further review you can see that Howard barely touched him down. It was the right move to challenge the play.
Then there was Alec Ingold run that looked like he had to be over the goal line. Ingold’s front of his body was over the line so the football had to be. But there wasn’t any visual evidence guaranteeing it so it was smart not to challenge it.
Later in the game, there was the play where Josh Allen one hopped the ball into the dirt while he was in the end zone. There was a running back there but the ball never went past the goal line. I thought it should be challenged for intentional grounding. McDaniel opted not to challenge it knowing that he probably wouldn’t win it. It ended up being the way to go.
Time and time again, McDaniel is putting the offense in the best position possible to advance the ball. Do I absolutely love every play call on every down? No. But he’s managing the game beautifully with not doing anything irrational or dumb.
Basically, he’s the anti-Nathaniel Hackett. That’s what you want to be.