Houston Texans Head Coach DeMeco Ryans Devastating Coach of the Year Loss
News broke during the NFL Honors Award show that DeMeco Ryans of the Houston Texans lost the Coach of the Year Award by one first-place vote. DeMeco is a 1st year NFL Head Coach (assistant coach since 2017), who took the Houston Texans from a 3-13-1 in 2022 to a division title and a playoff win. Some would say he deserved Coach of the Year.
Thursday night the NFL hosted its annual Award Honors show where different players and coaches get recognized for their yearly awards. Kevin Stefanski of the Cleveland Browns won Coach of the Year. Later, it was revealed that the total number of votes was tied, but Stefanski won on a 1st place vote tie-breaker.
Houston Texans Destroy Cleveland Browns
DeMeco Ryans’ Houston Texans went to the playoffs for the first time in 4 years. The underdog Texans ended up beating the Kevin Stefanski and the Browns 45-14. In the game, the Texans outgained the Browns by 30 yards, but the massive difference was the 2 turnovers made by Joe Flacco and the Browns offense.
Some might think that this game would leave a lasting impression on how coach of the year was voted, but alas, the results said otherwise.
DeMeco’s Quick Turnaround
In 2022 the Houston Texans were 3-13-1, last place in the division, and in a battle for the 1st overall pick all season with the Chicago Bears. They end up 2nd, taking CJ Stroud, trading back up, and taking Will Anderson Jr. with the 3rd overall pick.
What seemed like a brash decision at the time, may end up changing the franchise’s identity for the next few decades. CJ Stroud ended up winning the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, while Will Anderson Jr. took home the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The Houston Texans went on to a 10-7 record and won the AFC South in week 18 of the season. In 2022, they ranked 31st in Offense and 30th in Defense. In 2023, they ranked 12th on Offense and 14th on Defense. Not only did they win one playoff game, but they also were tied at half to the 1st place Baltimore Ravens (we won’t mention the 2nd half).
Why did Stefanski win?
Kevin Stefanksi and the Cleveland Browns had an impressive season. 2nd in the AFC North (only division to have all 4 teams with a winning record, tough division) and an 11-6 record.
The Quarterback issues in Cleveland were very prevalent in the media. Throughout the 17-game season, Kevin Stefanski’s offense had started 5 different Quarterbacks. The most relevant name in the mix (besides Deshaun Watson who went on injured reserve) was Joe Flacco.
Joe Flacco went from the couch to starting NFL games. The media was so impressed he went on to win Comeback Player of the Year.
The narrative might be how impressive the Browns continued to be with the rotation of QBs, and the loss of their team’s Most Valuable Player in running back Nick Chubb. Some might think that the Coach of the Year award might be won with the Browns having 1 more win as opposed to the Texans. Some might look at the growth of a 7-win Browns team in 2022 to a playoff-qualifying 2023 team. You might also look at the Defense ranked 1st in the NFL.
All of these could be factors why Stefanski won the Award, but it doesn’t seem like those people looked at the head-to-head matchup with much validity.
Good for the Future
As Kevin Stefanski heads into his 5th year, and DeMeco Ryans heads into his 2nd, we can agree that these coaches are in a good position moving forward. We are excited for the future. Stefanski did great this season, but if we are talking about that close of a vote the results from this season head-to-head should be taken into account.