Week 12 NFL Mailbag: Is McVay or Shanahan the better coach?

Last Updated: Jan 9, 2021

Welcome to the Week 12 NFL Mailbag! Here are your best questions from Twitter about the NFL, including a coaching question and a thought on Tua Tagovailoa‘s immediate future.

If you had to choose a new head coach, who would you choose between Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan?


This is a great question because these are two of the best young minds in all of football. Kyle Shanahan has had more team success, but Sean McVay‘s Rams have been solid every season.

I probably would choose McVay based on his ability to produce on offense without a top-quarterback, but both options are great.

These are two of the best five coaches in all of the NFL and it’s great that they play in the same division. One quick note on McVay: He’s now a career 32-0 when leading at halftime.

McVay knows how to close out games once he gets the lead. He can coach my team any day of the week.

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Is it time to change the playoff structure and eliminate automatic playoff berths for division winners?


Every few years or so, this question comes up as a division winner finishes the season with only eight or nine wins. That’s going to be the case this year again, with the NFC East champion likely only getting to six or seven wins.

However, it’s not worth changing.

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It doesn’t occur all that often, and as we have seen in previous years, a weak divisional winner doesn’t mean that club can’t have success in the playoffs.

Winning your division should still reap some kind of reward, and the NFL playoffs are the best tournament in any sport. It’s not something worth changing at this time.

Is Tua Tagovailoa the guy going forward for Miami?


I believe he is. Like all rookie quarterbacks, he’s \going to be some rough patches early on. That should be expected, especially for a quarterback like Tua Tagovailoa, who has missed so much time over the calendar year.

Give him a full offseason to prepare to be the starter and the offense will look so much better. He’s such a talented quarterback and the Dolphins will need some time to put the right pieces around him.

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa took 6 sacks and was benched during a rough Week 11 loss at the Broncos. (USA TODAY Sports)

The Dolphins made a mistake benching him for Ryan Fitzpatrick last week, and I think head coach Brian Flores knows that.

Look for it to be Tagovailoa’s job going forward for the next several years.

How do the Raiders “fix" Johnathan Abram?


It’s tough, because what Johnathan Abram does well isn’t that valuable in today’s NFL. He will come up and hit you in the run game and can be the emotional leader of a defense.

But he is limited in coverage and has way too many personal foul penalties that kill a defense. The Raiders would be wise to limit his snaps and consider taking him off the field in certain down and distances.

Right now, they are putting too much on his plate and it’s clear that he can’t handle it. They should also consider benching him after penalties as it’s clear that he isn’t putting the team first with four personal foul penalties already this season.

Do you believe the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers’ hype?


Yes and no.

I do believe they are one of the most well-rounded teams in the NFL with a veteran quarterback, explosive playmakers and a really good defense. They are obviously a well-coached team and don’t make as many mistakes as their opponents.

But to call their schedule soft is an understatement. They haven’t played many proven quarterbacks this year, and when they have even played the likes of Ryan Tannehill and Lamar Jackson, those games have come down to the final play.

Pittsburgh’s fatal flaw is that it can get exposed by high-quality quarterbacks who can win in the pocket. Unfortunately, there just aren’t many of those in the AFC outside of Patrick Mahomes.

Unless they face the Chiefs in the playoffs, they are a good bet to get to the Super Bowl this season.

Please make sure to follow me and The Game Day on Twitter.

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Marcus Mosher

Marcus Mosher is an NFL analyst at The Game Day, residing in Erie, PA. He covers the NFL from a betting and fantasy perspective, producing written and video content. Marcus currently hosts multiple football-related podcasts and is a managing editor at USA Today’s Sports Media Group covering the Las Vegas Raiders. He has previously worked at The Athletic and Bleacher Report.

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