In recent weeks, FOX Sports’ “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” has thrown a bit of shade at the Buffalo Bills. Cowherd made a list ranking the top-10 active head coach-quarterback tandems, dubbing them none other than “Dynastic Duos.” Are these lists crazy? Read on to make up your own mind, then be sure to sound off in the comments below.
Cowherd’s “Dynastic Duos”
What Cowherd fed his audience was, well... it was interesting to say the least. Despite his often Michael Scott-like persona, credit is certainly due for at least including head coach Sean McDermott and quarterback Josh Allen in his top 10.
But are they really only the eighth-best HC-QB tandem in the NFL? Cowherd states that listing “the first five are easy. The first five are pretty easy.” In terms of head tandems that will contend for the NFL Hall of Fame and/or be part of a dynasty. He then goes into a bit of convoluted discourse to defend and “explain” his ranking system past the first five tandems.
Here’s what Cowherd had to say about McDermott and Allen:
“I may bang on Sean McDermott, but Allen’s a transformational talent. McDermott — the Buffalo Bills before Sean McDermott got there, were kind of a mess.”
From Cowherd, that’s pretty high praise — but clearly he doesn’t believe in McDermott and that’s likely what places the pair all the way back at eight. Following this episode, Cowherd went on to rank the best active quarterbacks in the league, placing Allen at three. — and saying “Most combined passing and running touchdowns for any quarterback in league history through five years.” Yet somehow, when paired with McDermott, Allen drops to eight?
Cowherd’s list, which he revealed one through 10:
- Andy Reid & Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs)
- Sean McVay & Matt Stafford (Los Angeles Rams)
- Sean Payton & Russell Wilson (Denver Broncos)
- Doug Pederson & Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville Jaguars)
- John Harbaugh & Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens)
- Zac Taylor & Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals)
- Nick Sirianni & Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia Eagles)
- Sean McDermott & Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills)
- Mike McCarthy & Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys)
- Mike McDaniel & Tua Tagovailoa (Miami Dolphins)
Whether you realize it or not, you came here for literary schadenfreude, and literary schadenfreude you shall receive. Admittedly, Cowherd’s list isn’t nearly as spicy as that of Jason McIntyre. “J-Mac,” as he’s known, hardly had any qualms about the host’s list. But that apparently was just to appease Cowherd’s ego, as you’ll find out below.
Jason McIntyre’s “NFL Power Duos”
With Cowherd on vacation this week from his partial-namesake show, guest host Jason McIntyre decided to reveal his own top-10 list of active HC-QB duos. It’s worth a watch, if you enjoy disaster films.
Even if you didn’t watch the embedded clip, it’s likely you found out that McIntyre didn’t include McDermott & Allen within his top 10 just from the video still. That’s crazy talk, right? Bills fan or not, most people would say leaving out Sean McDermott and Josh Allen on any top-10 list is nonsense. But that’s what “J-Mac,” an admitted New York Jets fan, decided to give his audience.
To chart his own destination, McIntyre went in reverse order, 10 through one:
- 10 — Kevin Stefanski & Deshaun Watson
- 9 — Doug Pederson & Trevor Lawrence
- 8 — Zac Taylor & Joe Burrow
- 7 — Sean McVay & Matt Stafford
- 6 — Mike McDaniel & Tua Tagovailoa
- 5 — Kevin O’Connell & Kirk Cousins
- 4 — Nick Sirianni & Jalen Hurts
- 3 — John Harbaugh & Lamar Jackson
- 2 — Sean Payton & Russell Wilson
- 1 — Andy Reid & Patrick Mahomes
A reminder that these are people being paid good money for their opinions. Putting any Bills bias aside, both lists still defy sound logic in several places. Cowherd puts McVay & Stafford at two, yet McVay almost quit on his team and told his coordinators to go ahead and interview for other jobs. They won a Super Bowl, but that feels like a generation ago due to the state of the team’s current roster. It’s uncertain what McIntyre saw in Stefanski & Watson. Maybe it’s those white helmets? It’s curious that he chose O’Connell & Cousins over an already far more accomplished McDermott & Allen.
Where both raise eyebrows the most is with Payton & Wilson. The pair have never worked together before, yet Cowherd has them as third best, while McIntyre goes one better at two. Wilson may very well be Hall of Fame-bound, but his best days are likely behind him at this point. So, too, may be the case for Payton. Again, Payton & Wilson have accomplished nothing together.
It’s interesting that both hosts chose McDaniel & Tagovailoa, considering the huge unknown that is Tagovailoa’s NFL future following very serious bouts of head trauma and multiple concussions last season. I suppose theirs are a bet on his health being the victor. When healthy, Tagovailoa has shown incredible ability under McDaniel. But availability is the best ability, and time will tell if Tagovailoa can stay on the field and in the league. They also haven’t won nearly as much as McDermott & Allen.
One thing’s clear: “The Herd” by and large isn’t buying the Buffalo Bills — at least not with head coach Sean McDermott. Note that aside from John Harbaugh (with a special teams background), every head coach listed has an offensive background. That may be an automatic strike against McDermott with Cowherd and McIntyre.
The Bills are likely to take note of this slight, just as they probably have each time the shade’s dropped lower over their locker room this offseason. Time will tell how the Buffalo Bills reveal themselves within such darkness.