On January 12, 2017, Los Angeles Rams Owner/ Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke named Sean McVay the 23rd full-time head coach in franchise history. McVay became the youngest coach in modern NFL history.
In his first season guiding the Rams, McVay completed one of the greatest offensive turnarounds in NFL history. He helped the Rams move from the 32nd-ranked scoring offense in 2016 to the league’s top-scoring team in 2017, marking the first time in league history a team has gone from last to first in scoring. The first-year head coach led the Rams to an 11-5 record and their first NFC West title since the 2003 season, earning the team’s first playoff berth since 2004.
Following his first season in L.A., McVay was named The Associated Press Coach of the Year, becoming the youngest head coach to ever win the award. RB Todd Gurley II brought home Offensive Player of the Year honors, while DT Aaron Donald was named the Defensive Player of the Year, marking the first time in the 45 year history of the awards there was a sweep of three of the league’s top awards. The Rams placed eight players in the 2018 Pro Bowl, the most in a single season by the franchise since the 1999 campaign.
Under McVay’s guidance in 2017, second-year QB Jared Goff flourished. Goff completed 296-of-477 (62.1 percent) of his passes for 3,804 yards with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions posting a 100.5 QB rating on the season. Gurley led the league in scrimmage yards finishing the year with 2,093 yards, including 1,305 rushing yards and 788 receiving yards. Additionally, Gurley was the league’s highest scoring non-kicker posting 19 total touchdowns on the season.
The Rams defense posted the fourth-most sacks (48.0), tied for sixth in interceptions (18) and finished the 2017 campaign fifth in total takeaways with 28 on the season. The 28 takeaways directly resulted in 126 points for L.A., the second-best total in the NFL.
In his first season as head coach, the Rams special teams unit played an integral part in the team’s success and was rewarded with a total of four special teamers being named to the Pro Bowl. The L.A. special teams unit was a top-10 finisher in 18 of the 22 statistical categories in the 2017 special-teams rankings.
Before joining the Rams, McVay completed his third season as the Redskins’ offensive coordinator in 2016 after initially being promoted to the position on January 15, 2014. Prior to his promotion during the 2014 offseason, McVay spent three seasons as the team’s tight ends coach (2011-13) and one as an offensive assistant (2010).
The 2016 Redskins’ offensive unit broke many franchise records and ranked in the top-three in a number of statistical categories. The Washington offense became the first unit in franchise history to average over 400 yards per game (403.4) and notched a franchise record 6,545 total net yards.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins finished the year with single-season team records in completions (406) and passing yards (4,917) and matched his team record for 300-yard passing games (seven). His 4,917 passing yards ranked third in the NFL in 2016 and are the 15th-most in a season in NFL history. Cousins closed out the season ranked second in the NFL in passing yards per game (297.4), passing yards per play (7.84) and yards per play (6.4), in addition to being the league’s third ranked offensive team, averaging 403.4 yards per game.
From 2015-16, Cousins threw for 9,083 yards, the fourth highest output by a quarterback trailing only Drew Brees (10,078), Matt Ryan (9,535) and Philip Rivers (9,178).
The Redskins offense had eight players finish the season with at least 500 yards from scrimmage (DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson, Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Matt Jones), tying the 2011 New Orleans Saints for the most in a single season in NFL history.