NFL Head Coaches Ranked From Worst to Best

You might think that ranking NFL head coaches is as easy as pie, but it’s more like trying to climb Mount Everest without a guide.

It’s a complex task, filled with nuance and subjectivity, made even more challenging by the magnitude of factors to consider. Performance, strategy, leadership, and adaptability are just the tip of the iceberg.

You’ll find there’s no shortage of debates to be had or surprises to uncover as we navigate through this ranking, from those who’ve struggled to find their footing to the strategic geniuses who’ve led their teams to glory.

So, are you ready to embark on this journey of discovery?

Key Takeaways

  • Kevin Stefanski and Todd Bowles are among the bottom five coaches, with losing seasons and weaknesses in their coaching and management abilities.
  • Ron Rivera, despite being an offensive-minded coach, has struggled with winning seasons, with four out of ten being losing seasons.
  • Brandon Staley has faced criticism for questionable decision-making in the playoffs.
  • Josh McDaniels’ ranking is yet to be determined, indicating uncertainty about his coaching abilities.

The Criteria for Ranking

When ranking NFL head coaches, it’s crucial to consider their track record, decision-making prowess, and overall coaching success.

Factors like their offensive philosophy, ability to overcome challenges, and the strength of their coaching tree are all part of the equation.

Even the best head coach, be it coach Josh or any other, must ensure success for their NFL teams, balancing roles as offensive strategist and defensive coordinator.

The Bottom Five Coaches

Let’s dive into the less glamorous side of our discussion – the bottom five coaches in the NFL, whose performance and decision-making have raised questions and concerns.

Among these NFL coaches, head coach Mike isn’t listed, but Kevin Stefanski, Todd Bowles, Ron Rivera, Brandon Staley, and Josh McDaniels are. They’ve landed themselves in this ranking due to coaching inconsistencies, making them far from the best head coaches.

Coaches Ranked 25-20

As we move into the mid-tier of the NFL coach rankings, you’ll notice a mix of underperformers and rising stars in spots 25 through 20. It’s here where coaching styles and strategies begin to show more diversity, reflecting the evolving nature of the league.

Let’s critically analyze both the accomplishments and setbacks of these coaches to better understand their current standing.

Underperforming NFL Coaches

So, who are these underperforming NFL coaches that round out the bottom third of our rankings?

  • Kevin Stefanski: A good head but his team had a playoff collapse.
  • Losing seasons: 1 out of 2.
  • Todd Bowles: Strong on the defensive side, yet not the best general manager.
  • Losing seasons: 3 out of 5.
  • Ron Rivera: Once a Coach of the Year, his offensive mind hasn’t been enough.
  • Losing seasons: 4 out of 10.

Mid-tier Coaching Analysis

Diving into the realm of mid-tier NFL coaching, we find a diverse group of coaches ranked 25-20, each with unique strengths and weaknesses that significantly impact their teams.

Analyzing Pro Football, coaches like Andy Reid, Bill Belichick, and Mike McCarthy have led their teams to winning seasons and made the playoffs, often reaching the Divisional Round, largely due to their starting quarterback choices.

Coaches Ranked 19-15

Let’s now analyze the performance and decisions that place Kevin Stefanski, Todd Bowles, Ron Rivera, Brandon Staley, and Josh McDaniels in the 19-15 spots in our NFL head coaches ranking.

  • Stefanski’s controversial support for Deshaun Watson sets him back.
  • Bowles’ struggles with a declining quarterback are worrisome.
  • Rivera’s three seasons without winning deserve scrutiny.
  • Staley’s playoff decision-making is questionable.
  • McDaniels’ ranking is yet to be determined.

Middle of the Pack: 14-10

Shifting away from the brink of mediocrity, we now examine the NFL head coaches who land squarely in the middle of the pack, ranked from 14 to 10.

In this contextually relevant article section, we’ll choose to delve into the capabilities and achievements of this group listed above. The keywords in our analysis will help identify why they aren’t the worst or the best, but solidly in between.

Coaches Ranked 9-6

Moving up the rankings, we now turn our attention to the head coaches who’ve made significant strides in the league, holding positions 9 through 6:

  • Mark Davis of Las Vegas secured a winning season and contract extension.
  • Kansas City’s coach led to multiple AFC title games.
  • The Baltimore Ravens’ coach consistently aims for the Super Bowl.
  • Green Bay’s coach has seen repeated NFC title games.

The Top Five Coaches

As we delve into the top five, you’ll find names synonymous with success in the modern NFL era, coaches who’ve distinguished themselves through consistent winning, playoff appearances, and Super Bowl victories.

Among them, you’ll find Andy Reid, arguably the best NFL coach with two Super Bowl wins and a.641 win percentage over the past two seasons. His success is largely attributed to his great defensive strategies and top offensive plays led by a Hall of Fame quarterback.

Factors Influencing the Rankings

When considering the rankings of NFL head coaches, several factors come into play.

You need to look at their leadership skills, the performance metrics of their team, and the breadth of their career history.

Each of these elements sheds light on the coach’s abilities and directly influences their rank among their peers.

Coach Leadership Skills

How does a head coach’s leadership skills influence their ranking in the NFL?

Coach leadership skills significantly impact rankings. For instance, Mike’s strategic decisions can affect Derek Carr’s performance.

Kellen Moore’s development depends on Geno Smith’s guidance.

The team culture Jalen Hurts cultivates can influence Jordan Love’s morale.

Similarly, Daniel Jones’ success under pressure can reflect on Carson Wentz’s leadership.

Team Performance Metrics

You mightn’t realize it, but team performance metrics play a pivotal role in ranking NFL head coaches from worst to best.

Win-loss records, playoff appearances, and division titles reflect team performance each season.

The strategic prowess of a coach, as offensive or defensive coordinator, and their ability to win games, even reach the Super Bowl, significantly influence their ranking.

Coach’s Career History

Diving deeper into a coach’s career history reveals a myriad of factors that influence their ranking among NFL head coaches. Consider:

  • Dennis Allen’s success in New Orleans,
  • His defensive strategies pulling the Saints to victory.
  • Josh McDaniels’ tenure in New England,
  • His offensive play-calling shaping the Patriots’ dynasty.
  • Shane Steichen’s contribution to the Los Angeles Rams,
  • His player development skills crucial for the team’s success.

Surprise Standouts and Letdowns

Amid the chaos of this unpredictable season, some NFL head coaches have emerged as surprise standouts, while others have unfortunately been letdowns.

The last two seasons have seen a change at offensive coordinator for 131 teams, creating both new stars and disappointments.

Despite a weak NFC South, three of the last four teams have one of the best offensive records, showing that success can surprise you.


So there you have it, a rundown of the NFL head coaches, from the struggling to the shining.

Like a quarterback facing a blitz, these rankings can be brutal and unforgiving.

Stefanski, Bowles, Rivera, Staley, and McDaniels, despite their challenges, are an integral part of the game.

Their fortunes can turn on a dime, reminding us all of the unpredictable, and thrilling nature of football.

After all, it’s their strategies that shape the game we love.

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