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NFL Head Coach & Staff Consensus Rankings (2022)

May 31, 2022


 
Our analysts ranked all 32 Head Coaches and their coaching staffs, and we used those choices to create consensus HC and staff rankings. Below are our comprehensive rankings, complete with a breakdown of every NFL team.

CTAs

NFL Head Coach and Staff Rankings

RANK TEAM / Coaching Staff Freedman Erickson DBro Pat Joe
1 Kansas City Chiefs 1 1 1 1 1
2 Los Angeles Rams 3 2 2 2 5
3 Baltimore Ravens 2 5 3 4 2
4 New England Patriots 5 3 5 3 4
5 Buffalo Bills 4 4 4 6 3
6 Pittsburgh Steelers 7 6 6 5 6
7 San Francisco 49ers 8 8 7 9 9
8 Tennessee Titans 9 7 11 8 7
9 Green Bay Packers 6 9 8 7 14
10 Indianapolis Colts 10 10 9 14 11
11 Los Angeles Chargers 11 11 10 12 10
12 Cleveland Browns 12 12 12 10 13
13 Cincinnati Bengals 13 21 13 13 12
14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 16 15 17 8
15 Detroit Lions 19 14 14 18 18
16 Seattle Seahawks 15 20 21 11 17
17 Las Vegas Raiders 18 15 16 21 16
18 Philadelphia Eagles 20 17 17 20 15
19 Washington Commanders 23 13 26 16 22
20 Jacksonville Jaguars 17 22 22 15 28
21 Dallas Cowboys 14 24 25 19 23
22 Arizona Cardinals 21 23 18 22 24
23 New Orleans Saints 22 18 23 23 26
24 New York Giants 25 26 27 25 21
25 Denver Broncos 26 19 28 28 25
26 Atlanta Falcons 29 25 20 24 29
27 New York Jets 28 31 19 29 20
28 Miami Dolphins 24 27 24 26 27
29 Minnesota Vikings 27 28 29 30 19
30 Houston Texans 31 29 31 27 31
31 Chicago Bears 30 30 30 31 30
32 Carolina Panthers 32 32 32 32 32

 
1. Kansas City Chiefs
With the Eagles, Reid coached his team to four straight NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl, and in nine years with the Chiefs, he’s had nine winning seasons, four straight AFC Championship appearances, two straight Super Bowls, and one Super Bowl victory. For the entirety of his tenure with the Chiefs, Reid has had a strong offensive coordinator (Doug Pederson, Brad Childress, Matt Nagy, Eric Bieniemy), and over the past few years he has strengthened his staff with the addition of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Over the past 15 years, Reid has one losing season. He’s the model of consistency — and he’s perhaps the best quarterback whisperer in the league.
– Matthew Freedman

2. Los Angeles Rams
From offensive mastermind to possibly overrated and now a Super Bowl champion, Sean McVay has seen the full gambit of reviews of his job performance. Let’s get it straight, though. He deserves a heaping amount of praise for everything he’s accomplished in a short amount of time. The Rams have averaged 11 wins per season under McVay, with two Super Bowl appearances in his five seasons. His offense has never finished lower than 11th in total yards and has been top 11 in total points in four of five seasons. He’s shown the willingness to bend and mold his scheme and personnel usage to continue to succeed through injuries and declining quarterback play (Jared Goff). He’s among the NFL’s coaching elite.
– DBro

3. Baltimore Ravens
In 14 years with the Ravens, Harbaugh has endured just two losing seasons, and in both of them his starting quarterback missed six-plus games to injury. Harbaugh handled the transition from Joe Flacco to Lamar Jackson with deftness and has displayed a keen sense for knowing when to make impactful changes on his staff, especially at offensive coordinator (promoting Jim Caldwell in season, hiring Gary Kubiak, replacing Marc Trestman with Marty Mornhinweg, whom he eventually replaced with Greg Roman). Harbaugh is the model CEO-style head coach.
– Matthew Freedman

4. New England Patriots
In 22 years with the Patriots, Bill Belichick has coached them to nine Super Bowls and six NFL championships. That his staff doesn’t rank No. 1 on this list is both absurd and illuminating. Belichick’s case is hurt by his mediocre record (17-16) over the past two seasons without longtime QB Tom Brady, who won a Super Bowl in his first year without Belichick. On top of that, wonderboy OC Josh McDaniels left the team this offseason and has been “replaced” with former failed Giants HC Joe Judge. This staff has little resemblance to the one that last led the Patriots to a Super Bowl in 2018-19.
– Matthew Freedman

5. Buffalo Bills
Sean McDermott has been a maestro orchestrating one of the most dramatic turnarounds for a franchise. He’s helped build the Bills into an AFC powerhouse from the ground up. Buffalo now sports arguably the most complete roster from top to bottom in the NFL, with elite options on both sides of the ball. Last season the Bills were fifth and third in total yards and points scored while also leading the NFL with the fewest total yards and points allowed. The only remaining hurdle for a head coach that’s averaged over 11 wins in the last three years is playoff dominance. The Bills have produced a 3-3 record in the playoffs since 2019, trying to overcome the AFC’s buzzsaw. With reinforcements added across the board this offseason, the Bills could sniff their first Super Bowl berth under his watch in 2022.
– DBro

6. Pittsburgh Steelers
In 15 years with the Steelers, Tomlin has posted a .643 winning percentage and has never had a losing season. Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl in Tomlin’s second season, beating Arizona 27-23 in a thriller, then lost the Super Bowl two years later, Falling to Green Bay 31-25 when the Steelers were stopped on their final drive. The Steelers have been held back by the decay of QB Ben Roethlisberger in recent years, and this year will be a fascinating test of Tomlin’s coaching acumen, since the Steelers will try to get by with a Mitch Trubisky/Kenny Pickett QB tandem and have major issues with their offensive line and their run defense. But Tomlin has been getting it done for years, and he’s probably going to end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada has his critics, but it’s hard to issue a definitive verdict on his play-calling when Canada spent his first season as the Steelers’ OC scheming around Big Ben’s limitations.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

7. San Francisco 49ers
Kyle Shanahan’s offensive prowess is well known. In his 14 seasons directing NFL offenses across five different organizations, he’s logged eight top-ten finishes in total yards while also sporting four inside the top ten in total points. Rebuilding a franchise from the ground up was a rocky process in the early going, but San Francisco has ten or more wins in two of the last three seasons with one Super Bowl appearance. Backed by a run defense that’s among the league’s best and a strong pass coverage unit, his offense doesn’t have to blow out opponents for the team to rack up the wins in 2022. That isn’t to say they can’t go toe to toe with high-powered offensive units, especially if Trey Lance can add a new dynamic. The 49ers are poised to remain among the NFC’s top-shelf franchises for the near and foreseeable future.
– DBro

8. Tennessee Titans
While I’m below consensus on Mike Vrabel, there’s only so far I can push him down this list. This isn’t a blatant showing of disdain for Vrabel’s performance but admiration for other coaches that move him farther down the rankings than some. Vrabel has put together a .631 winning percentage in his first four seasons, with his best performance last year. The team dealt with the departure of Arthur Smith, injuries to integral skill position players like Derrick Henry, Julio Jones, and A.J. Brown, and a rotating cast of characters in the secondary. Despite all of this, the team posted 12 wins and finished 12th overall in total team DVOA (per Football Outsiders).
– DBro

9. Green Bay Packers
I don’t know if he’s a good cook, but the proof is in Matt LaFleur’s pudding. The Packers have won 13 games in each of his three years as head coach after winning just 10, seven and six in the three preceding seasons. Under LaFleur, QB Aaron Rodgers has regained his MVP form, and the defense has improved following LaFleur’s dismissal of coordinator Mike Pettine, whom he inherited from the previous regime. It helps having Rodgers, but LaFleur has quickly proven himself to be a strong coach.
– Matthew Freedman

10. Indianapolis Colts
Reich has a reputation as a QB whisperer, but he wasn’t able to resuscitate the sputtering Carson Wentz last season. The Colts lost their last two games to fall out of the playoffs, bowing out with a particularly ignominious loss to the lowly Jaguars in Week 18. Reich has posted a 37-28 record in four seasons in Indianapolis and has gone 1-2 in the playoffs. The Colts haven’t won the AFC South in Reich’s tenure but have finished second three times. I don’t blame Reich for failing to rekindle Wentz’s flame; I do blame him for being slow to fully unleash Jonathan Taylor in Taylor’s rookie season, and for under-utilizing Taylor early in a catastrophic overtime loss to the Titans on Halloween. Reich is a solid coach, but his play-calling can be puzzling at times. New Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley should be a solid addition to the staff.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

11. Los Angeles Chargers
Brandon Staley concluded his first season as the Chargers’ head honcho with only nine wins, but the team’s outlook couldn’t be brighter under his watchful eye. The offense is locked and loaded after ranking fourth in offensive DVOA (per Football Outsiders) and top 13 in total yards and points. The defense is where Staley can have the biggest effect entering his sophomore season. He left his defensive coordinator position for the Rams after authoring one of the finest defensive seasons for a franchise in 2020. Los Angeles was top four in total yards, points, and takeaways. The Bolts have that type of shutdown upside in 2022. With stars like Joey Bosa and Derwin James at the forefront, the Chargers have done well to add top-level talent to take this unit to the next level. The offseason additions of J.C. Jackson and Khalil Mack grab the headlines but drafting Asante Samuel last year was also a key move. Staley’s SoCal warriors could be Super Bowl bound this year.
– DBro

12. Cleveland Browns
The Browns’ 8-9 record last season was a big disappointment after they were touted as a potential Super Bowl contender, but head coach Kevin Stefanski isn’t getting much blame for a season that was mostly undone by injuries up and down the roster. Stefanski’s credentials as a savvy offensive architect are well-established. It will be fascinating to see what Stefanski’s offense looks like with Deshaun Watson running it. Baker Mayfield may not have been to blame for all of the Browns’ offensive problems in 2021, but he wasn’t a solution either. Defensive coordinator Joe Woods’ unit has been solid in each of his two seasons in Cleveland.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

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13. Cincinnati Bengals
Zac Taylor went from being the betting favorite to be the first coach in the NFL fired to the Super Bowl in 2021. He obviously deserves recognition for the success the Bengals had – hence the above average overall rank – but having Joe Burrow and company made life easy for him. Don’t completely overlook his ignorance to overly establish the run on 1st down and generate a below league average EPA.
– Andrew Erickson

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Todd Bowles replaces Bruce Arians as the Bucs’ head coach after Arians stepped down to take a role in the front office. Bowles had been Tampa’s defensive coordinator for the past three seasons. His previous head-coaching experience came with the Jets in 2015-2018 and in a three-game interim stint with the Dolphins in 2011. Bowles’ 24-40 record with the Jets shouldn’t be held against him, as the Jets cycled through a series of below-average QBs during that stretch. Bowles has earned a reputation as a defensive wizard, and the Buccaneers will have continuity on the offensive side of the ball with the highly regarded Byron Leftwich returning as offensive coordinator. The Bucs appear to be in good hands as they begin the post-Arians era.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

15. Detroit Lions
A year ago, I probably would’ve had kneecap-gnawing Dan Campbell and staff ranked No. 32, so it’s remarkable that all of us now have the Lions in our top 20. It’s true that they went only 3-13-1 last year — and technically that’s a step back from their 2020 record of 5-11 — but Campbell’s perpetually underdog Lions were a plucky 11-6 against the spread in his first year (4-1 ATS vs. teams with winning records), routinely exceeding expectations and playing with what can best be described as “Motor City gumption.” OC Ben Johnson is a total unknown, but he almost certainly can’t be worse than former OC Anthony Lynn, whom Campbell was wise enough to dismiss after just one season on the job.
– Matthew Freedman

16. Seattle Seahawks
Sure, Pete Carroll has his shortcomings. His obsession with the running game sometimes muted the potential impact of peak Russell Wilson. Carroll undoubtedly has had a major say in personnel decisions, and the Seahawks have made some curious moves over the years, including the trade for Jamal Adams and the multi-year neglect of the offensive line. But Carroll has also posted a .593 winning percentage in Seattle and has taken the Seahawks to the playoffs in 9 of his 12 seasons. He guided the Seahawks to consecutive Super Bowls in the 2013 and 2014 seasons, beating the Broncos in the first one but then losing to the Patriots in the second one when Russell Wilson threw a goal-line interception on a play that many people thought should have been a handoff to Marshawn Lynch. Pete is old-school, but his players seem to love him, and it’s hard to argue with his track record. The Seahawks are heading into a rebuild. My colleagues seem to be holding that against Carroll and his staff. I’m grading him on his overall body of work.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

17. Las Vegas Raiders
McDaniels has a reputation of being an offensive sharp. His long tenure as the Patriots offensive coordinator was fruitful, but how much of the credit for that goes to McDaniels, and how much goes to QB Tom Brady? In his only other head-coaching gig, McDaniels went 8-8 and 4-12 in two seasons with the Broncos. The Colts were ready to hire McDaniels in 2018, but he famously backed out of the job. It’s fair to praise him for his offensive acumen, but the 46-year-old McDaniels has yet to prove that he can be a successful helmsman. McDaniels has a promising defensive coordinator in Patrick Graham, who overachieved with the Giants the last two seasons.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

18. Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Sirianni didn’t exactly begin his tenure as the Eagles’ leading figure with flying colors. We all had our chuckle and cringe moments while watching his offseason pressers, but when the lights came on and the regular season arrived, Sirianni solidified his coaching chops. The Eagles surprisingly made the playoffs and have quickly built a foundation to build upon last year’s success. Philadelphia was 12th in offensive EPA per play and points scored last season. They add A.J. Brown to the mix with the rest of the depth chart entering their second season in the offensive system. While the defense wasn’t dominating, there are also reasons for optimism on that side of the ball. The Eagles allowed the eighth-lowest yards per play and manufactured the eighth-best hurry rate. They add Haason Reddic to the mix to bring the heat and James Bradberry to bury wideouts on the back end. Another successful campaign and Sirianni will find himself even higher on this list next year.
– DBro

19. Washington Commanders
Back-to-back seven-win seasons doesn’t sound like any great accomplishment, but it is when Taylor Heinicke, Alex Smith, Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen make up the team’s starting QB room. Ron Rivera had a top-5 defense in his first year with Washington that dragged his team into the postseason.
– Andrew Erickson

20. Jacksonville Jaguars
We’re taking a leap of faith with OC Press Taylor and DC Mike Caldwell, neither of whom has coordinated a unit before, but HC Doug Pederson is one of the few active Super Bowl-winning coaches with a history of maximizing quarterback performance (Alex Smith, Carson Wentz, Nick Foles), and he has assembled a staff of veteran assistants to support his young coordinators in passing game coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, quarterbacks coach Mike McCoy and senior defensive assistant Bob Sutton. The Jaguars don’t have an above-average staff, but it’s not the tragicomedy it was under the previous regime.
– Matthew Freedman

21. Dallas Cowboys
Relative to other rankers, I’m obscenely high on the Cowboys — and maybe that’s because I’m a fan — but I don’t think so. If anything, I’ve historically been too down on them. I’m not at all enamored with HC Mike McCarthy, who is 142-83-1 with Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers and Dak Prescott but 11-18-1 with all other quarterbacks. McCarthy crumbles without elite quarterback play to bail him out, and he’s comically bad at situational decision making — but he might have the NFL’s best all-around staff with OC Kellen Moore, DC Dan Quinn, STC John Fassel and OL coach Joe Philbin. As bad as he is, McCarthy at least should get credit for surrounding himself with people who are far better at their jobs than he is.
– Matthew Freedman

22. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals went 11-6 last season and made the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season, yet head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s seat is warm. Kingsbury has a .500 record in three years in the desert, and while the Cardinals’ record has improved every year under Kingbury’s watch, the team completely collapsed late last season after a 10-2 start. Kingsbury earned a reputation of being an offensive guru during six seasons at Texas Tech, but the Cardinals have not become an offensive powerhouse during his tenure. Kingsbury has a talented roster, and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is a capable lieutenant. The Cardinals need to make some serious noise this season, or Kingsbury might have to start house-hunting — and that would be a shame, because Kingsbury’s current house is pretty sweet.
Pat Fitzmaurice

23. New Orleans Saints
Dennis Allen’s first opportunity as head coach didn’t go well with the Raiders (8-28). But I’d expect his impact on the Saints defense – top-5 in fewest points allowed the last two seasons – to get New Orleans back into postseason contention. Pete Carmichael’s long tenure as offensive coordinator since 2019 should help mitigate the loss of Sean Payton. The offense posted top-three numbers without Payton in 2012.
– Andrew Erickson

24. New York Giants
After two grim years under Joe Judge, the Giants elected to go in a new direction by giving Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll his first shot as a head coach. Daboll worked wonders with Buffalo’s offense the last four seasons, molding QB Josh Allen into an uber-weapon. Granted, Daboll has had less successful offensive coordinator tenures with other teams, but his willingness to adapt his system to the strengths and weaknesses of his players offers hopes that he can salvage the flagging career of QB Daniel Jones. Daboll will be working alongside well-regarded defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale, who’ll oversee an NYG defense that overachieved in 2021.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

25. Denver Broncos
Nathaniel Hackett has helped fuel Aaron Rodgers to uber-efficient passing seasons since 2019, highlighted by the QB’s back-to-back MVP awards from 2020 to 2021. But there’s no doubt his greatest accomplishment was coaching a top-5 scoring offense with Blake Bortles at quarterback in 2017 with Jacksonville. Be excited about what he can orchestrate with Russell Wilson.
– Andrew Erickson

26. Atlanta Falcons
No ranker is lower on the Falcons staff than I am. On the one hand, HC Arthur Smith and OC Dave Ragone deserve credit as the guys who figured out how to utilize WR-turned-RB Cordarrelle Patterson. On the other hand, Smith’s scheme in Atlanta was much less effective than it had been in Tennessee, where RB Derrick Henry and WR A.J. Brown compensated for and masked its blandness. On top of that, it’s possible that DC Dean Pees, who has had the lowest-ranked units of his career over his past two seasons, is no longer the aggressive visionary he used to be.
– Matthew Freedman

27. New York Jets
Robert Saleh was hired in New York based on his background coaching elite defenses in San Franciso. In his first year as head coach, the Jets ranked 32nd in points allowed, 32nd in yards allowed, 32nd in rushing attempts faced and 32nd in rushing TDs allowed. Their defense was worse in 2021 than in 2020 under Gregg Williams.
– Andrew Erickson

28. Miami Dolphins
We don’t know how first-year HC Mike McDaniel and OC Frank Smith will do in Miami, but McDaniel oversaw excellent running games (2017-20) and coordinated an effective offense (2021) in his five years with the 49ers, and Smith coached RB Austin Ekeler to his best NFL season in his one year as the run game coordinator for the Chargers. McDaniel had the wisdom to retain DC Josh Boyer, whose unit ranked top-eight in takeaways in each of the past two years, and that coaching continuity should benefit the staff overall.
– Matthew Freedman

29. Minnesota Vikings
HC Kevin O’Connell underwhelmed for the first five years of his coaching career, but he luckily spent the past two seasons working for Sean McVay — and now he’s in charge of an NFL team. Similarly, DC Ed Donatell failed to distinguish himself in his first three decades as a coach, but over the past 11 years he has ridden Vic Fangio’s coattails as his top assistant, and now he’s overseeing the Vikings defense on his own. Assistant HC Mike Pettine amassed a 10-22 record in his two years with the Browns. This staff has a lot to prove over the next 2-3 years.
– Matthew Freedman

30. Houston Texans
Lovie Smith seemed like a fallback option for the Texans in their head-coaching search. He walks into a no-win situation: The Texans’ rebuild is going to be a multi-year project, and Smith probably won’t be around to pick whatever fruit it eventually bears. But the 63-year-old Smith is highly respected around the league and probably isn’t a bad choice to lead a young roster. Smith compiled an 81-63 record in nine years with the Bears, then went 8-24 in two disastrous seasons with the Buccaneers. He’s spent the last five years at the University of Illinois, where he had to deal with a severe talent deficit in the Big Ten and went 17-39 as a result. Smith’s offensive coordinator will be Pep Hamilton, who hasn’t had an OC gig since parting ways with the Colts after the 2015 season.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

31. Chicago Bears
Matt Eberflus has been the Colts defensive coordinator since 2018. His defenses have ranked inside the top-10 thrice in points allowed and never worse 16th in yards allowed. But the concern is the unknown commodities on the offensive side of the ball, with Luke Getsy making his professional debut as offensive coordinator. He previously spent time as QBs coach/WRs coach/Offensive Quality Control in Green Bay.
– Andrew Erickson

32. Carolina Panthers
It’s fair to say that Matt Rhule is on the hot seat in 2022 after going 10-23 in his first two seasons with the Panthers. Rhule and former Carolina offensive coordinator Joe Brady have thus far failed to pull Sam Darnold‘s career out of a tailspin, and now Rhule is partnering with new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, who’s no one’s idea of a brilliant tactician. The odds are remote that Rhule will still be holding this job a year from now.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

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