With more than half of the 2022 season in the books, it’s time for PFN’s NFL head coach rankings. Every team entered this year with some level of expectations — some coaches have met or exceeded those goals, while others have disappointed. Here’s how we rank the league’s HCs with the postseason just around the corner.
2022 NFL Head Coach Rankings
As we rank the NFL head coaches, keep in mind that we’ll balance career track records with 2022 results. It’s a delicate line, but we’ll try not to lean too strongly on recency bias and instead analyze the totality of a coach’s work.
Note: The listed regular season records are from the head coaches’ entire careers. For instance, Andy Reid’s tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles and Bill Belichick’s stint with the Cleveland Browns are included in their win-loss totals.
1. Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs
Regular Season Record: 240-137-1 (.636)
Andy Reid cemented his Hall of Fame case by winning Super Bowl 54, and he’s continued to augment his legacy in the years since. The Chiefs have won the AFC West in each of the last six seasons and hosted the last four AFC Championship Games.
Reid scouted, drafted, and developed Patrick Mahomes, and he’s revamped Kansas City’s still-outstanding offense after trading Tyreek Hill.
2. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
Regular Season Record: 295-147 (.667)
While Bill Belichick has a longer and more successful overall track record than Reid, the Patriots’ head coach’s efforts without Tom Brady over the past two-plus years push him to No. 2 in our rankings. Still, it’s hard to argue with six Super Bowls and 295 career wins, the latter of which ranks third all-time.
3. John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens
Regular Season Record: 143-91 (.611)
Injuries prevented John Harbaugh’s Ravens from making the postseason last year, but they made three straight playoff appearances from 2018-20 and appear poised to enter the tournament again this season.
After winning Super Bowl 47 with Joe Flacco under center, Harbaugh led a transition to Lamar Jackson, helping turn the former first-rounder into an MVP. He’s always willing to make aggressive in-game maneuvers because his accomplishments have earned him total support from ownership.
4. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers
Regular Season Record: 157-91-2 (.632)
Since taking over in Pittsburgh in 2007, Mike Tomlin has taken the Steelers to the playoffs 10 times, won seven AFC North titles, and brought home one Lombardi Trophy.
This season’s struggles can’t obfuscate that success. Tomlin will likely experience his first losing campaign as a head coach in 2022, but he’s an excellent leader of men and an icon in the Steel City.
5. Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams
Regular Season Record: 52-32 (.644)
The Rams aren’t in the best of places at the moment, but they’re coming off a Super Bowl victory, so this season’s downturn can be excused. Sean McVay is one of the NFL’s best offensive play designers, but he simply doesn’t have the pieces right now.
After becoming the NFL’s all-time youngest head coach in 2017, McVay led Los Angeles to double-digit wins and a playoff appearance in four of five seasons. Neither of those outcomes looks likely in 2022, and it’s fair to wonder how long McVay — who’s been heavily courted by NFL broadcasters — will stay on the sidelines.
6. Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills
Regular Season Record: 55-35 (.611)
Sean McDermott’s Bills were viewed as the clear No. 1 team in the league heading into the season, and while they’re still part of the NFL’s elite echelon, Buffalo has taken a few tough losses and currently sits third in the AFC East.
Still, McDermott has helped assemble one of the most talented rosters in football, and he’s consistently allowed talented offensive coaches like Brian Daboll and Ken Dorsey to run their units.
7. Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans
Regular Season Record: 47-27 (.635)
Mike Vrabel has never posted a losing season as a head coach, and he’s well on his way his fourth consecutive playoff appearance. The Titans shocked the NFL world by grabbing the AFC’s No. 1 seed a year ago, and despite being counted in 2022, they’re in line for another division title. Vrabel is one of the league’s best game managers and continuously gets the most out of his team.
8. Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers
Regular Season Record: 44-46 (.489)
Kyle Shanahan is the only head coach in our top 10 with a career winning percentage below .500, but he’s dragged down by two seasons in which he was forced to rely on backup quarterbacks.
In two years with Jimmy Garoppolo at full health, Shanahan won 23 combined games and made two NFC Championship Game appearances. He’s a magnificent offensive play-caller, and his defensive underlings (Robert Saleh, Demeco Ryans) have transformed the other side of the ball.
9. Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia Eagles
Regular Season Record: 17-9 (.654)
After making a surprising playoff appearance during his first year in charge, Nick Sirianni has the Eagles at 8-1 through nine games this season. He’s obviously aided by coaching one of the best rosters in the NFL, but Sirianni has overseen drastic schematic and philosophical changes on both sides of the ball. Expectations are now high in Philadelphia, and anything other than a deep postseason run will be a disappointment.
10. Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers
Regular Season Record: 43-16 (.729)
Although the Packers are just 4-6 this year, Matt LaFleur’s .729 winning percentage is the best for any active head coach who’s been in charge for at least one full season. He led Green Bay to three consecutive 13-win campaigns to begin his career and helped Aaron Rodgers to two MVP awards.
Still, LaFleur is just 2-3 in the playoffs and has made some head-scratching decisions in the postseason. He probably won’t be considered an elite head coach until he at least appears in a Super Bowl, and it doesn’t look like that will happen this year.
11. Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks
Regular Season Record: 158-108-1 (.594)
Pete Carroll is getting the last laugh. After everyone wrote off the Seahawks in the preseason, Seattle sits in first place in the NFC West at 6-4. Geno Smith is playing like an MVP candidate, and rookies like Charles Cross, Kenneth Walker III, and Tariq Woolen have already become significant contributors. The final chapter of Carroll’s NFL career appears set for a storybook ending.
12. Mike McDaniel, Miami Dolphins
Regular Season Record: 7-3 (.700)
While this may seem high for a first-year head coach, Mike McDaniel has already turned the Dolphins into an offensive juggernaut. He’s rescued Tua Tagovailoa’s career while somehow making Tyreek Hill look better than he did with Patrick Mahomes.
Miami has issues on defense, but offensive performance is more consistent from year to year, and the Dolphins know they have a mastermind in McDaniel.
13. Doug Pederson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Regular Season Record: 45-44-1 (.506)
Speaking of coaches who may have saved a young quarterback’s career, Doug Pederson’s landing in Jacksonville has helped Trevor Lawrence and the rest of the Jaguars move on from the disastrous Urban Meyer era. Thus far, Jacksonville is just 3-7, but their underlying metrics paint them as more of a five-win team.
Long-term, Pederson will continue to mold Lawrence, who’s shown flashes of brilliance this season. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that Pederson has a Super Bowl trophy under his belt.
14. Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals
Regular Season Record: 21-36-1 (.371)
Zac Taylor’s ghastly winning percentage results from two horrific seasons to start his career in Cincinnati. Last year’s Super Bowl appearance helped to erase those memories, as has formidable offensive production from Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins.
The Bengals have proven themselves adaptable on both sides of the ball, which is a credit to Taylor’s management.
15. Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns
Regular Season Record: 22-20 (.524)
In his first season in Cleveland, Kevin Stefanski led the Browns to their first playoff victory in more than 15 years. His team regressed in 2021 as Baker Mayfield struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness, and Cleveland is just 3-6 this season with Jacoby Brissett under center.
Still, Stefanski is an analytically-minded head coach and play-caller who’s designed one of the NFL’s best rushing attacks. He probably won’t be truly judged until Deshaun Watson takes over in December.
16. Brian Daboll, New York Giants
Regular Season Record: 7-2 (.778)
Brian Daboll has worked wonders in his first campaign as the Giants’ head coach. Expected to land a top-10 draft pick for the second consecutive season, New York is instead 7-2 and essentially locked into a playoff spot.
Daboll opted not to call plays during his rookie season as a head coach, delegating that responsibility to OC Mike Kafka. That may seem minor, but most offensive HCs want to handle play-calling duties. Instead, Daboll decided to focus on the bigger picture, which worked out for Big Blue.
17. Kevin O’Connell, Minnesota Vikings
Regular Season Record: 8-1 (.889)
Kevin O’Connell has a better record than McDaniel or Daboll, the two other rookie head coaches ahead of him in our rankings, but he also took over a Vikings team that already had more talent than the Dolphins or the Giants.
Still, O’Connell has raised the stakes in Minnesota. By changing the locker room culture, implementing the McVay offense, and handing the keys to Ed Donatell on defense, O’Connell has the Vikings in competition for the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
18. Arthur Smith, Atlanta Falcons
Regular Season Record: 11-16 (.407)
The Falcons played above their weight in 2021, Arthur Smith’s first season in Atlanta, and they’re doing so again this year. A team with the Falcons’ level of talent shouldn’t be in the playoff discussion, but Smith’s squad was there midway through the season.
His creative offense wrings every bit of production out of its contributors, even if Atlanta’s run- and the play-action-heavy scheme looks different than any other team’s. Smith’s true test will come when he drafts and develops the Falcons’ next franchise quarterback, likely in 2023.
19. Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys
Regular Season Record: 149-95-2 (.610)
Mike McCarthy’s career in Green Bay ended unceremoniously, and Dak Prescott’s season-ending injury upended his first campaign in Dallas. Even last year concluded in a disappointing fashion, as the 12-win Cowboys lost to the 49ers in the Wild Card Round.
This season, Dallas went 4-1 with backup quarterback Cooper Rush under center, and now that Dak is back, they look like Super Bowl contenders. Still, there’s always that nagging question as to how much McCarthy is propped up by coordinators Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn.
20. Robert Saleh, New York Jets
Regular Season Record: 10-16 (.385)
Robert Saleh brought his defensive scheme from the 49ers to the Jets last season, and just one year later, Gang Green already looks like one of the more dominant defenses in the NFL. That unit has made up for the lack of development from second-year quarterback Zach Wilson.
Saleh has handled locker room dissension with aplomb, quietly fielding and denying trade requests from Denzel Mims and Elijah Moore while keeping the team’s culture intact. His ability to manage personalities could become all the more critical if the Jets make a quarterback change next offseason.
21. Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders
Regular Season Record: 95-87-1 (.522)
I can’t imagine the daily stress that comes with working for Daniel Snyder. Not many head coaches have to deal with an ownership situation like the Commanders, and Rivera is excellent at maintaining spirits in Washington.
Despite never having a franchise quarterback with the Commanders, Rivera has posted back-to-back seven-win campaigns and could exceed that total in 2022, especially after handing the Eagles their first loss in Week 10.
22. Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers
Regular Season Record: 14-12 (.538)
Although Brandon Staley has drawn praise for his in-game analytic decision-making, the results haven’t been there for the Chargers. Los Angeles narrowly missed the postseason in 2021, and they wouldn’t be in the playoffs if the season ended today.
Injuries have depleted the Chargers’ roster, but the coaching staff has to be held accountable. Staley’s defense is hemorrhaging yardage seemingly every week, while offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi’s vanilla scheme doesn’t take advantage of Justin Herbert’s All-Pro-level ability.
23. Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Regular Season Record: 31-46 (.403)
Todd Bowles earned 10 wins in his first season as the Jets’ head coach in 2015, but he never again crossed the five-win mark in New York. He’s at 5-5 through 10 games with the Buccaneers, which can’t help but feel like a disappointment given Tampa Bay’s success under Bruce Arians.
Bowles deserves a lot of credit for handling Tom Brady and his off-field issues. But until the Bucs look like the team of old, he’ll stay relatively low in our rankings.
24. Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals
Regular Season Record: 28-30-1 (.483)
Kliff Kingsbury started his Cardinals career on a solid trajectory, opening his tenure with five, eight, and 11 wins. This season, all that goodwill has seemingly gone down the drain.
Arizona already has six losses in 10 games, while Kingsbury’s sideline relationship with Kyler Murray never appears calm. Although he just signed an extension, Kingsbury might not make it through the year.
25. Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears
Regular Season Record: 3-7 (.300)
We’ve already touched on three first-year head coaches, but the other five are located near the bottom of our rankings. Matt Eberflus doesn’t have much talent on his Bears roster, but he’s allowed OC Luke Getsy to design an offense around Justin Fields’ strengths over the last month or so.
Eberflus and the Bears weren’t expected to compete this season. He’ll be judged more harshly next year after Chicago presumably revamps their roster with its ample draft picks and cap space.
26. Lovie Smith, Houston Texans
Regular Season Record: 90-94-1 (.489)
Lovie Smith was always an odd head coaching choice for the Texans. While he had plenty of success with the Bears, he managed only 10 wins over two years with the Buccaneers and never earned more than six victories in any season as head coach at the University of Illinois.
The Texans are the worst team in the NFL, but it’s unclear what Smith should be doing differently. Houston has the draft capital to supplement its roster over the next few seasons, but it’s anyone’s guess whether Smith will be involved.
27. Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions
Regular Season Record: 11-26-1 (.303)
Dan Campbell has an endearing personality, and it was clear on Hard Knocks that he’s earned the respect of the Lions’ locker room. Still, Campbell has won just six games as Detroit’s head coach in two seasons thus far. His other five career wins came while he was the interim head coach of the Dolphins in 2015.
The Lions have the worst defense in the league, which is hard to square with Campbell’s tough-guy persona. Hopefully, he’ll get another chance in 2023, when Detroit should be able to land a franchise signal-caller.
28. Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints
Regular Season Record: 11-35 (.239)
Dennis Allen was in an impossible situation as the Raiders’ head coach from 2012-14, but his early returns as the Saints’ head coach haven’t been great.
New Orleans’ defense — Allen’s bread and butter — has fallen off, and he’s surprisingly decided to stick with Andy Dalton over Jameis Winston at quarterback. Allen seemed like the Saints’ obvious choice after Sean Payton retired, but it’s unclear if he’ll be in New Orleans long-term.
29. Steve Wilks, Carolina Panthers
Regular Season Record: 5-16 (.238)
Steve Wilks was fired after just one season as the Cardinals’ head coach, and he’s already nearly matched his Arizona win total in five games as the Panthers’ interim HC.
Will Wilks get a chance as Carolina’s full-time head coach? Probably not. But he’s seemingly beloved by his players, and he deserves another HC opportunity even if doesn’t come with the Panthers.
30. Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders
Regular Season Record: 13-24 (.351)
Josh McDaniels’ second act as an NFL head coach has been so disheartening that Raiders owner Mark Davis has already had to issue a public show of support. McDaniels spearheaded Las Vegas’ acquisition of Davante Adams, an indication he may have overestimated how close the Raiders were to contention. Losing to Jeff Saturday’s Colts in Week 10 didn’t help matters.
31. Nathaniel Hackett, Denver Broncos
Regular Season Record: 3-6 (.333)
I flip-flopped McDaniels and Nathaniel Hackett’s rankings roughly 100 times before ultimately deciding to list Hackett one spot lower. While McDaniels could potentially move on from Derek Carr next offseason, Hackett is tied to Russell Wilson.
The Broncos can’t cut Wilson any time soon, no matter how poorly he plays, but the club’s new ownership group could fire Hackett at any point. Denver’s lackluster offense and Hacket’s dismal game management could make eventually make that an easy decision.
32. Jeff Saturday, Indianapolis Colts
Regular Season Record: 1-0 (1.000)
No disrespect to Saturday, but there’s nowhere else to rank him other than 32nd. He emerged with a win after Jim Irsay made the shocking decision to hire Saturday as the Colts’ interim head coach, and Indy is still on the fringes of playoff contention.
It will make for a great story if the Colts make a run, but expectations for Saturday’s unprecedented tenure should remain low.