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Top 20 NFL’s best head coaches for the 2021 season from 1-20

Top 20 NFL's best head coaches for the 2021 season from 1-20

Top 20 NFL’s best head coaches for the 2021 season

From 1 to 20, here is a ranking of the best head coaches in the NFL for the 2021 season.

Listed below are the most recent Sportglob NFL head coach rankings for the 2021 season, ranked from 1 to 20, starting with Bill Belichick and progressing down to Dan Campbell.

In the NFL heading into 2021, there are nine coaches who have won Super Bowls.

Bruce Arians of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the latest member of a brotherhood that includes Andy Reid, Bill Belichick, Mike McCarthy, Sean Payton, Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh, Pete Carroll, and Jon Gruden, among others.

Andy Reid is the president of the organization. Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles would have made it to ten, but he was dismissed following the 2020 season.

While a Super Bowl-winning coach may be considered a top-10 coach entering into the current season, this is not always the case. Sporting News’ six-member panel selected their top ten coaches for the next season, and we used that information to construct the rest of the rankings.

What is the ranking of the Super Bowl-winning coaches?


Take a look at our top-ranked NFL head coaches:


1. Patriots coach Bill Belichick

1. Patriots coach Bill Belichick

  • 1st place in the previous year
  • Record: 280-136, a.673 winning percentage
  • Playoffs: 31-12,.721 winning percentage

Brady won five of the six first-place votes, while Andy Reid is the main competition…. It was their first postseason appearance since 2008 that the Patriots finished with a 7-9 record.

Belichick needs 20 victories to join Don Shula (328 victories) and George Halas (318 victories) as the only coaches to reach the 300-win plateau. He has maintained his status as the gold standard in his 27th season as a head coach.

 #2. Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs

Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs

  • 2 in the previous year
  • Record: 221-130-1, a.629 winning percentage
  • Playoffs: 17-15,.531 winning percentage

With a 38-10 regular-season record over the last three seasons, Reid has guided the Chiefs to their second consecutive Super Bowl trip. The combination with Patrick Mahomes II has produced Super Bowl opportunities in each of the last three seasons.

Reid equaled Joe Gibbs for the most playoff victories in a single season last season with his 17th. Reid, 63, appears to be in the prime of his life.

 #3. Saints quarterback Sean Payton

Saints quarterback Sean Payton

  • 3rd year in a row
  • Record: 143-81, a.638 winning percentage
  • Playoffs: 9-8,.529 winning percentage
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Payton is ranked third for the third time in a row this season. The most recent stretch has been highlighted by four straight seasons of 11 wins or more, but Payton must now negotiate what life will be like without Drew Brees as a quarterback. As Sean Payton enters his 15th season as the Saints’ head coach, the team remains a perennial Super Bowl contender.

4. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin

  • 6 in the previous year
  • Record: 145-78-1, a.650 winning percentage
  • Playoffs: 8-8,.500 record

Last season, Tomlin helped the Pittsburgh Penguins end three-year playoff drought, and the team’s long-term success has remained a trademark of his stay in Pittsburgh.

Having said that, some may argue that this ranking is excessive in light of the Steelers’ playoff defeat to Cleveland and the uncertainty surrounding Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ future. Will Tomlin be able to overcome the numerous obstacles that face him in the AFC North in 2021?

#5. John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens

John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens

  • 4 in the previous year
  • Record: 129-79 (.620) Playoffs: 11-8 (.579; 129-79 (.620)

Baltimore has only had one losing season in the last 13 years under Harbaugh, and the Ravens are 35-13 in the last three seasons with Lamar Jackson as the starting quarterback.

In addition, the great quarterback earned his first postseason victory in 2020, but the pressure to return to the Super Bowl in an AFC that is rich with talent continues to mount. The last time Baltimore advanced to the Super Bowl was in 2012.

#6. Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks

Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks

  • 5 in the previous year
  • Record: 145-94-1, a.606 winning percentage
  • Playoffs: 11-10,.524 winning percentage

Despite leading Seattle to a 12-win season in 2020, Carroll was pushed out of the top five by his peers. The Seahawks have posted double-digit victories in eight of the last nine seasons, but the competition in the NFC West has grown in recent years.

Even though the Seattle Seahawks remain a fixture in the postseason picture, the team hasn’t advanced to the NFC title game since the 2014 season.

7. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians

  • 14 in the previous year
  • Record: 67-44-1,.603 Playoffs: 5-2,.714 Playoffs: 5-2,.714

It’s truly amazing what a Super Bowl win can accomplish for a team. Last season, Arians welcomed Tom Brady to the team, and the Buccaneers went on one of the best post-season runs in NFL history, defeating the likes of New Orleans, Green Bay, and Kansas City on their way to winning the Super Bowl.

Even though Arians will be 69 years old this year, his player-friendly mentality is definitely proving well in Tampa Bay.

#8. Rams head coach Sean McVay

Rams head coach Sean McVay

  • 9th year in a row
  • Record: 43-21, a.672 winning percentage
  • Playoffs: 3-3,.500 record

McVay is the highest-ranked coach on this list who does not have a Super Bowl ring. For the past four seasons, the Rams have won nine or more games in each of those seasons, and McVay comes from a coaching family.

After signing veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford in the summer, McVay should be able to put together a strong combination with a defense anchored by Aaron Donald. McVay is still regarded as a top-10 coach.

#9. Kyle Shanahan is the 49ers’ head coach.

Kyle Shanahan is the 49ers' head coach.

  • 8 in the previous year
  • Record: 29-35, a.453 winning percentage
  • Playoffs: 2-1,.667 winning percentage

Despite the 49ers’ sub-.500 record, injuries hampered the team during its NFC championship defense last season, according to their detractors.

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In Shanahan’s hands, the franchise has been transformed into a championship contender, and first-round pick Trey Lance might be the next vital component in the team’s quest for another trip to the NFC playoffs.

Shanahan possesses the necessary abilities, and he is considered to be one of the top young coaches in the game.

10. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel

  • 13 in the previous year
  • Record: 29-19, a.604 winning percentage
  • Playoffs: 2-2, a.500 record

Vrabel climbs into the top ten with his team’s third consecutive winning season and second trip to the AFC playoffs under his direction.

Tennessee’s no-nonsense approach to football continues to be a hit with the organization, and the Vols made the daring decision of acquiring Julio Jones in the offseason to prove it. Last season, Tennessee finished with a 5-1 record in the AFC South.

#11. Sean McDermott is a quarterback for the Buffalo Bills.

Sean McDermott is a quarterback for the Buffalo Bills.

  • The previous year: 19
  • Record: 38-26, a.593 winning percentage
  • Playoffs: 1-2,.400,.500

After taking the Buffalo Bills to the AFC championship game in 2020, McDermott takes a significant step forward. After finishing with a top-10 defense in 2018, the Buffalo Bills finished with the second-highest scoring offense in the NFL last season.

A long-awaited return to the Super Bowl is feasible if McDermott is able to match the two together.

#12. Packers quarterback Matt LaFleur

  • 10 in the previous year
  • Record: 26-6,.813 Playoffs: 4-2,.667 Playoffs: 4-2

Should LaFleur be given a higher ranking? During his tenure with the Packers, he has guided them to back-to-back NFC North titles and trips in the NFC championship game.

He’s also 11-1 in games against opponents from his division. However, the repercussions from last year’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still lingering, and how LaFleur manages the uncertainty surrounding Aaron Rodgers will have a significant impact on the team’s performance in 2021. It’s a difficult situation to be in.

 #13. Redskins head coach Ron Rivera

  • 15 in the previous year
  • Record: 83-72-1, a.535 winning percentage
  • Playoffs: 3-5, a.375 winning percentage

Rivera was instrumental in helping the Washington Redskins reach the NFC playoffs in his debut season, despite his battle with cancer. Now that he is cancer-free, the longstanding coach has the opportunity to construct a championship team in an unlikely location.

Although the early reports have been favorable, the NFC East’s reputation as a volatile division remains intact.

 #14. Kevin Stefanski is a member of the Browns.

  • Last year’s total was 31.
  • 11-5 with a.688 winning percentage
  • Playoffs: 1-1, a.500 record

What was it that took so long? Stefanski was the right coach for Cleveland, as he guided the Browns to the postseason and a game that changed the franchise’s history against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Because of Stefanski’s efforts, franchise quarterback Baker Mayfield has reached his full potential, and the Browns have emerged as legitimate Super Bowl contenders. It’s now a matter of managing those expectations in a high-pressure division.

#15. Dolphins quarterback Brian Flores

  • Last year’s total was 28.
  • 15-17, a.469 percent success rate
  • Playoffs: 0-0

Flores, like Vrabel, is defying the conventional wisdom that former Belichick assistants do not have much success in professional football.

In his second season, he upped the Dolphins’ win total by five games and propelled them to the verge of the AFC playoff picture, where they remain. Miami is also coming off a strong draft performance. It’s a fantastic moment to make a purchase.

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#16. Colts’ head coach Frank Reich

  • Last year’s figure was 21.
  • Record: 17-15, a.531 winning percentage
  • Playoffs: 1-2, a.333 winning percentage

Reich occupies a position among the most difficult coaches to rank. The last three seasons have seen him guide Indianapolis to a couple of playoff appearances as well as a pair of 10-win seasons.

With Carson Wentz, he is working with his third different quarterback in as many seasons. In Philadelphia, Reich and Wentz made an excellent team, and their reunion is one of the more underappreciated narratives of 2021.

#17. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer

  • 12 position in the previous year
  • Record: 64-47-1,.576 winning percentage
  • Playoffs: 1-2,.400,.500

Since Zimmer took over, the team has made a total of six postseason berths, but past season was the first time the team finished below.500 in that span of time.

Despite the fact that Zimmer is an old-school coach who turned 65 this offseason, the Vikings are still committed to quarterback Kirk Cousins. Only one NFC North team has beaten the Packers in the last two seasons, and that team is Minnesota. Is it possible for the Vikings to compete for the NFC North title?

#18. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden

  • Last year’s total was 20.
  • Record: 114-110, a.509 winning percentage
  • Playoffs: 5-4,.556 winning percentage

Gruden is the second-to-last Super Bowl-winning coach on this list, having won the title in 2008. During his second term with the Raiders, the team has steadily progressed with each passing season, and he has maintained his partnership with general manager Mike Mayock.

They do things their way, and the Raiders’ second season in Las Vegas should be a thrilling experience. Since meeting Gruden’s Buccaneers in the Super Bowl in 2002, the Raiders have failed to win a postseason game. Is it possible for Gruden to resurrect his postseason success?

#19. Cowboys’ head coach Mike McCarthy

  • 11 in the previous year
  • Record: 131-87-2, a.600 winning percentage
  • Playoffs: 10-8,.556 winning percentage

McCarthy is the last Super Bowl-winning coach on this list, although he was demoted after a 6-10 season with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020, which was hampered by injuries.

The Packers finished with a losing record in his final two seasons from 2017-18, and the responsibility to convert the team into a winner will be on them when Dak Prescott returns in 2021.

#20. Bears head coach Matt Nagy.

  • 18 in the previous year
  • Record: 28-20,.583 percent
  • Preliminary round: 0-2, 0.000

Nagy is coming off his second straight 8-8 season, during which the Chicago Bears made their second straight appearance in the playoffs.

The Bears will make yet another quarterback transition, and Nagy will have to decide when to go from Andy Dalton to first-round pick Justin Fields, who was drafted in the first round. The Bears have an 11-7 record in the NFC North over the last three seasons, but their 1-5 record against the Packers stands out the most.


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