Coach Rankings
EdjSports ranks the performance of all 32 NFL coaches
Coach Rankings 2020

Coach Rankings: Week 13


There’s a little bit of movement in our Coach Rankings for Week 13. Matt LaFleur holds steady in 2nd, but Frank Reich leapfrogs him to 1st and Andy Reid falls drops to 3rd. Reigning Coach of the Year John Harbaugh moves up one spot to 4th and Sean McDermott moves up three spots to round out the top five. In these week’s video, we discuss:

  • What caused Reid and Reich to trade places;
  • The best 4th down decision of Week 13 came in a game’s FIRST QUARTER;
  • A pair of smart 4th down decisions from McDermott; and
  • Our panel’s predictions for EdjSports Coach of the Year

Coach Rankings Table

Previous Coach Rankings:

Week 12

EdjSports is widely acclaimed for its in-game risk management analysis and proprietary Game-Winning Chance (GWC) metric used by NFL teams and media. GWC is a team’s win probability at any point in the game and is generated from the proprietary EdjFootball simulation model. EdjSports is creating the industry standard for head coach rankings by allocating its GWC to coaching decisions.

About the EdjFootball model

Built on 20+ years of historical NFL play-by-play and statistical data, the EdjFootball model is a fully customizable simulation engine. It accounts for each team’s strengths and weaknesses on offense, defense, and special teams. Model inputs include game state (score, timeouts, quarter, clock, down and distance, and field position), venue characteristics (indoor, outdoor, grass, turf, elevation), second half kickoff team, key injuries and Football Outsiders DVOA. Each week the model evaluates team performances and adjusts team strengths and weakness accordingly. As a result of these analyses, over the course of a season the EdjFootball model simulates over 3 billion games to conclusion.

About the EdjSports Coach Rankings

EdjSports analyzes every coaching decision during the course of a season. The EdjFootball model enables an in-depth examination of all critical calls (4th downs, PATs, and kickoffs), in terms of the amount of GWC at stake. The coach’s play-calling choices (run, pass, field goal, punt) are assessed at the point of decision (pre-snap) and rated with respect to their impact on winning the game. As a result of this process all play calling decisions can be objectively classified as either optimal decisions (correct calls) or suboptimal decisions (errors).

The EdjSports Coach Rankings are based on this methodology and consist of two main components that result in the overall ranking.

Edj Power Indexes (EPI) Ranking

This is a cumulative ranking of the Edj Power Indexes (EPIs) including Offensive Pass, Offensive Rush, Defensive Pass and Defensive Rush. This ranking is a reflection of how teams performed in every situation during the season.

Offensive Play Calling (CCI) Ranking

This ranking is based on an analysis of offensive play calling on 4th downs and compares teams in terms of GWC lost or gained, on a normalized basis so that all teams are given the same test. Additionally, the CCI rankings are adjusted to account for the frequency and situational nature of critical calls to allow for fair comparisons of all 32 teams.

EdjSports Coach Ranking

This ranking is a weighted average of the Edj Power Indexes (EPI) and Offensive Play Calling (CCI) Rankings that provides a more comprehensive assessment of coaching strengths and weaknesses.


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6 comments, Last at 15 Dec 2020, 5:22pm

1 How the calculations are done

I don't quite understand how CCI is calculated, but I worry about a model that says that on one hand, the Saints have been the WORST at their choices to go for it and type of play chosen (CCI, right?)--but then has the BEST outcomes on those same plays + their defensive plays against (EPI). Is this correct? 

If they make the worst choices, and have the best outcomes, maybe there is something wrong with some of the inputs? Considering that they are regarded by FO as the best team in the league, and have the best record in the NFC, just MAYBE their choices aren't as bad as Edj makes them out to be. TB and LAR are both similarly extreme--bottom 5 in CCI, top 5 in EPI--so something is off here. I can understand making good choices (CCI) but having bad outcomes (EPI)--that's bad luck (see WFT ranks). And sometimes, it goes the other way too. But when 3 teams have that same extreme good luck, and were regarded as playoff teams before the year started, and are all in line to make the playoffs, they might know what they are doing.

3 CCI vs. EPI

In reply to by Aaron Schatz

So, then those all play rankings make lots of sense.

Question--then the Saints, Bucs, and Rams are making horrible 4th down choices? If they are, it's sure not coming back to bite them; or, they have so few 4th down plays as to make them such a small sample of overall plays that it doesn't matter.

I guess another option would be that because all 3 are playing such good defense, they tend to make conservative 4th down choices knowing that their defense will hold up. (Current DVOA defensive rankings: NO #2, TB #3, LAR #5)

4 Still don't understand how…

Still don't understand how 4th down calls are equal to ALL OTHER calls in these calculations. IMO there needs to be some kind of weighting applied to make these rankings more credible.

6 McCarthy, Payton, McVay, and Gase, kill the ranking.

They are all either top five or bottom five in CCI, while their teams are all on the polar opposite end in the top five or bottom five in EPI. This indicates that being really good or really good at critical calls on 4th down has little to do with whether your team performs well or poorly. So why would weighting them together provide anything like a "coach ranking"? It's nothing but mud.