Coach Rankings
EdjSports ranks the performance of all 32 NFL coaches

Coach Rankings: Week 16

2020 Coach Rankings
2020 Coach Rankings
Photo: USA Today Sports Images


Introducing 2020's EdjSports Head Coach of the Year, Matt LaFleur! The second-year Packers head coach moves up four spots this week to take the top spot after finishing 7th last season. He finishes 3rd in both our EPI and CCI rankings.


Not a Packers fan? See where your coach finished in the final rankings, as well as his best and worst decision of the season.

Rankings table


Previous Coach Rankings:

Week 15

Week 14

Week 13

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.


  Presented by:




9 comments, Last at 01 Jan 2021, 7:48pm

#1 by Joseph // Dec 30, 2020 - 2:22pm

I am petitioning EdjSports to add a little more data here:

1--Total number of decisions analyzed (sample size).

2--Total number of positive & negative decisions (~success rate)

3--Success rate of RESULTS--in other words, if the coach chooses to go for it often, but fails regularly (more than he should)--this may display a lack of talent, playcalling, or situational judgment. For example, in most instances, the numbers show that 4th & 1 favors a rush instead of a pass. However, that somewhat depends upon who your QB is, if you are dealing with O-line injuries, how good of a run defense the opponent has, etc. So, has the coach gotten risk-averse because his team constantly fails, or is he extra lucky because his bad decisions work out anyway, etc.?

4--Decisions versus results, at least for 4th Q decisions

5--Most important, to me at least, and it affects the calculations to start with--what were the starting and ending percentages? For example, costing your team 3% of GWC isn't as big of a deal when one team has over 90% GWC to start with. It's just one nail in the coffin. Losing 3% of GWC in the 1st Q means you have more time to overcome a bad decision--but bad decisions early may mean worse opportunities later. For example, punting on 4th and 1 or 2 from the 50 in a scoreless game early in the 1st Q may mean going for it on 4th & 10 in the late stages of the 4th (from the same area)--because now you are down a FG that you may have obtained with a little aggression in the 1st Q. Obviously, this early decision will affect both teams' decisions as the game goes along. [IMO, the best way to calculate this might be GWC% change (whether positive or negative, it's the percentage change) divided by GWC% of the current favorite. For example, (made up #'s) KC leads DEN by 10 points with 5 min. left in the 4th Q--so KC has a 90% GWC at this point. No matter whose decision is evaluated, the 90% is the denominator. Thus, the denominator never be less than 50% because one team will always have at least 50% chance to win the game.]

Points: 0

#2 by trammo71 // Dec 30, 2020 - 3:37pm

Adam Gase is better than 2/3rds the league in CCI. ok

Points: 0

#3 by Mark H // Dec 31, 2020 - 10:31am

Punting from the opponent 4 yard line seems like it would be the worst decision in NFL history.  (Yes I know this was just a typo)

Points: 0

#4 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 31, 2020 - 2:18pm

Now I’m curious what the closest punt was to the opponents goal line.

Points: 0

#5 by Vincent Verhei // Dec 31, 2020 - 3:40pm

There was a Bengals punt from the 80s or 90s from the 25 or something. When I pointed this out on Twitter, people let me know it was a botched field goal and the punter, who was the holder, tried to salvage things by punting the ball out of bounds deep.

Points: 0

#7 by Bryan Knowles // Jan 01, 2021 - 2:38pm

Worse than that, Vince -- it was from 2000.


Stathead's play-by-play does list a Sean Landeta punt from the opposing four yard like in a 1998 Packers-Lions game, but that appears to be a PBP error.  It's certainly an error by SOMEONE, but I'm fairly sure that someone is the transcriptionist and not Mike Holmgren.

Points: 0

#9 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 01, 2021 - 7:48pm

Man, that was a terrible spot. Crap like that gave us instant replay.

Points: 0

#8 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 01, 2021 - 7:46pm

Back in the days of drop kicks, I wonder if some kicker didn’t quite let it hit the ground first and ended up punting from the opponent’s 1.

Points: 0

#6 by justanothersteve // Dec 31, 2020 - 8:58pm

If punting on 4th and 1 from your own 23 when up by 4 with 2:32 against a Jacksonville 6th round rookie starting his first game (and amply demonstrating why he's not the starting QB) is your worst play decision, either a) MLF is having the best coaching year ever or b) you didn't look hard enough for a bad decision. I appreciate MLF getting some love as a coach of the year candidate, but I'm sure I can find a few worse decisions without much effort. 

Points: 0

Save 10%
& Support Casey
Support Football Outsiders' independent media and Casey Ramage. Use promo code WRITERS to save 10% on any FO+ membership and give half the cost of your membership to tip Casey.