Coach Rankings
EdjSports ranks the performance of all 32 NFL coaches

Reich Takes the Lead for Top Head Coach

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NFL Week 16 - We have a NEW number one atop the EdjSports Coach Rankings after Week 16's action. Frank Reich (IND) moves into the top spot. He and Brandon Staley (LAC) remain second and first, respectively, in CCI, but their swap in EPI (IND up to ninth, LAC down to 11th) results in Reich’s jump to the top. Staley drops two spots to third behind Kliff Kingsbury (ARI), who’s now third despite Arizona’s loss to IND. A couple good fourth down calls by Kingsbury, in conjunction with Matt LaFleur’s (GB) drop helps him move up. LaFluer falls to fifth overall after having our worst fourth-down error of the week, which dropped him six spots down to ninth in CCI. Sean McDermott’s (BUF) aggressive game against the Patriots moves him up two spots in CCI and he moves up one spot overall to fourth. Bill Belichick (NE), who also made four great fourth down calls, moves up one spot in our CCI rankings; however, his conservativeness throughout the rest of the season keeps him at 28th. His one-spot drop overall is a product of the movement of coaches around him and New England’s drop in EPI after their loss to the Bills. Pete Carroll (SEA), Joe Judge (NYG), and Mike Tomlin (PIT) continue to round out the bottom three.

The EdjSports Coach Rankings are based on team performance to date and fourth-down decision making to determine which coaches are best at maximizing their teams’ win probability. More specifically, instead of subjectively ranking coaches based on the “eye test” or trying to compare things like scheme, roster-building, and motivation, EdjSports uses data to analyze and rank NFL coaches with a strong emphasis on fourth-down decision making. Games can be, and often are, won and lost on fourth downs alone. So coach rankings consist of two factors: performance to date, referred to as Edj Power Index, or EPI, and fourth-down decision making, referred to as Critical Call Index, or CCI. For a deeper explanation please review EdjSports methodology below.

Week 17 rankings table

Our Methodology

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 (fourth 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 fourth 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.


4 comments, Last at 30 Dec 2021, 10:21am

#1 by jheidelberg // Dec 29, 2021 - 4:34pm

I know that I have seen it before, but I can not find games cost per season via non-optimal coaches decisions.

Where can I find the list for each year, 2019,2020, and 2021 or more years if you have them?

Points: 0

#2 by terps // Dec 29, 2021 - 11:36pm

I’m not the biggest Tomlin fan but this metric seems like it may need an adjustment if he’s dead last. 

4th down aggressiveness seems like progressive thinking and improves win probability at the margins, but should it really be weighted so heavily?

Points: 0

#3 by Topas // Dec 30, 2021 - 4:00am

But Reich is listed at 4!?!

why is he first. I don’t get it …

Points: 0

#4 by Aaron Schatz // Dec 30, 2021 - 10:21am

Somehow, the graphic from two weeks ago was loaded up instead. Replacing it now.

Points: 0

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