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AFC Head Coach Power Rankings - 2024 NFL Season

Andy Reid - NFL Head Coach

The head coaching carousel has finished spinning, with a handful of new faces taking over teams around the NFL. In the AFC, three new names will patrol the sidelines in 2024, plus another interim head coach from last year was made a permanent fixture for his team.

All of these various coaches have strengths and weaknesses. It can be fun to think about how the coaches compare to each other.

Let's take a look at how every AFC head coach stacks up for the 2024 season.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

1. Andy Reid - Kansas City Chiefs

After winning back-to-back Super Bowl titles, Andy Reid might have topped this list even if Bill Belichick hadn't retired. He continues to bring innovative ideas to the football field and has shaken off all those early-career questions about whether or not he could win the big game. Reid's the class of the NFL.

 

2. John Harbaugh - Baltimore Ravens

Sure, the Ravens didn't make it to the Super Bowl despite being the one-seed in the AFC, but the team continues to churn out successful seasons under John Harbaugh. In 16 seasons with the franchise, Harbaugh has won double-digit games 10 times, including in five of the past six seasons.

 

3. Mike Tomlin - Pittsburgh Steelers

All Mike Tomlin knows how to do is win football games. Despite more uncertainty at quarterback than almost any other NFL team in 2023, the Steelers won 10 games and made the playoffs. Tomlin has never finished under .500 as an NFL head coach during his 17-year tenure with Pittsburgh. He might only have one Super Bowl title to show for it all, but it's still been a highly successful time in the Steel City.

 

4. DeMeco Ryans - Houston Texans

The Texans were expected to be among the NFL's worst teams in 2023. Instead, first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans turned the team around, leading them to a 10-7 record and a Wild Card Round victory over the Cleveland Browns. It was an impressive coaching debut for the former Texans star, who previously spent two seasons as the defensive coordinator for the 49ers.

 

5. Kevin Stefanski - Cleveland Browns

The Browns lost quarterback Deshaun Watson early in the year, but Kevin Stefanski managed to get them to the postseason with a rag-tag group of passers, including veteran Joe Flacco. In four seasons with the Browns, Stefanski is 37-30, which isn't a great record. Still, how he's won those 37 games, with guys like Jacoby Brissett, P.J. Walker, and Dorian Thompson-Robinson starting games at quarterback, is how Stefanski earns this high of a spot.

 

6. Mike McDaniel - Miami Dolphins

Mike McDaniel helped make the Dolphins the No. 1 offense by yardage in 2023, but he just misses out on one of the top five spots on this list. One issue: McDaniel has struggled with challenges in his two seasons at the helm in Miami, going just 3-for-13 on them.

 

7. Sean McDermott - Buffalo Bills

Nothing against Sean McDermott. This ranking just speaks to the strength of the head coaching position in the AFC. McDermott's Bills have 10-plus wins in five consecutive games, but Buffalo continues to stall out in the postseason, losing in their second playoff game for three straight seasons. Can McDermott get this team over the hump and into the Super Bowl?

 

8. Jim Harbaugh - Los Angeles Chargers

Fresh off an NCAA title at Michigan, Jim Harbaugh is back in the NFL. Ranking Harbaugh was tough here because he's 44-19-1 as an NFL head coach, but he also hasn't coached in the NFL since 2014. He was 8-8 in his final year with the 49ers. Can he pick up where he left off a decade ago? Can he be the coach who unlocks Justin Herbert?

 

9. Shane Steichen - Indianapolis Colts

Despite losing quarterback Anthony Richardson to injury, the Colts went 9-8 in Shane Steichen's first season and just barely missed out on a playoff appearance. The former Eagles offensive coordinator had the Colts 10th in points per game despite having to play Gardner Minshew at quarterback for much of the year. He was the right choice for the Colts.

 

10. Zac Taylor - Cincinnati Bengals

Maybe this is too low for Zac Taylor, who took the Bengals to the Super Bowl during the 2021 season and managed to finish over .500 in 2023 despite an injury to Joe Burrow. However, the AFC is stacked with strong head coaches. Taylor has some limitations when it comes to in-game adjustments and playcalling, but winning games with Jake Browning at quarterback isn't easy. He gets credit for that.

 

11. Sean Payton - Denver Broncos

Maybe we're too low on Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton, but in 2023 it looked like Payton might have lost a step. Known best for his time working with Drew Brees in New Orleans, Payton wasn't able to win in Denver with Russell Wilson. Was that because Wilson's lost too many steps? Was it that Payton was buoyed by Brees in New Orleans?

 

12. Doug Pederson - Jacksonville Jaguars

Doug Pederson is really hard to rank here. His past track record with the Philadelphia Eagles can't be ignored, but neither can the collapse of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2023. The team lost five of its final six games to fall out of the playoffs. The only win in that span came against the Carolina Panthers. Pederson's won more than nine games just once as a head coach. He's a great offensive mind, but is he a great head coach?

 

13. Antonio Pierce - Las Vegas Raiders

Antonio Pierce took over as the Raiders head coach with nine games remaining last year, leading the team to a 5-4 record the rest of the way. The team was 3-5 under Josh McDaniels to start the year. Add in that Pierce was winning with rookie Aidan O'Connell under center and you can see why the Raiders retained him full-time for 2024. The only real knock here is the small sample size.

 

14. Brian Callahan - Tennessee Titans

Brian Callahan takes over in Tennessee after five seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. The big question here: was it Callahan or Joe Burrow that led to the offensive success in Cincy in 2021 and 2022? Callahan's teams have only finished in the top 10 in scoring offense in those two seasons.

 

15. Robert Saleh - New York Jets

The writing is on the wall for Robert Saleh, who sports an 18-33 record in three seasons at the helm of the Jets. After finding success as the defensive coordinator for the 49ers, hopes were high for Saleh to continue that success in New York. The defense has played well, but at some point, Saleh has to win games if he wants to keep his job.

 

16. Jerod Mayo - New England Patriots

Jerod Mayo could end up being a really good head coach, but he brings up the rear here because of a lack of experience. Mayo's never even served as a coordinator in the NFL, so the jump to head coach of the Patriots is a pretty big one. Having to follow one of the greatest coaches of all time is some additional pressure for Mayo to live up to.



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