The Best NFL Coaches of the Past 10 Years

Head coach Andy Reid of Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy February, 2020

The last decade of the NFL has given us some jaw-dropping moments on the field. NFL fans and sports betting fans alike have grown to expect monumental plays and upsets like the Cinderella story of the Eagles in Super Bowl 52, or Odell Beckham Jr. snatching an impossible deep bomb from Eli Manning against the Cowboys way back in 2014.

But how often do we remember that there are coaches behind the scenes (and sometimes not-so-behind the scenes) who dictate and strategize these incredible moments in NFL history?

NFL head coaches seem to have more influence on the game’s outcome than coaches from any other sports. They constantly communicate with their teams, dictate their movements and plays, make real-time decisions, and adapt their strategies as the game evolves. The difference between good and bad coaching staff can almost definitely be the difference between a winning season and an absolute flop. Therefore, great coaches are definitely worthy of our praise.

Online sports betting fans and sportsbook casinos will already know that a winning team consists of more than just the players’ ability on the field and that they rely heavily on experienced coaches to guide their plays into the endzone. If you’re looking for the best NFL odds, these are some of the things you must consider.

NFL coaches are defined by their era, but the best NFL coaches define theirs. Here is a breakdown of our top 10 NFL coaches of the last decade.

10. Ron Rivera – Carolina Panthers

Head coach Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium December 2019

Coming in at number 10 is Riverboat Ron Rivera for his outstanding performance as head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Rivera had three seasons of double-digit wins in only six years and was NFL Coach of the Year in both 2013 and 2015. Rivera also held three consecutive NFC South crowns at one point and even took the Panthers to the Super Bowl. 

Having found his new home with the Washington Football Team (formerly the Washington Redskins), we look forward to seeing Riverboat Rivera climb a few spots on this list in the coming seasons.

9. Pete Carroll – Seattle Seahawks

At the start of the decade, Pete Carroll was the newbie coach from USC that nobody thought could cut it playing with the big boys. This sentiment didn’t last long though, because, in 2013, Carroll took the Seahawks to the Super Bowl, and they came home with the Vince Lombardi trophy in hand. On top of that, they nearly won a second, and Carroll’s Seahawks have only missed the playoffs twice in the last 10 seasons. 

If this was a list based solely on win/loss records and past success (Carroll has posted a 100-59-1 record in his last 10 seasons), Carroll would be way up the list. But his stubbornness and reluctance to evolve with the game might leave teams with a smarter, more analytical approach (like the Ravens) in better stead in the coming seasons. He is one of only three football coaches who have won both a Super Bowl and a college football national championship.

8. Doug Pederson – Philadelphia Eagles

Sometimes a great coach is faced with circumstances he can’t control, and it’s how he handles and navigates these issues that prove his merit. Doug Pederson has been faced with a slew of injuries in his time with the Eagles, but despite that has managed to put up a 38-26 record — good enough for a 59.4 winning percentage. 

The real reason Pederson is on this list though is the 2017 season when Carson Wentz earned a season-ending injury, and Pederson pushed Nick Foles to rise and meet his potential and become a Super Bowl MVP. Pederson ultimately assembled top-quality coaching staff, built on an already promising rookie season by his young quarterback, Carson Wentz, and accomplished an incredible feat with the team.

7. Kyle Shanahan – San Francisco 49ers

If Kyle Shanahan eventually became the best coach in the league, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Shanahan is only 40 years old and, like Andy Reid, is an offensive mastermind.

It’s hard to judge Shanahan’s career resume because, until the 2019 season came around, he had been dealt a fairly rough hand. The 49ers had come off a 1-10 record in 2017 with Hoyer and Beathard at QB, but Garoppolo arrived via trade (and just in time) to clutch the last five games of the season. In 2019 though, Shanahan turned things around and posted a 13-3 record and came only a few minutes short of winning the Super Bowl. During the 2019 season, the 49ers won their first eight games which made Shanahan only the third coach to begin 8-0 after an earlier 0-8 season start.

6. Sean McVay – Los Angeles Rams

While Sean McVay may have had a rough 2019 season (for which he received plenty of criticism), we need to take a look at the bigger picture. McVay is only 30 years old, he went 24-8 in his first two seasons with two playoff appearances and led his team to the Super Bowl. 

Though disappointing, the Rams’ 2019 season still featured nine wins, which means McVay boasts a record of 33-15, which is a winning percentage of 68.8 – the highest of any coach on this list. Given his relative inexperience, time will create a bigger sample size to base McVay’s performance on. Until then, he needs to keep making adjustments if the Rams are going to survive a tough division this season.

5. Mike Tomlin – Pittsburgh Steelers

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium December 2019

Mike Tomlin has had an incredibly successful career as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tomlin managed to take his Steelers squad to the Super Bowl twice this decade and is the youngest head coach to ever win the Super Bowl. 

He is also the only coach to reach the Super Bowl twice before the age of 40 and is the second-ever African American coach to win the Super bowl. The third-winningest coach this decade, despite losing Roethlisberger early last season, Tomlin has always managed to keep his Steelers in the mix. In his 14 seasons as head coach for the Steelers, he has accomplished many things that have never been done in the team’s history. Entering the 2021 season, Tomlin ranks among the League’s longest-tenured active head coaches.

4. Sean Payton – New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints are an elite NFL team, with an elite head coach behind them. Though their luck has seemed to dissipate in the last few seasons, Sean Payton’s Saints remain a regular fixture in the playoffs. Payton owns a 133-77 record over his 13 seasons with the Saints, which nets him a 63.0 winning percentage. Payton holds steady that they are happy with the quarterback room and with an impressive coaching career, it will be interesting to see how the New Orleans Saints perform in upcoming games. 

3. John Harbaugh – Baltimore Ravens

This decade was rough on the Ravens, as they had to endure almost constant changes throughout, but John Harbaugh and his team have put in the work to remain competitive despite this. Harbaugh’s ability to change his approach, as new members filter in and out of his squad, only highlights the impact a good coach can have on their team – no matter the circumstances. 

Harbaugh is content with his current 2021 roster and believes they have everything they need. Let’s see what the Raven’s get up to when they take to the field.

2. Andy Reid – Philadelphia Eagles/Kansas City Chiefs

Andy Reid’s immense regular-season success has easily secured him 2nd place on our list. Reid began the decade leading his Philadelphia Eagles to become NFC East champions in 2010. By 2013, he made the move to coach the Kansas City Chiefs (who he has since taken to the playoffs six times) and ended one of the biggest droughts in NFL history. Sportsbook casinos and online football betting fans consider the Chiefs the firm favorites to win its third consecutive AFC title this season.

It is now clear that offensive mastermind Andy Reid and his Chiefs, with Mahone as their long-term starter, are serious contenders in the NFL and have plenty more wins lined up in the coming seasons.

1. Bill Belichick – New England Patriots

Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium January 2020

NFL coaching history goes a little something like this: George Halas invented it, Paul Brown professionalized it, Bill Walsh refined it, and Bill Belichick re-engineered it for modern NFL. Belichick is one of those coaches that defined his era. 

In addition to three Super Bowl wins, and three more AFC titles in eight years, Belichick has an unbelievable 141 regular season and playoff wins in this past decade alone — no other coach has achieved this. The fact that his Patriots have won their division every season this decade should say enough about Belichick’s coaching ability. He is simply the best NFL head coach of the year, decade, and possibly even the century. Online sports bettors will already know to keep a keen eye on Belichick and his Patriots.

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