The Most Impressive NFL Coaches of the Decade

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 and sports betting fans have grown to expect monumental plays and upsets. Remember 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?  

You can’t always depend on the home-field advantage in your NFL betting. If you study NFL betting lines and odds, you’ll know that a talented coach can make or break a team. Regardless of who enjoys the limelight,  behind every great team and unbelievable victory is a dedicated coach. Join us in celebrating the most successful NFL coaches of the decade.  

A day in the life of a top NFL coach

The job of an NFL coach never stops, whether it’s during training before a game or in the middle of one. They constantly communicate with their teams, dictate 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 definitely deserve the same praise and adoration we give players.

Online sports betting fans and sportsbook casinos will already know that a winning team relies on more than just the players’ ability on the field. Teams rely heavily on experienced coaches to guide their plays into the endzone. Whether you’re playing it safe with a matched betting strategy or betting on your favorite team, you need to keep an eye on the pitch and the coach. Here are the head coaches who’ve been consistently raising the bar in the past 10 years. 

The top 10 NFL coaches of the past 10 years

NFL coaches are defined by their era, but the best NFL coaches define theirs. Here is a breakdown of the 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 Commanders in 2020, Rivera shows no signs of slowing down. After his first season with the Commanders, he was selected as the NFC Coach of the Year by the Committee of 101.

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. 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. 

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

Fans of the Seahawks will have to wait and see who will win in the fight between tradition and innovation in the NFL. Either way, the Seahawks head remains a formidable coach and leader.

8. Doug Pederson – Philadelphia Eagles

Sometimes a great coach is faced with circumstances he can’t control. The way he handles and navigates these issues is what proves his merit. Doug Pederson has suffered multiple injuries in his time with the Eagles. Despite these setbacks, the coach has managed to put up a 38-26 record — good enough for a 59.4 winning percentage. 

But the real reason Pederson is on this list is his ability to spot potential and inspire greatness. In the 2017 season, Carson Wentz earned a season-ending injury.  Pederson pushed Nick Foles to meet his potential and become a Super Bowl MVP. Pederson ultimately assembled a top-quality coaching staff, built on an already-promising rookie season by his young quarterback, Carson Wentz. He defied all NFL betting odds and accomplished an incredible feat even after his team was dealt a bad hand.

After his impressive 42-37-1 regular season record with the Eagles, he moved on to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020. 

7. Kyle Shanahan – San Francisco 49ers

If Kyle Shanahan eventually became the best coach in the league, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise. The 42-year-old is an offensive mastermind. 

It’s hard to judge Shanahan’s career resume. 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 just in time via trade to clutch the last five games of the season. In 2019, Shanahan turned things around with 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.

Players who bet on NFL games might have been disappointed by Shanahan’s first few games as coach, but it takes time to reinvigorate a team and bring it back to top form. We look forward to seeing his hard work pay off even more in the upcoming seasons.

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 36 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 for 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 on which to base McVay’s performance. 

Recently, the Rams have lost crucial games to opponents like the 49ers and lost key players to injury. But since McVay is the youngest NFL coach to be appointed, his unique perspective may be exactly what the team needs to turn the season around. 

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.  His accolades and career firsts deserve a post of their own.

Tomlin took 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. Despite losing star player Roethlisberger in earlier seasons, he still ended the season as the third-winningest coach of the decade. 

Tomlin has always managed to keep his Steelers in the mix. In his 14 seasons as head coach for the Steelers, making history has become his brand. After winning the Super Bowl in his second season as coach, he became the fastest coach to win the title in the team’s history. A career like this might make it seem like he’s already reached his peaks, but we expect Tomlin to raise the bar even higher. 

4. Sean Payton – New Orleans Saints

Sure, Sean Payton may have temporarily hung up his coaching hat, but he’s still one of the best coaches of the decade. The New Orleans Saints is an elite NFL team and they have their former head coach to thank for that. 

Payton owns a 133-77 record over his 13 seasons with the Saints, which nets him a 63.0 winning percentage. Since joining the team in 2006, Payton coached the Saints to its first-ever Super Bowl in the 2009 season, and its first-ever Super Bowl win. If you were sad to see him go, you’ll be happy to know the coach has said he’s considering returning to the team in upcoming seasons. 

3. John Harbaugh – Baltimore Ravens

This decade was rough on the Ravens, as they had to endure almost constant changes throughout. Thankfully, 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. 

The Ravens had a league-high 19 players on injured reserve in the 2021 season. There’s no doubt that a resourceful strategist like Harbaugh will bounce back with a stronger team in the upcoming seasons.  

2. Andy Reid – Philadelphia Eagles/Kansas City Chiefs

Andy Reid’s immense regular-season success has easily secured him second place on our list. Reid began the decade leading his Philadelphia Eagles to become NFC East champions in 2010. By 2013, he moved to the Kansas City Chiefs. He took the new team 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 one of the top favorite teams. The team has the most AFL Championship wins with three victories.

It’s now clear that offensive mastermind 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 and Paul Brown professionalized it. Then Bill Walsh refined it and Bill Belichick re-engineered it for the modern NFL.

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 decade, and possibly even the century.  If you’re going to follow one coach, follow Belichick’s career in the NFL for the best bets.

Get the best NFL bets and odds with Borgata Online

If you enjoy NFL games and betting, you’ve come to the right place. Borgata Online brings you the latest NFL odds and picks for upcoming games. Why stop there? Bet on even more games and major sports events by exploring our long list of sports betting options. Register to start your sports betting journey today!