Expert Analysis


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Grading Every NFL Head Coach's Performance in 2023

With the 2023 NFL season officially in the book, Ross Tucker grades every NFL coach's performance. Find out how your team's coach is rated.

NFL Coaching Grades

Jonathan Gannon, Arizona Cardinals

Grade: B

The Arizona Cardinals weren't supposed to win many games, and they didn't. But Jonathan Gannon getting wins over playoff teams such as the Cowboys, Steelers and Eagles (the last two on the road) with a rebuilding roster bereft of talent is pretty darn impressive.

Arthur Smith, Atlanta Falcons

Grade: C-

Arthur Smith exceeded expectations in his first two seasons with the franchise. However, he fell short this year, resulting in his departure. Despite the setback, there's a lingering curiosity about how he might have performed with a top-20 quarterback during his Atlanta Falcons tenure.

John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens

Grade: A

John Harbaugh's decision to switch from Greg Roman to Todd Monken as the team's offensive coordinator proved brilliant. Despite facing significant injuries, including a season-ending setback for TE Mark Andrews, Harbaugh's team secured the  No. 1 seed in the AFC, making the Baltimore Ravens arguably the best team in football.

Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills

Grade: B+

Sean McDermott deserves credit for turning the season around after the Buffalo Bills' initial struggles, especially following the firing of OC Ken Dorsey in favor of Joe Brady. Even without key players such as CB Tre White and LB Matt Milano, the defense's strong performance adds to McDermott's accolades.

Frank Reich/Chris Tabor, Carolina Panthers

Grade: F

The Carolina Panthers' strategy of bringing in veteran players such as Adam Thielen, D.J. Chark, Hayden Hurst and Miles Sanders to build a solid supporting cast for Bryce Young didn't pan out. The team failed to compete successfully in the NFC South, leading to a dismal grade for Frank Reich.

Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears

Grade: B-

Despite a rough start, Matt Eberflus and the Chicago Bears finished strong with a 5-3 record down the stretch. The losses came against playoff teams, highlighting the team's improvement throughout the season.

Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals

Grade: B

Zac Taylor showcased his coaching prowess by leading the Cincinnati Bengals to nine wins even after losing their franchise quarterback for the season. The stability within this organization is evident, thanks to Taylor and his excellent coaching staff.

Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns

Grade: A+

Kevin Stefanski achieved a remarkable feat as the first coach to win games with four or more quarterbacks since at least 1950. Despite significant injuries on the Cleveland Browns' roster, including key players such as the star running back, franchise quarterback and top offensive tackles, Stefanski's leadership should earn him Coach of the Year honors.

Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys

Grade: A-

Despite initial doubts about Mike McCarthy calling plays instead of Kellen Moore, the decision proved successful. The Dallas Cowboys finished strong, and the focus is on making a deep playoff run — and possibly reaching the NFC Championship game.

Sean Payton, Denver Broncos

Grade: C+

Under Sean Payton's guidance, the Denver Broncos showed improvement over the previous year. However, their inability to finish the season strong affected Payton's grade.

Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions

Grade: A

Dan Campbell has undeniably changed the culture in Detroit, leading the team to its first division title and home playoff game in 30 years. The results speak for themselves, earning Campbell a well-deserved 'A' grade.

Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers

Grade: A-

Despite a roller-coaster season, the Green Bay Packers finished strong, winning their last three games. Under Matt LaFleur's leadership, they are the youngest team in the postseason since the 1974 Bills.

Demeco Ryans, Houston Texans

Grade: A

DeMeco Ryans orchestrated a remarkable turnaround for the Houston Texans, securing a division title and a home playoff game in his first year. The only reason for an A grade instead of an A-plus is the uncertainty surrounding how much of the credit should go to rookie sensation C.J. Stroud as opposed to Ryans.

Shane Steichen, Indianapolis Colts

Grade: A-

While the Indianapolis Colts didn't finish as strong as desired, Shane Steichen put together a winning season and a crucial Week 17 win with Gardner Minshew at quarterback. Considering where the Colts were last year, this is a notable accomplishment.

Doug Pederson, Jacksonville Jaguars

Grade: D+

Doug Pederson's positive start with the Jacksonville Jaguars was overshadowed by an epic collapse down the stretch. The team's performance in crucial moments negatively affected Pederson's grade.

Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs

Grade: B-

The Kansas City Chiefs won their division, but their 11-6 record was supported significantly by Steve Spagnuolo and the defensive side of the ball. Kansas City experienced its worst offensive showing of the Patrick Mahomes era under Andy Reid.

Antonio Pierce, Las Vegas Raiders

Grade: B+

Despite imperfections, Antonio Pierce did an excellent job as an interim head coach. The question remains whether Mark Davis will make the right decision and appoint Pierce to the permanent role.

Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers

Grade: F

Brandon Staley, the only fired coach with a top-20 quarterback in Justin Herbert, had a disappointing season. The team's struggles despite its talent reflected poorly on Staley.

Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams

Grade: A

The Los Angeles Rams exceeded optimistic expectations and performed exceptionally well under Sean McVay's leadership with a roster of unknowns and players on rookie contracts.

Mike McDaniel, Miami Dolphins

Grade: B+

Mike McDaniel's offensive expertise contributed to the Miami Dolphins taking a significant step forward. However, their lack of success against quality opponents slightly diminishes McDaniel's grade.

Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

Grade: B

Despite losing Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson for a substantial part of the season, Kevin O'Connell had the Minnesota Vikings in playoff contention late in the season before finishing on a negative note.

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

Grade: D-

With the limited talent on the roster, Bill Belichick's grocery-shopping responsibilities come into question. The lackluster performance led to a D-minus grade, only saved from an F due to roster constraints.

Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints

Grade: C

Dennis Allen and the New Orleans Saints turned in an average performance across the board, resulting in a C grade.

Brian Daboll, New York Giants

Grade: D

Despite struggles and injuries, the New York Giants never quit on Brian Daboll. His ability to keep the team motivated earned him credit, which is reflected in the final grade.

Robert Saleh, New York Jets

Grade: D+

Tell me if this sounds familiar: Despite struggles and serious injuries, the New York Jets did not quit on Robert Saleh. He deserves similar credit for keeping his team motivated throughout a challenging season.

Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia Eagles

Grade: C

Nick Sirianni deserves credit for the Philadelphia Eagles' 10-1 start, but that was offset by a late-season swoon. Ultimately, that results in a mediocre grade for the coach of the defending NFC champion.

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

Grade: B+

Mike Tomlin was impressive leading the Pittsburgh Steelers to 10 wins and a playoff berth despite facing challenges with the team's quarterback play. However, late-season home losses to the Patriots and Cardinals affected his grade.

Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers

Grade: A-

Despite being an excellent coach, Kyle Shanahan deserves scrutiny for incurring five losses with the most talented roster in the NFL.

Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks

Grade: B

The Seattle Seahawks' season felt repetitive under Pete Carroll's leadership, resulting in an average grade for his performance.

Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Grade: A-

Contrary to expectations, Todd Bowles guided the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to victory in the NFC South. Acknowledging the post–Tom Brady success, Bowles earned a commendable grade.

Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans

Grade: C

While an excellent coach, Mike Vrabel's performance this season was not his best work. Still, his coaching abilities make him a sought-after candidate for future opportunities.

Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders

Grade: D

It's hard to grade a coach whose team traded both starting edge rushers and relied on an unproven, young quarterback who faltered down the stretch, but the Washington Commanders still should've won more than four games.