NFL Coach of the Year Candidates Ranked

Stephen Douglas
Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots / Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

The race for the NFL's Coach of the Year award is pretty tight this season. Multiple coaches have legitimate claims to the title-- although it's worth keeping in mind that no team with single digit wins has produced a COY since Jimmy Johnson in 1990. Lots of big names have their teams in the hunt for the Super Bowl.

5. Mike & Mike
Mike Vrabel and Mike Tomlin have both done tremendous jobs despite bad starts and multiple quarterbacks. Both guys are fighting for the same AFC Wild Card spot and very unlikely to win this award unless they go at least 2-1 in their last three games of the season.

4. Bill Belichick
The Patriots are about to win the AFC East for the 11th consecutive season. Here's the full list of people who have won NFL Coach of the Year more recently than Bill Belichick: Ron Rivera (twice), Bruce Arians (twice), Jim Harbaugh, Jason Garrett, Sean McVay, and Matt Nagy. Combine that with the fact that he's already won 10 games with the corpse of Tom Brady at quarterback...

3. Sean Payton
The Saints are one of the top teams in the NFC again and they've stayed competitive despite a Drew Brees injury threatening to throw a wrench into the middle of their season. Payton won the award in 2006 and he's gone 13-3 three times since then without ever winning another award. If the Saints can end up with a first round bye, Payton will have a serious shot at his second award.

2. Kyle Shanahan
The San Francisco 49ers are tied with the Ravens for the best record in football. By yardage, the Niners have the 4th best offense in football and 2nd best defense. By scoring they have the 2nd best offense and 3rd best defense. This team went 4-12 last season. If San Francisco finishes with the best record in the league, Kyle Shanahan could win the award his father never did.

San Francisco 49ers v Baltimore Ravens
San Francisco 49ers v Baltimore Ravens / Rob Carr/Getty Images

1. John Harbaugh
After getting rid of Joe Flacco, Harbaugh tailored the Ravens offense around its most talented and important player, Lamar Jackson. Now Jackson is an MVP candidate and the Ravens need two wins in their final three games to finish with the best record of the Harbaugh era. Despite only finishing one season below-.500 in his tenure and winning a Super Bowl to cap the 2012 season, this could very well be Harbaugh's finest coaching performance to date.

Honorable Mention: Sean McDermott who has the Bills in the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Matt LaFleur who really just took off running with the groundwork that Joe Philbin laid last season.