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NFL Coach of the Year race 2023: Final NFL COY rankings, Kevin Stefanski and DeMeco Ryans in mix

Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Coach of the Year isn’t one of the most popular awards in the National Football League. However, winning the honor is an important accomplishment for an NFL head coach and the field heading into the 2023 season is fairly stacked.

Winning Coach of the Year honors doesn’t necessarily mean the recipient is the best NFL head coach. While New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has earned the honor three times, he last won it in 2010. Furthermore, the recipients of the recognition in 2016 (Jason Garrett) and 2018 (Matt Nagy) were fired less than three years after being named NFL Coach of the Year. However, it’s still a meaningful honor.

Let’s dive into the 2023 NFL Coach of the Year race.

Further below, you can find the latest NFL Coach of the Year odds and past Coach of the Year winners.

NFL Coach of the Year race: Evaluating 2023 COY candidates

1DeMeco Ryans10-7
2Kevin Stefanski11-5
3Sean McVay9-7
4Shane Steichen9-8
5John Harbaugh13-4

DeMeco Ryans, Houston Texans

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

As with any other award, voting for NFL Coach of the Year can come down to the final weekend with recency bias playing a role. In a must-win game for the Houston Texans, first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans closed out the regular season with a victory, securing a playoff spot for the Texans. Coming into the year, most thought Houston would finish at the bottom of the NFL standings. Instead, Ryans hired offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, who unlocked this offense with C.J. Stroud, while Ryans squeezed out a lot more production and consistency from a young defense. That’s why Ryans is our NFL COY pick.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order, picks by team

Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns

NFL: New York Jets at Cleveland Browns
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns didn’t exceed preseason expectations by a wide margin. However, if you told anyone that Cleveland would need to start four quarterbacks this season, no one would’ve predicted them to make the playoffs. If you added to the fact that Nick Chubb would go down just weeks into the regular season, most would’ve predicted the Browns were so bad that Kevin Stefanski was fired. Instead, Stefanski kept adapting his offense to his quarterback and backup running backs, then he struck gold with Joe Flacco and Jerome Ford. If we could split NFL COY we would, but Ryans gets the edge over Stefanski by a hair.

Related: NFL stadium rankings

3. Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Sean McVay was already one of the best head coaches in the NFL and his coaching efforts this season further strengthened that. The Los Angeles Rams were projected to be even worse than the Texans this season, relying on a very young defense and an old offense just to stay afloat. Instead of tanking for Caleb Williams, McVay’s offense unlocked two of the NFL’s newest stars (Kyren Williams and Puka Nacua), all while Matthew Stafford played at an MVP-caliber level. While McVay places third in our NFL COY rankings, anyone who votes him higher has a sound argument for it.

Related: NFL expert picks

4. Shane Steichen, Indianapolis Colts

NFL: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
Credit: Jenna Watson-USA TODAY Sports

Some might write off Shane Steichen’s NFL COY case completely because of the fourth-down call in Week 18. Remember, though, the Colts won nine games in a transition year when their franchise rookie quarterback missed a majority of the season and star running back Jonathan Taylor missed significant time. Even as a first-year coach, Steichen improved the Colts’ year-to-year record by 5 wins and he made this offense look functional even with the inaccurate Gardner Minshew under center. Great things are coming to Indianapolis under Steichen.

Related: NFL coaching hot seat

NFL Coach of the Year odds 2023

Here are the latest NFL Coach of the Year odds entering Week 18, via BetMGM. We’ll update the NFL COY odds every few weeks.

  • Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns – -250
  • DeMeco Ryans, Houston Texans – +150
  • John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens – +2200
  • Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions – +2500
  • Mike McDaniel, Miami Dolphins – +5000

Related: 2023 fantasy football rankings

Who is favored to win Coach of the Year NFL?

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell is favored (+250) to win NFL Coach of the Year in 2023.

NFL Coach of the Year winners

  • 2022: Brian Daboll, New York Giants – 9-7-1
  • 2021: Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans – 12-5
  • 2020: Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns – 11-5
  • 2019: John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens – 14-2
  • 2018: Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears – 12-4
  • 2017: Sean McVay, Los Angeles rams – 11-5
  • 2016: Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys – 13-3
  • 2015: Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers – 15-1
  • 2014: Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals – 11-5
  • 2013: Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers – 12-4

Related: NFL defense rankings

Who just won NFL Coach of the year 2022?

NFL: Preseason-New York Jets at New York Giants
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll won NFL Coach of the Year in 2022. In his first season as head coach, Daboll led the Giants to their first playoff appearance since 2016.

Who votes on NFL Coach of the Year?

The Associated Press votes on the NFL Coach of the Year at the end of each regular season. There are 50 total voters, with a point system and first-place votes awarded. The winners is then announced at the annual NFL Honors show right before the Super Bowl.

What is NFL Coach of the Year based on?

Voting for NFL Coach of the Year is based on a variety of factors, including win-loss record and how a team performed versus preseason expectations. The award is rarely given out to the best head coach in the NFL. Instead, the head coach of a team who breaks out or makes the playoffs when they weren’t expected to typically wins Coach of the Year.

Who won back to back Coach of the Year in the NFL?

Allie Sherman (1961-’62), Don Shula (1967-’68), Jack Pardee (1978-’79) and Joe Gibbs (1982-’83) have won NFL Coach of the Year in back-to-back seasons. However, no one has accomplished it in the last 40 years.

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