AP NFL Coach of the Year 2019-20

One of the most widely recognized and coveted NFL awards bestowed yearly is the Associated Press (AP) Coach of the Year (COY) award, and here we briefly explore the origin of the honor and analyze the odds and predictions of the top-ten candidates who might win the COY at the end of the 2019 NFL season.   

New NFL head coaches typically get a five-year contract, but most are canned before their deals expire, so it is always interesting to speculate on the fate of these underappreciated (and often overpaid) team leaders.

One way to keep your head-coaching job secure is by being named the NFL Coach of the Year (COY), an honor that goes to the head coach who sports writers feel did the best job of working with the talent that he had at his disposal, and the odds-on favorite right now is only in his first year ever as a head coach.

There are several versions of this prestigious award, but here we take a look at the odds and predictions of the top-ten candidates who are most likely to be named winners of the Associated Press (AP) NFL Coach of the Year award.

What exactly is the NFL Coach of the Year Award?

Of all the Coach of the Year awards that are given out currently and in the past – Associated Press, Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly, UPI, etc. – the AP version is the most celebrated in the professional football world.

The first AP COY award was given out in 1957 and did not include the American Football League (AFL) and the UPI stopped giving out its awards after 1996.

How are the COY winners decided?

At the end of every season, AP sportswriters vote to see which NFL head coach led their team to the best season given the quality of the roster that they had to work with.

Who won the COY award last year?

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy won the AP COY award in 2018 after leading his team to a 12-4 record, an NFC North first place finish and a trip to the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

The Bears ended up losing in that Wild Card game to the Philadelphia Eagles 15-16, but their .750 winning percentage that season was the best since 2006 when it was .813 and the Bears went to the Super Bowl.

This season, Nagy did not even break the top-ten list of candidates, landing at 13th place tied with four others with +2000 odds.

Here are the current top-ten odds and predictions listed for which NFL head coach will be named Coach of the Year in 2019:

If you live in New Jersey and want to bet on futures in the NFL you can do so on 888sport.

Check out the latest odds here.

Good luck!

10) Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks

Sportsbook Coach of the Year Link
888Sport NJ +2000
PlayMGM NJ +2500

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

  • Current Age: 67                          
  • Total Seasons with current team: 8
  • 2018 team record: 10-6, 0-1
  • NFL Championships: Super Bowl XLVIII (2013)
  • Career regular season Win / Loss record: 118-85-1 (.581)               
  • Career postseason Win / Loss record: 10-8 (.556)
  • Job prior to this one: University of Southern California (USC) head coach (2001 – 2009)

Analysis: The best way for Pete Carroll to win this award is to bring another Lombardi Trophy back to Seattle after coming up short in that regard for the last seven seasons using the same quarterback from their last (and only) Super Bowl victory in 2013, Russell Wilson.

Wilson now has the physically imposing rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf as a target and as a distraction to balance off the Seattle Seahawks run attack led by Chris Carson, so the talent looks to be there.

Carroll, a former winner of the Home Depot Coach of the Year award in 2003, has led his Seahawks to the postseason in seven of the last twelve seasons, including two NFC Championships and a Super Bowl win, so for 2019 to be recognized as a special season for him, it would most likely have to include another victory in the Big Game.

9) Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons

Sportsbook Coach of the Year Link
888Sport NJ +1600
PlayMGM NJ +2000

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

  • Current Age: 48                          
  • Total Seasons with current team: 4
  • 2018 team record: 7-9, 0-0
  • NFL Championships: Super Bowl XLVIII (2013, as the Seahawks defensive coordinator)
  • Career regular season Win / Loss record: 36-28-0 (.563)                 
  • Career postseason Win / Loss record: 3-2 (.600)
  • Job prior to this one: Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator (2013 – 2014)

Analysis: Last season was a major disappointment for Dan Quinn and his Atlanta Falcons, a year that started out 1-4 after losing no less than seven starters to season ending injuries.

If the roster can stay healthy (a big if, apparently), Quinn has a chance to redeem the Super Bowl lost he suffered in 2016 with his Falcons in just his second year as the head coach.

It will also take Quinn figuring out how to be more productive in the red zone, especially between veteran quarterback Matt Ryan and arguably one of the best receivers in the NFL, Julio Jones, and at least a return trip to the Super Bowl (and another win would definitely help!) before Quinn could take home this award.  

8) Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sportsbook Coach of the Year Link
888Sport NJ +1600
PlayMGM NJ +2000

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

  • Current Age: 66                          
  • Total Seasons with current team: First
  • 2018 team record: N/A (Broadcasting Booth)
  • NFL Championships: N/A
  • Career regular season Win / Loss record: 58-33-1 (.636)                 
  • Career postseason Win / Loss record: 1-2 (.333)
  • Job prior to this one: NFL game analyst for CBS Sports (2018)

Analysis: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ bar is fairly low for new head coach Bruce Arians, given that the team hasn’t been in the postseason since 2007 and they’ve posted a 5-11 record for the last two seasons.

General manager Jason Licht is counting on a verified healthy Arians to turn that around and figure out a way to get the Bucs out of the NFC South basement and back to competing in the playoffs.

For Arians to win the COY award again (he’s already won it twice, in 2012 and 2014), he would have to figure out how to return quarterback Jameis Winston back to his talented glory days and lead the team to their first winning record since 2016 and their first postseason appearance since 2007.

7) Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs

Sportsbook Coach of the Year Link
888Sport NJ +1400
PlayMGM NJ +1000

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

  • Current Age: 61                          
  • Total Seasons with current team: 6
  • 2018 team record: 12-4, 1-1
  • NFL Championships: Super Bowl XXXI (1996 as the Green Bay Packers tight ends coach)
  • Career regular season Win / Loss record: 195-124-1 (.611)             
  • Career postseason Win / Loss record: 12-14 (.462)
  • Job prior to this one: Philadelphia Eagles head coach (1999 – 2012)

Analysis: In the six seasons that Andy Reid has been the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, he has taken the team to the playoffs five times, with the team barely missing out on the Super Bowl last season by an overtime loss in New England.

Point is, getting the Chiefs to the playoffs will not be enough to win Reid the COY award, not while the talented quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce are on his offensive roster.

But if Reid, a former winner of this award in 2002, can lead Kansas City back to a Super Bowl appearance and victory for the first time since they beat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV back in 1969, he would be a legitimate candidate for this elite award.

6) Doug Pederson, Philadelphia Eagles

Sportsbook Coach of the Year Link
888Sport NJ +1400
PlayMGM NJ +1600
DraftKings +1400

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

  • Current Age: 51                          
  • Total Seasons with current team: 3
  • 2018 team record: 9-7, 1-1
  • NFL Championships: Super Bowl XXXI (1996 as Green Bay Packers backup quarterback), Super Bowl LII (2017 as Eagles head coach)
  • Career regular season Win / Loss record: 29-19 (.604)                     
  • Career postseason Win / Loss record: 4-1 (.800)
  • Job prior to this one: Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator (2013 – 2015)

Analysis: If Doug Pederson could get his Philadelphia Eagles back for a Super Bowl win for the second time in what will be his four NFL seasons, he could be a lock for the 2019 COY award.

The biggest problem standing in his way is his exceptional quarterback, Carson Wentz, who hasn’t stayed healthy or played a full season (or any postseason games) in his last two years.

An admirable roster that includes receivers Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and now Desean Jackson plus defensive stars Fletcher Cox and Malcolm Jenkins should help Pederson get his wins, except now the team has to do it without their Super Bowl MVP backup quarterback Nick Foles, who is currently taking starting snaps for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

5) Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints

Sportsbook Coach of the Year Link
888Sport NJ +1400
PlayMGM NJ +1000
DraftKings +1400

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

  • Current Age: 55                          
  • Total Seasons with current team: 13
  • 2018 team record: 13-3, 1-1
  • NFL Championships: Super Bowl XLIV (2009), NFC (2009)
  • Career regular season Win / Loss record: 118-74 (.615)                   
  • Career postseason Win / Loss record: 8-6 (.571)
  • Job prior to this one: Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach (2003 – 2005)

Analysis: Not including 2012, the season Payton was suspended for his prior “crush-for-cash” bounty system that targeted opposing players, for seven of the last twelve seasons that Sean Payton has been the head coach of the New Orleans Saints, the team has seen the postseason.

And that includes a Super Bowl XLIV victory in 2009 when his veteran (and future Hall of Fame) quarterback Drew Brees was awarded the MVP of that game.  

Payton was the AP COY winner in 2006, his first season head coaching in the NFL when he led his Saints to a 10-6 record, a first place finish in the NFC South and a loss in the NFC Championship to the Bears 14-39, and he could win the award again if he can get the aging Brees another Super Bowl ring in 2019.

4) Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams

Sportsbook Coach of the Year Link
888Sport NJ +1400
PlayMGM NJ +1200
DraftKings +1400

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

  • Current Age: 33                          
  • Total Seasons with current team: 2
  • 2018 team record: 13-3, 2-1
  • NFL Championships: NFC (2018)
  • Career regular season Win / Loss record: 24-8 (.750)                       
  • Career postseason Win / Loss record: 2-2 (.500)
  • Job prior to this one: Washington Redskins Offensive Coordinator (2014 – 2016)

Analysis: In the two seasons that Sean McVay has been the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams, he has led them to the playoffs twice, including a trip to Super Bowl LIII, when the Rams lost to the New England Patriots 3-13.

McVay, currently the youngest head coach in the NFL, has an incredible roster to work with, including his young phenom quarterback Jared Goff, the finally-healed wide receiver Cooper Kupp and arguably the best player in the NFL, defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

At the end of his rookie season in 2017, McVay was named the AP COY for having brought the Rams back to the postseason for the first time in over a dozen seasons, so for him to win it again in 2019, it will most likely take him a Super Bowl victory against a better team.  

3) Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

Sportsbook Coach of the Year Link
888Sport NJ +1400
PlayMGM NJ +1000
DraftKings +1400

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

  • Current Age: 67                          
  • Total Seasons with current team: 18
  • 2018 team record: 11-5, 3-0
  • NFL Championships: 6x Super Bowl Champ (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI, LIII)
  • Career regular season Win / Loss record: 261-123 (.680)                 
  • Career postseason Win / Loss record: 31-11 (.738)
  • Job prior to this one: New York Jets defensive coordinator (1997 – 1999)

Analysis: When you are a 3x AP NFL COY winner already like New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick is, then a fourth time doesn’t seem all that unlikely.

Except that Belichick’s quarterback Tom Brady, at 42-years old, is (in the football world) an old man, and the best tight end in the league, Rob Gronkowski, is now retired and no longer on the roster.

But the Patriots have a way of making stars out of underappreciated players, and that’s because Belichick and Brady have an uncanny knack for bringing out the best in young players and NFL vagabonds, so expect them to do the same and take a run at another COY award in 2019.

2) Frank Reich, Indianapolis Colts

Sportsbook Coach of the Year Link
888Sport NJ +1000
PlayMGM NJ +1400
DraftKings +1000

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

  • Current Age: 57                          
  • Total Seasons with current team: 1
  • 2018 team record: 10-6, 0-1
  • NFL Championships: Super Bowl LII (2017 as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator)
  • Career regular season Win / Loss record: 10-6 (.625)                       
  • Career postseason Win / Loss record: 1-1 (.500)
  • Job prior to this one: Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator (2016 – 2017)

Analysis: Frank Reich worked as an OC for the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, and after a rather unpleasant and embarrassing last second turn down from Patriots offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard snagged Reich.

It worked out pretty well, since Reich led Indianapolis and their freshly healed quarterback, Andrew Luck, to the playoffs for the first time since 2014 and under his guidance the Colts have become one of the AFC teams to beat in 2019.

A Colts’ trip to the Super Bowl might be enough to win the COY award for Reich, especially given the relatively young and unknown talent that is currently on the roster.

1) Freddie Kitchens, Cleveland Browns

Sportsbook Coach of the Year Link
888Sport NJ +900
PlayMGM NJ +1100
DraftKings +900

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

  • Current Age: 44                          
  • Total Seasons with current team: First
  • 2018 team record: 7-8-1, 0-0
  • NFL Championships: None
  • Career regular season Win / Loss record: N/A          
  • Career postseason Win / Loss record: N/A
  • Job prior to this one: Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator (2018)

Analysis: Last season’s turnaround for the Cleveland Browns from a winless franchise in 2017 to a seven game winner in 2018 had a lot to do with Freddie Kitchens, who was promoted to offensive coordinator in the middle of last season after Todd Haley got fired.

The big difference with Kitchens game planning the offense and calling the plays was how much better their rookie quarterback, Baker Mayfield, developed as a player and team leader, not to mention the wins.

Many football experts question whether a first time head coach like Kitchens will be able to control such a headstrong roster, one that includes at least two outspoken leaders in Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr., but if Kitchens can and somehow lead the struggling Browns to the postseason for the first time in seventeen seasons, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be considered the 2019 AP Coach of the Year.

State by State Guides

Map of the United States of America

Find Your State

Popular Topics