NFL Power Rankings Week Six: Ranking The NFC Coaches
The NFC is littered with guys who are doing an excellent job at the helm of their team. There are also quite a few who seem to have no clue what they are doing.
All over the league there are coaches who are running things fine, but there are still those who are having some ugly seasons.
A football team lives and dies by its head coach, that is, if they don't have Peyton Manning as quarterback, so, as of now, here are the best and worst of the coaches in the NFC.
16. Wade Phillips, Dallas Cowboys (1-3)
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Yes, there are teams that have worse records than Dallas, and yes, they have played in many close games, and even beat a good Houston team, but it is the way that Dallas is losing that is making Wade Phillips look bad.
Dallas is racking up penalties by the boatload, and on Sunday it cost them in a big way, being the main reason they lost to Tennessee.
If there is one thing that head coaches need to be able to control, it is penalties, and right now the 'Boys are the most undisciplined team in the NFL.
15. Mike Singletary, San Fransisco 49ers (0-5)
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Singletary has been coaching with a stubbornness that is dangerous to a football team.
Sunday, with his team down by 14 and the walls caving in on yet another game, he stuck with Alex Smith at quarterback, and it almost worked, but they still lost in the end.
The point here is that everything was pointing to benching Alex Smith. His team was 0-4 staring 0-5 in the face, Smith has had a terrible year so far, and the fans had completely turned on him, begging Singletary to put David Carr in, but Smith stayed, and the game was lost.
14. John Fox, Carolina Panthers (0-5)
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Once upon a time, Fox seemed like a good coach, now...not so much.
In his defense he has Jimmy Clausen and Matt Moore to command his offense, but that doesn't cover up the fact that his team produced 147 total yards against Chicago on Sunday, only 62 of which were passing yards.
Fox seems destined to not be coaching this team come December, and if he keeps putting up horrible numbers, the time could come sooner.
13. Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions (1-4)
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Jim Schwartz's idea of an offense is to let Shaun Hill throw the ball 40-50 times a game.
If you have a top tier quarterback, that can be a good game plan, if you have Shaun Hill, not so much.
Hill finally threw the ball fewer than 40 times in a game Sunday, and wouldn't you know it, the Lions whupped the Rams.
Fortunately for Schwartz, the team is awful and everybody involved in the organization knows it, so he should be safe for now.
12. Steve Spagunolo, St. Louis Rams (2-3)
The man opened a game againts the 0-4 Detroit Lions with an onside kick. Someone please tell him that that has worked twice in the past decade.
Now, of course, if it works he looks like a genius and he is three to five spots higher here, but it didn't and it makes him look like an idiot. That, and the part where he lost to Detroit 44-6.
11. Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
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Childress has had a tough time in the Vikings first four games.
He has suffered through ugly performance after ugly performance by Brett Favre and he has seen his only victory over the Lions.
He has not handled the decline of Favre well and it has been detrimental to the team.
10. Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints (3-2)
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Payton has not been able to lead his team to a start similar to the one they had last year.
This week it all came to a head when he was unable to beat a team without a real quarterback in Arizona.
Thanks to the early season cupcake schedule, the Saints are 3-2, but the teams they have beat have one win combined right now, and that cannot mask the early struggles of the Saints.
9. Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks (2-2)
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Pete Carroll let his college ball coach mentality take over a few weeks ago at the end of the first half against the Chargers. With no timeouts and a third and goal on the two yard line, Carroll called a QB sneak, ending the drive and putting no points on the board. In the NFL, you take the points.
Other than that there are no really glaring errors to be documented from Carroll's first four games with the Seahawks, as long as he learns from his mistakes, he should be a good ball coach.
8. Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (3-2)
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Coughlin is still the same old-school football coach he has been for the past 86 years, unfortunately he is losing the discipline of some of his players.
It always seems that penalties stem from an undisciplined team, and the man who is supposed to discipline the team is the head coach. Well, the Giants have had a few games chocked full of penalties this season, and it is something that can directly lead to losing games.
Coughlin needs to get his rascals in line.
7. Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers (3-2)
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McCarthy has done nothing huge so far this year to screw up a good team, he has had a few questionable play calls from time to time, but overall he has been acceptable.
The coming weeks will tell us just how good McCarthy is as his injury list grows. Starters Aaron Rodgers and Jermichael Finley both went down with injuries this week and replacing them if necessary will be difficult.
The Packers already have a long list of injuries, lets see if they an compensate for them.
6. Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)
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Morris has been a fine coach so far this year, and has calmly led his team to three wins over teams with a combined three wins. He has beat the teams that are beatable so far this year.
But, when he had a chance to prove himself and his team against Pittsburgh two weeks ago, he laid an egg, leading his team to a 38-13 defeat.
Nonetheless, Tampa is 3-1, and really, who expected that?
5. Mike Shanahan, Washington Redskins (3-2)
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Shanahan has overcome his preseason feud with Albert Haynesworth and even praised him after the victory over Philadelphia, and Haynesworth even said he was disappointed with that performance.
Maybe his headbutting with the $100 million lineman before the season was a good thing, as it seems he is trying to prove himself to Shanahan.
Either way, the Redskins are sitting atop their division despite a lackluster run game and a shaky Donovan McNabb.
4. Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)
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It hurts my brain to put him this high, it's counter-intuitive, considering he has been one of the worst crunch-time decision makers ever.
However, Reid has handled the pressure of a full-blown quarterback controversy in Philadelphia quite well and is making up for a long list of injuries, putting his team in good position in the NFC East.
Let's see how long he can keep it up.
3. Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears (4-1)
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Lovie Smith as a head coach this season has been nothing short of a badass.
He has shown that he isn't taking crap from his players, Smith has benched underachieving Tommie Harris, pulled Zack Bowman in the middle of a game, and fined Brandon Manumaleuna $22,000 for missing a meeting.
His game against Carolina was still questionable, as his passing attack put up a measly 29 yards, but he is commanding respect from his players, and it is working.
2. Ken Wisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals (3-2)
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Things for the Cardinals did not look good coming into this season. They parted ways with a sulky Matt Leinart and started with the questionable Derek Anderson as their quarterback.
The Cardinals are finding ways to win despite having nothing exceptional really going for them.
Plus, they just beat the defending champion Saints, and any coach that can do that with this team is impressive.
1. Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons (4-1)
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Smith has pulled together a ragtag bunch of players and turned them into a top five football team.
He is helping Matt Ryan control the game and has put together the most prolific rushing attack in the NFC with Michael Turner and Jason Snelling.
He outcoached Sean Payton in an overtime victory against New Orleans in Week 3 and his only loss was tough one in overtime to the Steelers.
Smith has been winning games in late game heroics and should be given a pat on the back for his outstanding efforts.