NGSC Sports

AFC North: Head Coach Rankings

The AFC North is currently the only division with two Super Bowl winning head coaches. While this adds prestige to the division, it also offers a quicker route to the hot seat than many other divisions in the NFL. The AFC North head coach rankings was done by their overall success and how likely they are to continue a long tenure with their respective teams.

1.) Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers) :  Regular season: 71-41, Playoffs: 5-3

Averaging about 10 wins per season, Tomlin’s coaching career has lived up to the winning tradition that the Pittsburgh Steelers have established over the last half century. Tomlin boasts four playoff appearances, two Super Bowl appearances, and a Super Bowl victory from 2008. After finishing a disappointing 8-8 for the second consecutive season, he will have his work cut out for him if he wants to continue to be the best coach in his division. Tomlin is a  defensive minded coach will have to return to the roots of this team by injecting some youth and energy into his rushing attack and defensive personnel.  Tomlin’s Steelers may be the early favorites to win this division if they can keep Ben Roethlisberger healthy.

2.) John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): Regular season: 62-34, Playoffs: 9-4

John Harbaugh’s Ravens are also coming off an 8-8 season, but it shouldn’t distract from the excellent job he has done since he began coaching the Ravens in 2008. Harbaugh is also averaging 10 wins per season and until last year had gone to the playoffs each year and has never lost in this first round. Under Harbaugh, the Ravens have collected  two AFC north titles as well as a Super Bowl title in 2012. The reason why Harbaugh isn’t ranked first is because of the huge amount of player turnover after the 2012 season, this team hasn’t yet found the defensive leaders to take the plays that Ray Lewis and Ed Reed gave this team. The Ravens also struggled to run the football enough  to help out franchise quarterback Joe Flacco, who threw 22 interceptions and just 19 touchdowns. While this team has a great deal of talent, they are slightly less stable than the Pittsburgh Steelers.

3.  Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals): Regular Season 90-85-1 , Playoffs: 0-5

It may be controversial to put Lewis at number three, but any head coach who can last 10 seasons with the Bengals deserves some respect. While an 0-5 playoff record may be underwhelming, it’s important to remember that the Bengals were not considered to be a playoff caliber team until 2011.  Therefore, this ranking is also about Lewis being able to squeeze 8, 9, and 10 win seasons with a less than ideal roster. With all that said, the Bengals have  addressed huge needs over the last two seasons and enter 2014 as one of the most talented teams in the AFC.  Lewis must deliver a playoff win to Cincinnati if he wants to avoid a warmer hot seat or an immediate exit after this season.

4.) Mike Pettine (Cleveland Browns): Regular Season 0-0

Mike Pettine is ranked at four only because he’s put in a less than ideal situation as head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Given the off the field issues from Josh Gordon and the ensuing social media circus surrounding Johnny Manziel, it will be hard for Pettine to unite his team in 2014. He also coaches in a very difficult division without a proven starting quarterback, or  potent rushing attack. Pettine has a very impressive resume having served as an assistant to Rex Ryan, but he will have to put the pieces in place to have a sustaining offense if he hopes to find success as a head coach for the Cleveland Browns.


The AFC North will be fun to watch this year as they have a lot of head coaches looking to take their teams to the next level. The team that has the most potent offense will end up winning this division, and the numbers suggest that it will be the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Author Profile


This is the “wpengine” admin user that our staff uses to gain access to your admin area to provide support and troubleshooting. It can only be accessed by a button in our secure log that auto generates a password and dumps that password after the staff member has logged in. We have taken extreme measures to ensure that our own user is not going to be misused to harm any of our clients sites.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: