Big-game coaches

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 25, 2008



How tough is it to win in the postseason?
 
Only eight coaches in football today have a winning record in the postseason, including the two participants in Super Bowl XLII, Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin. In fact, there would have been only six coaches with winning records in the postseason if not for Coughlin and San Diego's Norv Turner notching three and two playoff wins respectively this year.
 
And only six coaches have a better record in the playoffs than they do in the regular season, and three of those are only by the narrowest of margins.
 
The chart below shows our ranking of the best to worst big-game coaches in football today.
 
Here's what we did: We compared the regular-season record with the postseason record of every current NFL coach. We then ranked them based upon the differential between the two numbers. The coaches with much better records in the postseason sit high up on the list. The coaches with much better records in the regular season sit low down on the list.
 
We dismissed any coach with fewer than two postseason games under his belt. It's simply not fair to include in the comparison someone whose postseason winning percentage is .000. We also dismissed those coaches who have left football since the end of the 2007 season, such as Joe Gibbs and Brian Billick.
 
We were left with 16 well-seasoned NFL coaches, guys with enough experience to earn a prominent place in our petri dish of pigskin analysis.
 
BIG GAME COACHES (as of end of 2007-08 conference title games)
 
Coach
Reg. season
win pct.
Postseason
record
Difference
1
Bill Belichick
127-81
0.611
15-3
0.833
+0.222
2
John Fox
51-45
0.531
5-2
0.714
+0.183
3
Norv Turner
69-87
0.442
3-2
0.6
+0.158
4
Jon Gruden
86-74
0.534
5-4
0.556
+0.022
5
Mike Shanahan
138-90
0.605
8-5
0.615
+0.010
6
Tom Coughlin
103-89
0.536
7-6
0.538
+0.002
7
Sean Payton
17-15
0.531
1-1
0.5
-0.031
8
Jeff Fisher
115-99
0.537
5-5
0.5
-0.037
9
Andy Reid
88-56
0.611
8-6
0.571
-0.040
10
Lovie Smith
36-28
0.563
2-2
0.5
-0.063
11
Mike Holmgren
157-99
0.613
13-11
0.542
-0.071
12
Herm Edwards
52-60
0.464
2-4
0.333
-0.131
13
Mike McCarthy
21-11
0.656
1-1
0.5
-0.156
14
Tony Dungy
127-65
0.661
9-9
0.5
-0.161
15
Jack Del Rio
45-35
0.562
1-2
0.333
-0.229
16
Wade Phillips
61-42
0.592
0-4
0
-0.592
 

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