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Ranking the AFC West head coaches

Sean Payton’s arrival changes things

NFL: Denver Broncos Head Coach Sean Payton Introductory Press Conference
Sean Payton
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason is just beginning and there has already been a major addition to the AFC West as the Denver Broncos have hired Sean Payton as their head coach.

Payton brings big star power to the division and should make the Broncos better in 2023. With Payton joining the division, we’re ranking the four head coaches in the AFC West:

Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs:

Big Red is the man. Yes, Payton is a top-level coach. But Reid is taking his team to the Super Bowl for the third time in four seasons and counting his time with the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday’s game will be Reid’s fourth Super Bowl as a head coach. He is an elite offensive coach and a strong leader. He is a major reason why the Chiefs have dominated the AFC West with seven straight division titles. He will probably end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Sean Payton, Denver Broncos:

Payton comes to the AFC West with a great resume. He has won a Super Bowl and he is 152-89 in 15 seasons as the New Orleans Saints head coach. Like Reid, Payton is an elite offensive mind and he is a strong CEO type as a head coach. There are challenges in Denver, but many people think Payton can get quarterback Russell Wilson right. It may take some time, but the Broncos will be much better coached in 2023 than in 2022.

Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Chargers
Josh McDaniels, Brandon Staley
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers:

There is a strong drop off here. Staley has ability. He has strong defensive schemes and he is known as a strong leader and communicator. But he’s maddening as a head coach. His game management and situational decision making are odd to say the least. But he gets the nod over Raiders’ coach Josh McDaniels because the Chargers went to the playoffs this year and he has a better record as a head coach at 19-15. He’s had two winning seasons as a head coach. But if the silliness continues and the talented Chargers don’t make a deep run in 2023, he could be on the hot seat.

Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders:

McDaniels could become a good head coach, but he simply hasn’t shown it yet. He went a disappointing 6-11 in his first season with the Raiders in a season with major aspirations. Overall, including 28 games as Denver’s head coach spanning 2009-10, McDaniels is just 17-28 as a head coach. He struggled on game days in 2022 and has a lot of growing in the role he needs to do. Raiders’ owner Mark Davis has backed him, but the Raiders must improve in 2023.