Kliff Kingsbury

Taking a look at the top NFL Coach of the Year candidates in 2021

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Little is made of the NFL Coach of the Year candidates until the stretch run. While MVP debates are heated all season long, there’s minimal value in Coach of the Year discussion early in the year. It’s a conversation that needs a full picture of where their team stands.

Evaluating the best NFL coaches in 2021 often looks at overachievement and inventive scheming. It’s not simply an award for the coach of the team with the best record – this is an acknowledgement of a coach who has made the most of the talent at his disposal.

NFL Coach of the Year candidates 2021

We have spoken to an odds specialist from justgamblers.com about the NFL Coach of the Year odds. As of 21st December 2021, there is a familiar face atop NFL COY betting with Bill Belichick favored to win the award for a fourth time.

Let’s take a look at the other top NFL Coach of the Year candidates in 2021.

Bill Belichick

Only the Panthers and Bills concede fewer yards per game than Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots. Belichick has also built an offense which enables rookie quarterback Mac Jones to flourish and as the season heads into Week 16, his Pats are once again atop the AFC East.


The upcoming game with Buffalo could hit Belichick’s Coach of the Year chances hard, but the six-time Super Bowl winner is likely to remain favorite. New England has overachieved however the season concludes, and Belichick’s reputation as the NFL coaching GOAT stands him in good stead to win his fourth Coach of the Year award.

This isn’t a foregone conclusion just yet though. Plenty of other head coaches will still be eyeing the hardware.

Kliff Kingsbury

Going from 7-1 to 10-4 has delivered potentially a knockout blow to Kliff Kingsbury’s chances. The Arizona Cardinals head coach is still worth of a mention among NFL Coach of the Year candidates in 2021, however, with the Red Birds leading their division.

Ranking eighth in points for and fifth in points against, Kingsbury has made a two-way force. This team was expected to be good, but how many saw them being this dominant?

Frank Reich

With five wins from six, including victories over Buffalo and New England, the Indianapolis Colts are making a late push for the division. When it comes to generating a unit that’s better than sum of its parts, Frank Reich is right up there in 2021.

Indianapolis isn’t the most talented team in the league. Sure, the defense is good, and Reich has masterfully led them to become a menace on that end. The offense, though, has needed careful management to register enough points each week.


Reich is only a Coach of the Year outsider at this stage – he’s a dark horse candidate if Indy snatches the division.

Matt LaFleur

Green Bay has the best record in the league. They are a top 10 team in yards allowed per play, and Aaron Rodgers is putting up an almighty fight to defend his MVP trophy.

Perhaps having Rodgers and a catalogue of defensive talents takes away from Matt LaFleur as a Coach of the Year candidate. His advocates, however, would suggest he has made this Packers team into the juggernaut it has been.

Green Bay needs to win out for LaFleur to have a real shot at this gong.

Brandon Staley

The Chargers are an average defense at best, and they have slid to 8-6 after a 4-1 start. Brandon Staley is still among the 2021 NFL Coach of the Year candidates, though, and his chances will take a substantial leap if Los Angeles pips Kansas City to the division.

Only six teams are scoring more points per game. Staley’s Chargers have been a surprise package, landing marquee wins over the Chiefs, Browns, Bengals and Steelers. They even pushed the seemingly unbeatable Chiefs to overtime in Week 15.

There’s a lot to like about how Staley has constructed his offense, but a leaky defense may hold him back in this race.

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