Two years into Zac Taylor’s tenure as Cincinnati Bengals head coach, many argued it was already time to move on.
Now, per Ross Tucker of the 33rd team, Taylor is ranked as the 12th-best head coach in the NFL.
“Two years ago, I might have had him ranked dead last on this list. What a difference a couple of years and a guy named Joe Burrow can make, although Zac Taylor’s staff, including defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, is really impressive,” Tucker wrote.
After posting a 2-14 debut season of 2019, followed by a 4-11-1 2020 campaign, Taylor was off to a historically bad start to his tenure with the Bengals.
But then a healthy Joe Burrow came along, and Taylor’s offensive vision was put into action.
The Bengals won the AFC North with a 10-7 record and then stormed its way to Super Bowl LVI, narrowly losing to the Rams.
Last season the Bengals won a second straight AFC North title by posting a 12-4 record and won its first two playoff games over the Ravens and Bills before falling to the Chiefs in the AFC title game.
Despite the success of the last two seasons, Taylor is still 28-36 as a head coach, and his wins can disputably be largely inflated by Burrow’s success making the No. 12 spot a seemingly fair ranking.
Here are Tucker’s full rankings of the top 32 head coaches in the NFL:
- Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs
- Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
- Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Sean Payton, Denver Broncos
- Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia Eagles
- Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers
- Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams
- Brain Daboll, New York Giants
- Pete Caroll, Seattle Seahawks
- Doug Pederson, Jacksonville Jaguars
- John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens
- Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals
- Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans
- Mike McDaniel, Miami Dolphins
- Kevin O’Connell, Minnesota Vikings
- Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions
- Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers
- Arthur Smith, Atlanta Falcons
- Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders
- Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers
- Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys
- Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills
- Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns
- Frank Reich, Carolina Panthers
- Robert Saleh, New York Jets
- Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints
- Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears
- Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders
- Shane Steichen, Indianapolis Colts
- DeMeco Ryans, Houston Texans
- Jonathan Gannon, Arizona Cardinals