Friday, March 1, 2024

Super Bowl 2024: Where Chiefs’ Andy Reid ranks among NFL’s greatest head coaches after third Super Bowl title

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Andy Reid has risen up the coaching stratosphere in his 60s. Once the longtime head coach who couldn’t win a Super Bowl, Reid has captured his third Super Bowl championship in five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs — ushering in the league’s newest dynasty. 

Reid has entered the pantheon of the greatest head coaches. He’s the fifth head coach with three-or-more Super Bowl titles, joining Bill Belichick (six), Chuck Noll (four), Joe Gibbs (three) and Bill Walsh (three). Reid also joins Belichick and Noll as the only head coaches to win three Super Bowls in a five-season span. His 26 playoff wins trail only Belichick (31) for the most in NFL history. 

Reid joined Belichick as the only coaches with 200+ wins and three Super Bowl titles, showcasing the rare air he’s in amongst the greatest head coaches in NFL history. His 258 regular season wins trail only Don Shula (328), George Halas (318), and Belichick (302) in NFL history. Reid’s 284 combined wins in the regular season and postseason trail only Shula (347), Belichick (343), and Halas (324) for the most in NFL history. 

The 65-year old Reid still has a ways to go to move up the all-time list in coaching victories, but is Reid a top-five head coach in NFL history? The answer is yes, but where Reid stacks up amongst the greatest ever is up for debate:

5. Chuck Noll

Noll is just one of two head coaches with four Super Bowl titles, and he’s in the same company as Vince Lombardi and Guy Chamberlain as the only head coaches to win four titles in six years. While Noll has never lost a Super Bowl, he only had one double-digit win season and two playoff wins in his final 12 seasons coaching in the NFL.

In 23 seasons, Noll won four Super Bowl titles, four conference championships and eight division titles. He also had eight double-digit win seasons (the season didn’t expand to 16 games until 1978, and Noll had five of them in the 14-game format). Noll is ninth in NFL history with 193 wins and sixth in postseason wins with 16. 

The four Super Bowl titles easily catapult Noll into the top five. The 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers were one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history. 

4. Andy Reid

Reid keeps moving up the list of greatest coaches, thanks to his tremendous success with Patrick Mahomes. The Reid-Mahomes duo (15 wins) trails only Bill Belichick and Tom Brady (30) for the most playoff wins by a head coach-quarterback duo in NFL history. Reid hasn’t just won with Mahomes, as evidenced by his career with the Philadelphia Eagles

Reid is the only head coach in NFL history to win 100 games with two different franchises and the only head coach to win 10 playoff games with two different franchises. He also has taken the Chiefs and Eagles to four consecutive conference championship games, the only coach ever to accomplish the feat for two organizations. He’s the all-time wins leader for the Chiefs and Eagles. 

In 25 seasons as a head coach, Reid has won three Super Bowl titles, five conference championships and 14 division titles. He’s had 18 double-digit win seasons. He’s fourth in NFL history with 258 wins and second in postseason wins with 26. Reid has also won a playoff game with four different quarterbacks (Donovan McNabb, Jeff Garcia, Alex Smith, and Mahomes). 

Reid’s a top-five head coach in NFL history, continuing to move up the record books in the midst of the Chiefs dynasty. He’s a title or two away from getting significant consideration for the greatest head coach ever. 

3. George Halas

Halas has the longest head coaching tenure in NFL history at 40 seasons, seven more than Don Shula and Curly Lambeau (33 years). He won six championships with the Chicago Bears, including three in a four-season span from 1940 through 1946. (Halas took off from 1943 to 1945 to serve in World War II and earned a bronze star.) Halas had a perfect regular season in 1934 (13-0), but fell in the NFL championship game. 

In his 40 seasons, Halas has six NFL Championships (tied with Belichick and Curly Lambeau for the most championships in NFL history). His 318 wins trail only Shula for most in NFL history, and his .682 win percentage is the best for any coach that has 150+ games coached (third behind John Madden and George Allen for those who have coached 100+ games). 

Halas is also the oldest head coach to win a title at 68 years and 331 days old, winning a championship in his 36th season. 

2. Bill Belichick 

Belichick is the only head coach with six Super Bowl titles, tied with Halas and Lambeau as the only head coaches with six NFL championships. The only head coach with 300+ wins and three Super Bowl championships, Belichick was the first coach to win five Super Bowls and the first head coach to take claim to five championships since Lombardi. He also has the most conference championships with nine. 

Of course, Belichick’s success is tied to Tom Brady. Belichick is 302-165 as an NFL head coach (.647 win percentage) with an incredible 31-13 postseason record added to that (.705 win percentage). Even with all the success Belichick has accomplished in 29 seasons, the legendary head coach is just 83-101 when Brady was not his starting quarterback (including his five years as the Cleveland Browns head coach).

The head coach-quarterback duo combined for six Super Bowl championships, 18 winning records in 18 full seasons together, 17 AFC East titles (2002 being the only year they didn’t win the division) and 30 playoff victories.  Belichick’s defense was the backbone of the first three Super Bowl titles in New England, having a top-two defense in points allowed per game in two of those three titles (2003, 2004). The record of Belichick without Brady as his quarterback is just part of his career. 

In 29 seasons as a head coach, Belichick has six Super Bowl titles, nine conference championships, 17 division titles and 20 double-digit-win seasons. He’s third in NFL history with 302 wins and first in postseason victories with 31. Only Belichick and Reid have 25+ postseason wins.

Belichick is only 27 wins away from passing Shula for the most wins by a head coach in NFL history. He’s only five wins away from passing Shula for the most combined wins in NFL history (regular season and postseason). 

The lone stain on Belichick’s resume? His record without Brady. 

1. Vince Lombardi

Lombardi is still the standard for head coaching success in the NFL. Lombardi compiled the greatest dynasty in NFL history with the Green Bay Packers from 1961 through 1967 — the only head coach to win five championships in a seven-year span. 

Never having a season with a losing record, Lombardi compiled an astonishing 9-1 record in the postseason. The .900 win percentage is the highest for any head coach in NFL history (minimum 10 games coached). Lombardi is the last head coach to win three straight championships and closed his career winning nine straight playoff games — the second-longest streak by a head coach in NFL history (Belichick is first with 10). 

Not only does Lombardi have three NFL championships; he won the first two Super Bowl championships. The trophy given to the Super Bowl champion is named after him. Lombardi’s .738 win percentage trails only Guy Chamberlain (.784) and John Madden (.759) in NFL history (minimum 50 games). 

The postseason record and five championships in 10 seasons are what separate Lombardi from the other coaches. Belichick and Reid can find ways to surpass Lombardi, but he’s the barometer for the greatest head coach ever as of now.

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