Coaches' Preseason Win-Loss Records Can Help You With Your NFL Picks

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, August 8, 2015 12:10 AM GMT

Below we are going to look at the preseason win-loss records of NFL coaches to see if there are any trends to help us with the always tough preseason NFL picks.

Finally! After some serious blue balls for the NFL… It. Is. Here. Of course, first we have to play a round of games with backups that don’t matter in the final standings, and risk our stars’ ankles in the process. This is the preseason, and some coaches approach it different than others. Some avoid risks to starters at all costs, and some use it as a way to try to galvanize a young team with a win.

The following are the win-loss records of each current coach in the NFL (after end of 2014 season):

 

Team

Coach

Record

ARZ

Bruce Arians

4-4

ATL

Mike Smith

9-19

BAL

John Harbaugh

19-9

BUF

Doug Marrone

3-6

CAR

Ron Rivera

8-8

CHI

Marc Trestman

4-4

CIN

Marvin Lewis

25-24

CLE

Mike Pettine

1-3

DAL

Jason Garrett

7-10

DEN

John Fox

28-24

DET

Jim Caldwell

5-11

GB

Mike McCarthy

18-18

HOU

Bill O'Brien

2-2

IND

Chuck Pagano

4-8

JAX

Gus Bradley

2-6

KC

Andy Reid

28-36

MIA

Joe Philbin

5-8

MIN

Mike Zimmer

4-0

NE

Bill Belichick

34-28*

NO

Sean Payton

21-17

NYG

Tom Coughlin

24-21*

NYJ

Rex Ryan

11-13

OAK

Dennis Allen

4-8

PHI

Chip Kelly

4-4

PIT

Mike Tomlin

20-13

SD

Mike McCoy

3-5

SEA

Pete Carroll

13-7

SF

Jim Harbaugh

10-6

STL

Jeff Fisher

35-33*

TB

Lovie Smith

22-22

TEN

Ken Whisenhunt

10-19

WAS

Jay Gruden

3-1

Source: Walterfootball.com

 

Let’s take a look at the coaches with enough of a record to indicate a solid preseason pattern of success or failure against the NFL odds.

 

The Losers
Mike Smith (ATL)
The Atlanta Falcons have never finished the preseason with a winning record under Mike Smith, a stretch that goes back to 2008. That likely won’t change with Dan Quinn coming over from Seattle to start this season in place of Smith. I honestly don’t think it is the coach in this instance, I think the Falcons are coddling their franchise QB, Matt Ryan. Who is his backup that plays the 2nd half again?

 

Jason Garrett (DAL)
Dallas went 0-4 last year in preseason, even though they had a pretty good roster all things considered - a roster full of highly paid veterans. This leads to plenty of time for draft picks to fight for part time roles in the 2nd halves of games, which doesn’t always translate to wins.

 

Chuck Pagano (IND)
You think Chuck wants Andrew Luck in a preseason game more than the absolute minimum? If they don’t win in the 1st quarter by two TD’s, they won’t win the game.

 

Ken Whisenhunt (TEN)
Coming over from Arizona, Whisenhunt’s preseason record is awful. Again, I believe that he was coddling an aging franchise QB in Carson Palmer. That won’t be the case in Tennessee, so if there was one coach who could turn it around on this list, it’s Ken.

 

The Winners
John Harbaugh (BAL)

Baltimore went 4-0 last year and preseason while beating SF, DAL, WAS, and NO. Not exactly bad teams, but teams that would be playing their second string quarterback early (Washington being the exception as they carry two 2nd-stringers at QB instead of a true starter).

 

Mike Zimmer (MIN)
Minnesota went 4-0 last year as well by beating some bad teams in preseason. I’m sure first year coach, Mike Zimmer, was glad to make a good first impression with the home fans. He’ll have to keep that up to keep his job.

 

Bill Belichick (NE)
Not only does Belichick have a career winning record in preseason, Tom Brady’s backup will have plenty of reps and stay in preseason games longer than normal.

 

Pete Carroll (SEA)
Carroll’s “Win Forever” philosophy plays well into his having a preseason winning record. Seattle’s roster has also been very deep in recent years and positions don’t drop much between the 1st and 2nd string.

Preseason leans:

Week 1: Miami over Chicago, Atlanta over Tennessee

Week 2: Minnesota over Oakland

Week 3: Seattle over San Diego, New England over Carolina, Minnesota over Dallas

Week 4: Seattle over Oakland, Houston over Dallas