StaTuesday: Ranking Vikings’ Zimmer among NFL head coaches

After a disappointing 2018 campaign that ended without a playoff appearance, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer will enter the final season of his contract next year.

Whether he’s asked back after 2019 will rely heavily on the team’s performance. But for now, the receipts from a disappointing season are in, and it doesn’t look great for Zimmer.

More Vikings coverage uses an algorithm with a 1-10 scale to rate coaches in five key areas: play calling, personnel utilization, game planning, in-game adjustments and clock management.

Zimmer was given a 6.9 overall rating by the site, which tied for 18th among NFL head coaches. His best individual category was personnel utilization and worst was clock management.

Play calling – 6.6 (t-19)

Personnel utilization – 7.2 (t-13)

Game plan – 6.9 (t-22)

In-game adjustment – 7.0 (t-16)

Clock management – 6.6 (t-27)

It’s worth noting, however, that Zimmer had fourth-highest ranking at 7.7 in 2017 when he led the Vikings to a 13-3 record and the NFC Championship game. Only Sean Payton, Bill Belichick and Sean McVay ranked ahead of Zimmer that year.

Payton, McVay and Belichick all found their way back inside the top-six ranked coaches this season while Zimmer took a plunge to mediocrity.

Chicago’s Matt Nagy ranked fifth with a 7.7 rating, but Zimmer finished ahead of the other two division rivals – Detroit’s Matt Patricia (6.7) and Green Bay interim coach Joe Philbin (6.7).

The highest-ranked coach to be employed for all 16 games and not make the postseason was Mike Tomlin, who ranked 11th with a 7.2 rating. Eight coaches were fired after or during the season, and two of them – Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis and Denver’s Vance Joseph – had the exact same rating as Zimmer.


1 Sean Payton Saints 8
t-2 Andy Reid Chiefs 7.9
t-2 Sean McVay Rams 7.9
4 John Harbaugh Ravens 7.8
5 Matt Nagy Bears 7.7
6 Bill Belichick Patriots 7.6
7 Gregg Williams Browns 7.5
t-8 Anthony Lynn Chargers 7.4
t-8 Frank Reich Colts 7.4
t-8 Pete Carroll Seahawks 7.4
11 Mike Tomlin Steelers 7.2
12 Bill O’Brien Texans 7.1
t-13 Dan Quinn Falcons 7.0
t-13 Jason Garrett Cowboys 7.0
t-13 Jay Gruden Redskins 7.0
t-13 Kyle Shanahan 49ers 7.0
t-13 Mike Vrabel Titans 7.0
t-18 Doug Pederson Eagles 6.9
t-18 Marvin Lewis Bengals 6.9
t-18 Mike Zimmer Vikings 6.9
t-18 Vance Joseph Broncos 6.9
t-22 Dirk Koetter Buccaneers 6.8
t-22 Ron Rivera Panthers 6.8
t-22 Sean McDermott Bills 6.8
t-22 Todd Bowles Jets 6.8
t-26 Joe Philbin Packers 6.7
t-26 Matt Patricia Lions 6.7
t-28 Adam Gase Dolphins 6.6
t-28 Pat Shumur Giants 6.6
t-30 Doug Marrone Jaguars 6.5
t-30 Jon Gruden Raiders 6.5
32 Steve Wilks Cardinals 6.2