Ranking AFC West head coaches after Jim Harbaugh blockbuster

New Orleans Saints v San Francisco 49ers
New Orleans Saints v San Francisco 49ers / Tom Hauck/GettyImages
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2) Sean Payton, Denver Broncos

Sean Payton had a... confusing first year in Denver. The Broncos allowed 70 points, then had the best defense in football, Russell Wilson struggled but also led the league in 4th quarter comebacks, and had one of the best TDv: INT ratios in football.

Jerry Jeudy struggled overall, but Courtland Sutton had a re-breakout season. The Broncos had a down year but were also in playoff contention through Christmas. Payton is laying the foundation of what he desires in Denver, but he still has a roster that does not exactly fit what he needs, which was evident in 2023.

However, Payton has a Super Bowl ring, coached one of the greatest quarterback careers of all time, took the Broncos from the laughingstock of the NFL to a playoff contender in one season, and revived the career of Russell Wilson. Ultimately, the tiebreaker between Harbaugh and Payton is that Payton has been coaching in the NFL every year since 2014 except for 2022, while Harbaugh has been out of the league ever since. This list could look very different in about a year, but until then, Sean Payton is the second-best coach in the AFC West.