Don’t look now, but if the New England Patriots make it to the Super Bowl to this year, Bill Belichick will tie Cowboys legend Tom Landry for most playoff wins by a coach. Then, obviously, if they win, he’ll sit in the top spot all by himself.
However, that wouldn’t necessarily make Belichick the winningest playoff coach in NFL history. You can’t define the “winningest” coach simply by counting the number of wins. By that same logic, Andy Reid would be considered a bigger playoff winner than Vince Lombardi—the guy they named the championship trophy after—because he has 10 playoff wins to Lombardi’s nine. Moreover, by to that same logic, the “winningest” playoff coach of all-time, Landry, would also be the second-losingest playoff coach of all-time by virtue of his 16 playoff losses. Thus, simply adding up wins and losses doesn’t make much sense.
So here is what we are going to do. We’re going to rank NFL coaches according to playoff winning percentage. And to make our rankings, coaches must meet just two small qualifications. First, there is a 10-game minimum to weed out the flukes. And second, the coach must have won a championship—because who cares if you won a bunch of games but never the one that mattered most?
Now, this method of determining the “winningest” coaches does eliminate a few big names. But for the most part it paints a pretty good picture of who the best playoff coaches in NFL history really are. So sit back and take a look.