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Nover: Five Best NFL Coaches This Year

Who have done the five best coaching jobs in the NFL this season? Here are my five choices based on record, pointspread mark, comparison of their before-the-season win total using Bovada over/under figures and my own eye test.

Todd Bowles, New York Jets. The Jets are 8-5. Their quarterback is journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick. If you need more evidence compare Bowles with Rex Ryan. The Jets finished 4-12 last season under Ryan. They were 8-8 in 2013, 6-10 in 2012 and 8-8 in 2011 - all under Ryan. Bowles inherited these players. The Jets' projected win total was 7.5.

Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings. Their quarterback is Teddy Bridgewater, who is worse right now than Fitzpatrick. In today's quarterback-driven NFL, Bridgewater has only one multi-touchdown passing game this season. The Vikings already have exceeded their 7.5 win total with eight victories. Their 10-3 against the spread (ATS) mark is tied for second-best behind Cincinnati's 10-2-1 ATS record.

Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals. I really like this guy for many reasons, including his unconventional ways and attack way of thinking. The Cardinals are 28-17-1 (62 percent) ATS during Arians' three seasons. The 11-win Cardinals have easily gone over their projected 8.5 win total.

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots. I've been watching football since the early 1960s. Belichick is the second-greatest coach I've seen next to only Vince Lombardi. I would rank Bill Walsh third. That's how much I respect Belichick, who has done another magnificent job this season despite multiple injuries on both sides of the ball particularly at the skill positions where their two top running backs were lost for the season. The Patriots are 11-2. Their win total was 10.5.

Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers. I admit, I only thought Rivera was a decent coach up until this season. But not only are the Panthers 13-0, but 10-3 ATS. Their win total was 8.5, which seems laughably short now. Carolina was 50/1 to win the Super Bowl at the start of the season with heavy question marks about the health of its offensive line and perceived weak wide receiving group.