Seven weeks of the 2023 NFL season are officially in the books. Some teams look like legit contenders. Others, not so much. But all 32 clubs are at least partially a product of their respective coaching staffs.
So which specific coaches deserve praise going into Week 8? And which ones could badly use a rebound?
Here's our roundup of coaches on the rise and decline:
Trending up: Todd Monken
The Ravens defense had a big hand in Baltimore's 38-6 spanking of Detroit, collapsing Jared Goff's pocket. But Monken and his staff rightfully got a game ball from head coach John Harbaugh after Lamar Jackson and Co. averaged more than 9 yards per play. Jackson has turned in some remarkably polished passing performances under the new offensive coordinator, even with hiccups from the receiving corps, and Monken's oversight helped the quarterback look MVP-caliber in Week 7.
Trending down: Ron Rivera
When's the last time anyone expected the Commanders to show up and execute a smart 60 minutes of football? It's true Washington stayed with the Giants in Week 7, but to score just seven points in a one-score loss to such an offensively challenged rival? It's borderline inexcusable, especially considering Rivera's squad is just weeks removed from a blowout loss to the now-2-5 Bears. Whether it's crunch-time decision-making or lineup management, everything's always more difficult than it should be.
Trending up: Shane Steichen
The Colts have lost two straight after falling to the Browns on Sunday, but they've also scored 58 points in the two games since dynamic rookie QB Anthony Richardson was lost for the season due to injury. Steichen's getting as much as he can from backup Gardner Minshew, and it's clear his guys aren't packing it in despite the franchise's rebuilding vibe. They nearly took out Cleveland and its ultra-suffocating defense and have now made four different games one-score affairs.
Trending down: Brandon Staley
Unoriginal, we know, but we're now approaching the midway point of his third season atop the Chargers, and confidence in both his staff's cohesion and QB Justin Herbert's development might be at an all-time low. At 2-4 after another porous defensive showing against the rival Chiefs, he's not solely at fault for Los Angeles' woes, which often happen to occur in close, critical games. But when he says "we need to reset as a football team" and it sounds overly obvious and familiar, well, that's a problem.
Trending up: Sean Desai
Everyone keeps saying the Eagles' defense is in trouble because they've nursed serious injuries in the secondary, and yet every week, Desai's unit comes to play. That was never more evident than Sunday night, when he got creative with his talented front seven and stifled Miami's otherwise high-octane attack, even with a makeshift starting duo at safety. With Kevin Byard now onboard, the results should be even better. His defense is fast, physical and a legitimate asset for a title contender.