The race for 2017 NFL Coach of the Year is wide open. There are several good candidates. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is a perennial contender. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton deserves credit for leading his team back to the playoffs. And New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles should be recognized for his work with a team many thought would win few, if any, games this season. 

But there are five candidates who stand out above the rest. And there is one coach who stands above the rest.