AFC East coach rankings: Keep Sparano?

December, 7, 2011
12/07/11
4:30
PM ET
How do you feel about your head coach this week?

Let's take a look at ESPN.com's latest coach approval ratings.

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

Record: 9-3

Approval rating: 89 percent

Analysis: Belichick is near the top, as usual. His Patriots are cruising and have won four games in a row. New England's biggest challenge is not letting up in the final month. Teams like the Miami Dolphins (4-8) and Denver Broncos (7-5) are playing well enough to be a threat to New England. The Patriots are trying to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Tony Sparano, Miami Dolphins

Record: 4-8

Approval rating: 83 percent

Analysis: Wow! I was shocked when I saw Sparano's approval rating Wednesday. Sparano continually stayed near the bottom most of this season after a 0-7 start. His approval rating some weeks were in the teens. Now, after going 4-1 in the past five games, 83 percent of Dolphins fans in this poll are behind him? That's very fickle of Miami fans who voted this week. Sparano is doing great work in the past month or so. But he's still 4-8 overall. Ownership will consider this recent run but also has to look at Sparano's entire body of work at the end of the season.

Rex Ryan, New York Jets

Record: 7-5

Approval rating: 47 percent

Analysis: I've made it clear many times that I like Ryan as a head coach. He's very good at Xs and Os and players love playing for him. Those are two huge ingredients that Ryan has. But I think his approval rating shows that Jets fans want less guarantees and more results. If anything, Ryan boasted too much about this year's team, which has drastically under-produced. New York still has a chance for the playoffs, but it's going to take a lot of work and some help from other teams down the stretch.

Chan Gailey, Buffalo Bills

Record: 5-7

Approval rating: 28 percent

Analysis: Gailey's approval rating is at a season-low after Buffalo suffered its fifth straight loss last week to the Tennessee Titans. The Bills started fast but have come apart. But I don't put a majority of the blame on Gailey. The defense has failed him all year, as well as injuries to key players like Fred Jackson, Shawne Merriman and Kyle Williams.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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