As week nine comes to a close, there are a handful of head coaches on the hot seat who should be updating their resumés today. I’m not an advocate of people losing their livelihood, but we all know how the NFL works. It’s a result-driven business and if the positive results aren’t there, then you’re replaceable. Here are five coaches who are likely to be unemployed by the end of the season.
Five NFL Head Coaches on the Hot Seat
The New York Jets have been abysmal this season. The team had high expectations in the offseason after acquiring Le’Veon Bell and hiring the offensive-minded Gase. Sam Darnold was supposed to take the next step as a franchise quarterback. Instead, Jets fans have suffered through a 1-7 start and are last in the division after suffering a loss to the tanking Miami Dolphins. Bell has been virtually non-existent in this offense and Darnold has thrown 8 interceptions the past three games. The Jets are dead-last in every offensive statistic except rush yards per game where they rank 30th. Gase may not be embarrassed, but I’m sure the front office isn’t too thrilled about this season.
Super Bowl LI seems like a lifetime ago for Atlanta Falcons fans. Since their 11-5 season, the Falcons have regressed each year under Quinn and this year may be his last. As a defensive-minded coach, the team should at least be in the middle of the pack on defense. The Falcons are giving up 31.2 points per game and allowing 380 total yards per game, ranking them 30th and 24th respectively. Players have given up and are frustrated to the point of trying to fight on the field. You know things are bad when the normally quiet Julio Jones gives an emotional speech to rally the troops behind Quinn.
This was a bad hire and it never should have happened. Kitchens had no playcalling experience and has never been a coordinator until the last half of 2018. His only qualifications are Baker Mayfield likes him and he has a quintessential football mentality. However, those two things alone won’t cut it in the NFL. The playcalling and situational awareness have been atrocious to put it politely. During a key drive in Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos, the Cleveland Browns were inside the 5-yard line and Nick Chubb wasn’t on the field for the third or fourth down plays. Chubb is the best offensive player on the team, which makes that decision head-scratching. GM John Dorsey stacked this team full of talent so there could be no reason the Browns don’t make the playoffs. Players are angry and the team is starting to implode. Kitchens should go back to the college ranks.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know how Shurmur got another head coaching job after his tenure in Cleveland. While he did a great job as the offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings, Shurmur has proven that he’s in over his head as a head coach. After a decent start, the New York Giants are on a four-game losing streak and the offense is struggling. Daniel Jones looked promising early on but has taken a few steps backward as of late with an overall 10:13 touchdown to turnover ratio. The Giants are an overall poor-performing team. They rank 28th in points allowed per game (27.2) and 23rd in points scored per game (19.8). Shurmur was given a pass while Saquon Barkley was out with an injury, but since his return, the Giants are a middle of the pack rushing offense. They must finish strong if Shurmur stands a chance to return.
There has always been dysfunction surrounding the Cincinnati Bengals, but this year takes the cake. To Taylor’s credit, the Bengals have dealt with an unusual amount of injuries. The offensive line is decimated contributing to Andy Dalton being sacked 29 times, 8 more than the entire 2018 season. AJ Green has yet to touch the field this year. Nevertheless, we cannot make excuses. Next man up. There is no reason why Joe Mixon only has a total of 320 rush yards through eight games. The Bengals run game has not been effective at all this season averaging less than 60 yards per game. While popular opinion says the NFL is a passing league, offenses need an effective run game. Mixon is averaging 12.6 carries per game, which is far less than Christian McCaffrey‘s 20.6 attempts. Taylor needs to figure this out before it’s too late.
The End is Near
At least two of these coaches will lose his post by the end of the season if not all. Out of these head coaches on the hot seat, Shurmur has the best chance to keep his job since he has a rookie quarterback. Gase and Kitchens don’t understand that being a head coach in the NFL sometimes feels like babysitting. However, when you’re in charge of the platoon, every failure and success in on your head. Taylor may need more time as an assistant under a proven head coach. Quinn is probably better in a coordinator role.
The next question is who do you get to replace these guys?
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