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The Hot Seat: Five NFL Coaches Who Could Lose Their Jobs

Derek Carr - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

The 2022-23 NFL season is officially over, marking the end of an incredible year for many reasons. Unfortunately, it also means several coaches will lose their jobs.

We saw three in-season firings, including Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers, Nathaniel Hackett of the Denver Broncos, and Frank Reich of the Indianapolis Colts. In addition, two more coincided with the conclusion of the season, one of which happened right before this article was completed. Those two were Lovie Smith of the Houston Texans and Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals, both of whom were originally on this list.

Below is a list of all 32 teams and their current head coach, along with five names that could be on the hot seat with the potential to join the five individuals already looking for work. They're ordered based on the likelihood of being fired, going from the most likely to the least likely.

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List of Current NFL Coaches (By Team, Alphabetically)

  1. Arizona Cardinals - N/A (vacant)
  2. Atlanta Falcons - Arthur Smith
  3. Baltimore Ravens - John Harbaugh
  4. Buffalo Bills - Sean McDermott
  5. Carolina Panthers - Steve Wilks (interim)
  6. Chicago Bears - Matt Eberflus
  7. Cincinnati Bengals - Zac Taylor
  8. Cleveland Browns - Kevin Stefanski
  9. Dallas Cowboys - Mike McCarthy
  10. Denver Browns - Jerry Rosburg (interim)
  11. Detroit Lions - Dan Campbell
  12. Green Bay Packers - Matt LaFleur
  13. Houston Texans - N/A (vacant)
  14. Indianapolis Colts - Jeff Saturday (interim)
  15. Jacksonville Jaguars- Doug Pederson
  16. Kansas City Chiefs - Andy Reid
  17. Las Vegas Raiders - Josh McDaniels
  18. Los Angeles Chargers - Brandon Staley
  19. Los Angeles Rams - Sean McVay
  20. Miami Dolphins - Mike McDaniel
  21. Minnesota Vikings - Kevin O'Connell
  22. New England Patriots - Bill Belichick
  23. New Orleans Saints - Dennis Allen
  24. New York Giants - Brian Daboll
  25. New York Jets - Robert Saleh
  26. Philadelphia Eagles - Nick Sirianni
  27. Pittsburgh Steelers - Mike Tomlin
  28. San Francisco 49ers - Kyle Shanahan
  29. Seattle Seahawks - Pete Carroll
  30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -  Todd Bowles
  31. Tenessee Titans - Mike Vrabel
  32. Washington Commanders - Ron Rivera

*Interim denotes individuals who are currently the coach for their team because the previous head coach was fired during the season, meaning they are not guaranteed to remain the coach for 2023.

 

#1. Josh McDaniels (Las Vegas Raiders)

This one should come as no surprise. It's his second stint as a head coach, the first of which did not go too well. He served as the leader of the Denver Broncos from 2009-2010, finishing with a record of 12-17. They let him go prior to the end of the season. Additionally, he took and then rescinded the job as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts in 2018, which rubbed many people in the NFL the wrong way.

If we turn our attention to this season, he finished with a record of 6-11 despite a team full of talented players. Management traded for Davante Adams to help boost the offense and extended Derek Carr to provide an opportunity for McDaniels to succeed.

There are a few glaring issues. The first is the regression from last year. They finished 10-7 in 2021, making the playoffs, something they failed to accomplish this season. Second, they blew their largest lead in franchise history when they were up 20 on the Cardinals, eventually losing 29-23 in overtime. That was also a theme this season, blowing leads of 13 or more four times.

The team seems intent on moving on from Carr and may choose to replace McDaniels before embarking on that hunt.

 

#2. Ron Rivera (Washington Commanders)

Rivera is one of the better leaders in the NFL when it comes to developing a positive culture and attitude. The primary problem is that the team has failed to demonstrate improvement with him at the helm, at least in terms of their record. In his first season, they finished with a 7-9 record and remarkably made the playoffs, thanks to a terrible NFC East division. It was both impressive and unexpected.

However, they followed that up with a disappointing 7-10 finish last year, wasting what was considered a very talented defense. Furthermore, they choked away a shot at the playoffs this season with an embarrassing loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week 17, largely thanks to Rivera's decision to go with Carson Wentz as the starter. They also lost to the Giants in Week 15, coming off their bye week having tied New York in Week 13.

The overall record of 21-28-1 in his three seasons, only one trip to the playoffs, the epic collapse this season, and the NFL's trend to hire young innovative coaches could be enough to get Rivera canned.

 

#3. Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers)

Staley is one of Sean McVay's disciples, which made him a hot commodity. He was hired by Los Angeles to take over last year and finished with some mixed results. His aggressiveness on fourth down, two-point conversions, and in the red zone all seemed well received by the team and management. Unfortunately, it didn't pay dividends for the playoffs because his squad failed to knock off the Raiders in a win-and-get-in game they inexcusably lost.

There was a lot of optimism entering 2022, with expectations for them to compete with Kansas City for the AFC West crown. Injuries plagued many of their superstars, including Justin Herbert, nearly resulting in another absence from the playoffs, but they overcame adversity and made it in.

The primary issues with Staley are his play calling, game management, and his recent decision to play all his starters in a meaningless game, which could be the final nail in the coffin. After the Ravens lost yesterday in the early window, there was no way the Chargers could move up or down from the No. 5 seed. Other teams, such as Tampa Bay or New York, were in the same situation and elected to either rest or limit their starters to avoid injury. Staley played many of theirs well into the second half, some even in the fourth quarter. As a result, Joey Bosa and Mike Williams both exited the game early, which could impact their availability for their contest against Jacksonville on Wild Card Weekend.

Things didn't get any better for Staley's outlook after an ugly playoff loss to the Jaguars. The Chargers blew a 27-point lead - allowing the third-largest comeback in NFL playoff history – in what was perhaps the most "Chargers" way to lose possible.

 

#4. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins)

McDaniel joined the Dolphins after spending time under Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco, another highly coveted coaching tree. He instilled belief in his young signal-caller, resulting in an impressive 3-1 start, including a win over the Bills. Tua Tagovailoa suffered a head injury and missed the next two games, both of which they lost. He then returned to help them reel off five straight wins, establishing them as a playoff contender.

In Week 13, they traveled to San Francisco to battle McDaniel's old team and got destroyed. They were outmatched and outplayed in every facet of the game. It was the first of five straight losses, raising questions about their legitimacy, and his ability to lead the team. Fortunately, they knocked off the Jets in Week 18 with a fourth-quarter field goal to save his job, at least temporarily.

Miami traveled to Buffalo as massive underdogs for the Wild Card round. Despite Tua Tagovailoa still being sidelined, the Dolphins fought hard with Skylar Thompson at the helm, losing a close, hard-fought matchup.

 

#5. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints)

Allen took the baton from Sean Payton, making it nearly impossible for him to live up to expectations. He does have prior coaching experience with the Raiders and worked under Payton in New Orleans for several years, but this is his first head coaching job in over a decade. He inherited a pretty talented team with some key star players, but the biggest question mark was the quarterback position. After a training camp battle between Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton, Winston was named the starter.

They started out well, winning three of their first five games, but their offense struggled to score points. Unfortunately, this trend continued en route to a losing season with a 7-10 record. Furthermore, they ranked 22nd in points per game. Part of that was the play they received from the quarterback position. Allen decided to stick with Dalton despite his inability to lead the offense and win games. It's far from a lock that Winston would've produced a better outcome, but it seemed worth a shot.

The other thing working against Allen is he was not someone they pursued and brought in to lead the franchise. He was already there and offered stability in a new era without Payton, which makes it more conceivable that they could find a replacement they feel more confident in and see as their future leader.



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