The NFL saw its first head coach get fired this week when Jeff Fisher was relieved of his duties by the Rams. The timing was surprising considering he just signed an extension in the offseason, but that’s what happens when you lose football games: You lose your job.
With so many teams out of playoff contention, several other coaches are bound to be fired in the coming weeks. One familiar name remains the likeliest to go, but a new coach has popped up in our rankings thanks to an embarrassing defeat at home on Sunday.
Here are our Week 15 hot seat rankings.
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John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens (Last week: NR)
This may seem like somewhat of a surprise name to be on the hot seat, considering the success he’s had in Baltimore, but John Harbaugh’s run with the Ravens could be coming to an end. They’re in danger of missing out on the playoffs for the third time in four years, and Harbaugh has seen his offense struggle and look lackluster since Gary Kubiak’s departure after his one-year stint in 2014. Yes, the Ravens were riddled with injuries in 2015, but his team hasn’t exactly met standards the past few years.
Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers (Last week: 5)
Mike McCarthy isn’t completely safe just yet, but considering the Packers have won three straight and are squarely in the playoff hunt, it’d be hard to see them making a move if they win out. If they somehow fall apart and completely collapse down the stretch, he’ll see his job status questioned once again. The Packers need a strong finish.
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 4)
The Bengals will once again miss out on a much-needed playoff victory this season, something that hasn’t happened since Lewis took over in 2003. He’s one of the longest-tenured head coaches in the NFL, and his run in Cincinnati could be coming to an end, regardless of how to the Bengals finish the year. His team’s performances against the Ravens and Steelers in the next three weeks could be telling of his job status and grip on the Bengals.
John Fox, Chicago Bears (Last week: 3)
The Bears have won just one of their past five games, but only one of those losses has been by a wide margin. In the other four, the Bears were highly competitive and actually looked functional on offense despite being riddled with injuries. Matt Barkley isn’t a franchise quarterback, but he’s done a good job in a difficult spot with a terrible roster, and John Fox deserves some credit for that. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be enough to save his job.
Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 7)
With Sunday’s loss to the Texans, Chuck Pagano moves up a bit in our rankings. The Colts needed that game in the worst way possible. Now, they’re in grave danger of missing the playoffs and could lose their head coach because of it. They simply aren’t a balanced team and rely too heavily on Andrew Luck to carry them, which is a huge problem.
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Todd Bowles, New York Jets (Last week: 2)
The Jets actually won a game, which is good for Todd Bowles’ coaching future. The downside is that the Jets worsened their draft position and improved San Francisco’s. New York has little to play for at this point in the season besides possibly saving Bowles’ job and deciding whether Bryce Petty is their QB of the future. But it’s entirely possible neither are worth the wins at this point, considering how poorly Bowles handled the quarterback position this season.
Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers (Last week: 6)
Mike McCoy has a case for the Chargers’ struggles being the result of a laundry list of injuries, but he can’t blame health for his lack of success the past three years. He’s 27-34 as the Chargers’ head coach and has just one playoff appearance. Furthermore, he’s just 1-10 in the division since 2014, He’s well on his way out of San Diego, as the Chargers might be as well.
Rex Ryan, Buffalo Bills (Last week: NR)
Things escalated quickly for Rex Ryan last week after a report surfaced suggesting he could be fired by Monday. Of course, Monday came and went with Ryan still holding his job, but that did little to cool his hot seat. The Bills were dominated by the Steelers, surrendered a franchise-high number of rushing yards and looked uninspired on defense. Both Ryan and Tyrod Taylor could be gone in 2017, and probably should be.
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Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 1)
Gus Bradley probably won’t be unseated from the top spot of these rankings until he’s fired. Why? Because the Jaguars may not win another game this season, and he’s one of the main reasons for that. It’s just a matter of time before the Jaguars cut ties with Bradley, who has done nothing to improve the team since he’s been in Jacksonville.