Christmas came and went in the blink of an eye, just as Rex Ryan’s tenure with the Buffalo Bills did. He was of course fired on Tuesday after just 31 games with the team, finishing with a lackluster 15-16 record. That now makes it three head coaches that have been fired in 2016, and there are certainly more to come.
Several other coaches are on the hot seat and could be fired in the next week with the regular season coming to an end on Sunday. “Black Monday,” as it’s often called, is less than a week away, which means those on the hot seat have to be on high-alert.
As it stands right now, six head coaches are currently in that position, and we’re here to rank them for you.
New York Jets for Getty Images
Chip Kelly, San Francisco 49ers (Last week: NR)
Chip Kelly was seemingly safe a few weeks ago after it was reported that he’d be back for at least the 2017 season, but given his recent comments about his job security, that might not be the case. He said this week that he and 49ers brass will discuss his future after the season, saying that he hasn’t had any conversations about it yet. If he were completely safe, Jed York and Trent Baalke would have come out and commented on his job standing. Alas, they haven’t and his 2-13 49ers have beaten just one team this year: the Rams.
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 4)
Marvin Lewis is the second-longest-tenured head coach in the NFL, but he has yet to win a postseason game. That’s only partially a knock on his coaching ability because in order to remain with one team in the NFL, you need to have success – he just hasn’t had any in the playoffs, when it matters most. The Bengals endured a wildly disappointing season in 2016, missing out on the postseason after winning the AFC North a year ago. Sure, they lost pieces on offense and the offensive line took a step back, but Lewis did little to help the team win games.
Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers (Last week: 5)
Philip Rivers has had a lot to do with the Chargers’ losses this year, throwing a league-high 19 interceptions. However, he’s not the only culprit. Despite having 19 players on IR, Mike McCoy hasn’t done a good enough job preparing his team and helping his players close out victories late in games. Failures like those fall directly on the head coach, who is likely on his way out – especially with the Chargers likely looking for a fresh start in their possible move to Los Angeles.
Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 6)
Another year, another failure to clinch a playoff berth. It’s the second straight year the Colts have missed out on the postseason – the first time they’ve done so since 1997-1998. As a result, Chuck Pagano is squarely on the hot seat, as is GM Ryan Grigson. Their relationship with Jim Irsay hasn’t exactly been great, and it could (should) lead to his demise in Indianapolis. It’s time to get a coach that can take an Andrew Luck-led team to the playoffs every year, especially in the NFL’s worst division.
John Fox, Chicago Bears (Last week: 3)
John Fox said he thinks the Bears are actually closer than most people think, but that’s hard to believe considering their record in recent years. Granted, injuries have derailed this team, but they simply don’t seem to be responding to Fox’s style of leadership. The Bears need a change at not only quarterback, but also at head coach. Fox is likely on his way out after another disappointing season.
Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.AP
Todd Bowles, New York Jets (Last week: 2)
With Rex Ryan being the third coach to get fired this season, Todd Bowles takes over the top spot on our hot seat rankings – not that he wants to hold that title. The Jets are just a complete mess and it was all put in perspective last week against the Patriots. The defense was terrible, surrendering 41 points, while the offense couldn’t muster more than three points itself. Add in the terrible locker room situation where Sheldon Richardson is mysteriously calling out Brandon Marshall in the media and you have a circus that Bowles simply can’t gain control over.