We’ve officially made it through three-quarters of the NFL season without a head coach being fired. There are a lot of bad teams in the league, but front offices seem to be a bit more forgiving than in past years. That’s likely to change in the offseason, though.
Black Monday, as it’s often called, is just over four weeks away. That means jobs will be lost, coaches will be fired and changes will be made. These seven guys are squarely on the hot seat and have a chance to be fired soon. So how do they stack up ahead of Week 14? Let’s take a look at this week’s rankings.
Jim McIsaacGetty Images
Off the hot seat: Jeff Fisher, Chip Kelly
Both Jeff Fisher and Chip Kelly are off the hot seat … for now. Fisher received a two-year extension, essentially guaranteeing him a job with the Rams in 2017. Kelly, on the other hand, will be back with the 49ers regardless of how they finish the season, according to Jay Glazer. Neither should feel overly safe in 2017, but they’re safe for now.
Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts (Last Week: 8)
There’s still a slim chance Pagano still gets canned this offseason, but that’ll be determined by the Colts’ finish in the final four weeks. He’s almost certain to be back if they win the AFC South, but if Indianapolis somehow loses its next four, Pagano would be on high alert. You never know what’s going to happen when it comes to Jim Irsay and Ryan Grigson.
Joe RobbinsGetty Images
Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers (Last week: 9)
The Chargers haven’t been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention just yet, but with them being three games back in the division, there’s almost no chance they’ll make it. That’ll make it three straight years the Chargers miss the postseason under McCoy, and with a move to Los Angeles likely, a fresh face could be incoming this offseason. McCoy is likely the odd man out.
Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers (Last week: 6)
The Packers are officially back in the playoff hunt thanks to Aaron Rodgers. The offense is still boring, and features the same stubbornness with regards to James Starks getting more snaps than Ty Montgomery. It’s time for McCarthy to devise a more creative plan on offense with crossing routes, more movement for receivers and easier throws for Rodgers. Few quarterbacks, if any, throw into tighter windows than Rodgers, and that’s the result of his receivers not being able to get open.
USA TODAY SportsJeff Hanisch
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 2)
The Bengals had looked terrible in recent weeks before pounding Carson Wentz and the Eagles. It was a nice win and bolstered Lewis’ claim to the team’s head coaching job, but will it be enough to keep him there in the offseason? No, he’ll need to do much more than beat a rookie quarterback.
Getty ImagesKirk Irwin
John Fox, Chicago Bears (Last week: 3)
The Bears beat the lowly 49ers in the snow on Sunday, but it wasn’t pretty. They led 7-6 at halftime before Jordan Howard went off in the second half. Fox’s seat has cooled a little bit but not enough to completely clear him of a potential firing in the offseason. With the Bears seemingly poised to move on from Jay Cutler at quarterback, they could opt to pair a new QB with a different head coach — and it wouldn’t be the worst idea, either.
Todd Bowles, New York Jets (Last week: 5)
Bowles is only in his second year with the Jets, but no coach’s seat is heating up as rapidly as his. After this week’s debacle and utter mishandling of the quarterback position, Bowles should be on high alert when it comes to his job security. The fact that he planned to start Bryce Petty for the final four weeks regardless of how Ryan Fitzpatrick played is baffling, and proves he has no feel for how to lead a team. It shows on the field, too, as his players were noticeably lollygagging on Monday night. There was a significant lack of urgency among Jets players.
Getty ImagesAlex Goodlett
Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 1)
The Jaguars seem to be getting worse by the week — or at least Blake Bortles is. Their season is essentially over now that they’re eliminated from playoff contention, and Bradley is even more likely to be fired as a result. His team isn’t playing hard for him, his supposed franchise quarterback is playing like a rookie and the mental mistakes this team makes on a regular basis are concerning. Not to mention, he has the worst winning percentage of any coach in NFL history with at least 60 games under his belt. It’s time for the Jaguars to make a change.