A look at the latest list of head coaches on the hot seat heading into NFL Week 14.
The latest list of head coaches on the hot seat for NFL Week 14 took an interesting turn when the Los Angeles Rams decided to reward Jeff Fisher with a two-year extension, despite the team currently sitting with a 4-8 record. With an extension in place, Fisher seems safe from the hot seat for now. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t pop up at some point down the road.
Now that Fisher has cleared his name from the list, Ron Rivera seems like he needs all of the help in the world to keep his job safe after the Carolina Panthers suffered an embarrassing 40-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. There seemed to be a slim chance of the Panthers making a late run at the postseason a few weeks ago, but all of that is now gone as Rivera’s squad has now lost three of their last four games and can finish .500 at best.
As for the rest of the head coaches on this list, there are a few familiar faces from the previous weeks, but one name to keep an eye on over the rest of the season is Bill O’Brien of the Houston Texans. For a team that many considered to be a contender in the AFC to make a Super Bowl run, the Texans will be lucky to even make the playoffs at this point.
Starting off with O’Brien, here’s a look at the latest edition of head coaches on the hot seat heading into NFL Week 14.
Oct 24, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien walks his sidelines in the second half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Texans 27-9. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Honorable Mention: Bill O’Brien (Not On Last Week’s List)
Over the years, the Houston Texans have desperately looking for a quarterback to build the franchise around. And while there’s still hope that Brock Osweiler will turn out to be the answer, he still has a long way to go when it comes to proving himself. Thanks to Osweiler’s struggles, the Texans have lost three games in a row and currently find themselves in a three-way tie with the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans for the lead in the AFC South.
When considering Houston plays in arguably the weakest division in football, Bill O’Brien deserves most of the blame for how this season is turning out as this team is all of a sudden at risk to miss out on the postseason. Towards the beginning of the season, the Texans seemed to have a comfortable enough lead where it seemed like winning the division wouldn’t be an issue. But that’s obviously no longer the case heading into Week 14.
Sure, the injury to J.J. Watt has played a major factor in the defense failing to live up to their true potential, but it’s still not a good enough excuse. Missing out on the playoffs this year would be a huge embarrassment for O’Brien and the Texans when considering they had one of the easiest paths compared to some of the other AFC contenders.
Oct 16, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee won 28-26. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
5. Hue Jackson (Last Week No. 4)
On the bright side for Hue Jackson, the Cleveland Browns couldn’t lose last weekend since they were on the bye. With that being said, the main goal the Browns have in mind for the remainder of the season is to do whatever it takes to avoid ending up on the wrong side of history with the Detroit Lions by failing to win a single game during the regular season.
In defense of Jackson, this season has been a difficult adjustment for Cleveland when looking at all of the issues the team has been forced to deal with at the quarterback position. As if losing Robert Griffin III after the first game of the season wasn’t already frustrating enough, the Browns have seen five different quarterbacks under center in 2016, which is basically unheard of for just about any team in the NFL.
Add in the fact that Cleveland doesn’t have the best of weapons on offense, it’s easy to see why Jackson’s team has struggled so much to win a single game all season as they’ve scored just 39 points over their last four games. With a rivalry game at home against the Cincinnati Bengals scheduled for Week 14, this may be the best chance of Jackson earning his first win as head coach for the Browns, which is amazing to think about this late into the season.
Nov 6, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera reacts during a NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Panthers defeated the Rams 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
4. Ron Rivera (Not On Last Week’s List)
Who would have thought after representing the NFC in last year’s Super Bowl, the Carolina Panthers would need to win their final four games of 2016 just to finish the season with a .500 record? When it comes to the most disappointing teams from the 2016 season, the Panthers rank near the top of the list, as Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks is the perfect example of just how much of a disaster this season has been for the defending NFC champions.
Nothing against Seattle, but Carolina has no excuse for allowing 40 points as they simply had no answers for stopping the ground game. Not only did the Panthers allow 106 rushing yards to Thomas Rawls to go along with two scores, but the dagger of the game seemed to be Tyler Lockett breaking loose for a 75-yard touchdown run to kick off the second half.
Keep in mind, it wasn’t too long ago that Ron Rivera found himself on the hot seat. While it seemed impossible to return to that level after last year’s magical run, the pressure is certainly on the head coach when seeing how this season has turned out. Clearly, the Panthers have plenty of areas to focus on improving once the offseason rolls around, but it’s hard not to wonder if it will even be worth keeping Rivera around.
Nov 27, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly reacts on the sideline during the second half against Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins won 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
3. Chip Kelly (Last Week No. 5)
Just when it seemed like the San Francisco 49ers couldn’t hit a new low, they go out and score just six points against the Chicago Bears in Week 13. Obviously, the argument can be made the outcome of this game could have turned out different with better weather conditions, but it’s hard to consider that a factor when seeing how rough this season has been for Chip Kelly during his first year as head coach.
Sunday marked the 11th loss in a row for 49ers as this team has nothing to play for other than a high draft pick at this point. There was plenty of excitement when Kelly finally found a running quarterback to run his offense with in Colin Kaepernick, but seeing him benched against the Bears in favor of Blaine Gabbert was even a new low for his career.
Most head coaches deserve a little slack in their first year with a terrible team, but the more he sticks around, the more unfit Kelly seems for coaching at the NFL level. Between seeing how his tenure ended with the Philadelphia Eagles to the inability of the 49ers to win a single game since Week 1, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the team gave up on Kelly after just one season.
Dec 4, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis looks on from the sidelines in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 32-14. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
2. Marvin Lewis (Last Week No. 1)
It may be too little, too late for the Cincinnati Bengals when it comes to making a run at the playoffs, but at least Marvin Lewis feels better about his team pulling off their first win since the end of October when they defeated the Cleveland Browns. Apparently, a game against the Philadelphia Eagles was just what Andy Dalton and the Bengals offense needed to get the ball rolling again. However, that doesn’t mean Lewis still deserves to keep his job.
If anything, Cincinnati missing out on the playoffs will only frustrate the fanbase even more as the argument can be made Lewis deserved to be fired years ago by the organization. Since Lewis came on board as head coach in 2003, the Bengals have been to the playoffs a total of seven times. In seven appearances, Lewis has failed to win a single playoff game, which has to be one of the most frustrating statistics in sports. No coach with this type of track record deserves to keep their job, yet for some reason Cincinnati continues to feel the need to keep their beloved head coach around year after year.
Until the Bengals decide to smarten up and part ways with Lewis, they’re only going to continue seeing disappointment each season, as it’s tough to defend how poorly this team has looked in 2016.
Dec 4, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley reacts after a play in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
1. Gus Bradley (Last Week No. 3)
At the beginning of the season, the Jacksonville Jaguars were considered a team to keep an eye on when it comes to possibly making a surprise run for the playoffs in the AFC. With only two wins on the season, that’s obviously not going to be the case as it seems to only be a matter of time before the Jaguars ends up parting ways with Gus Bradley.
Even if they deserve a little benefit of the doubt for playing a talented defense like the Denver Broncos, it’s been frustrating to watch Jacksonville’s offense fail to live up to expectations as Bradley has been taking most of the heat. Bradley already felt plenty of pressure heading into his fourth season as head coach when considering he’s never won more than five games in a single season, but nobody could have predicted things would end up the way they have this year.
As if losing seven games in a row wasn’t already disappointing enough, it should also be noted that each of the last five losses have come by 10 points or less. With only four games remaining in the 2016 season, Bradley would be a fool if he didn’t realize his time with the organization is most likely coming to an end.