5 NFL Coaches on the Hot Seat

Every year there are a few teams that unperformed from the goals that they were given by either the organization or fans. Head coaches are the first to get put on the hot seat for the team’s underperformance.

This year, there are five strong candidates on the hot seat who could be seeing the boot sooner rather than later. Each coach will have a rating from one to five, which will indicate the seriousness of this coach being replaced by seasons end. One is the lowest meaning, it’s just a minor possibility, while five means that the team will almost definitely move on from the coach.

Dan Quinn: Atlanta Falcons (3-9)
Probability: 4

Dan Quinn has been the Atlanta Falcons’ head coach since 2015, and during his tenure in Atlanta, he holds a record of 39-37. Quinn led the Falcons to Super Bowl 51 in his second year as the head coach and faced the New England Patriots where they famously blew a 28-3 lead. Ever since then, the Falcons have been on a major decline. The following year, they stayed in contention and Quinn led the team to a 10-6 record. However, they took an early exit to the eventual Super Bowl champions in the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2018, the team started to fully collapse. They would finish off the year with a 7-9 record and would be ranked as one of the worst defenses in the league. Although injuries could be said to have been a major factor, the team was healthy for the first half of the season.

This trend of having a terrible defense continued into this year. The Falcons are currently one of the worst teams in many defensive categories. Quinn has not been involved at all during their decline on the defensive end, which is where he made his reputation known. Quinn was a defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks during their championship title run against the Denver Broncos and was later hired for his defensive capabilities by Atlanta. Having a franchise quarterback and starting with an already-stable defense and not having much to show for after four years is not what the Falcons are looking for. With a 3-9 record and a poor showing from their defense, it is hard to see Quinn back in Atlanta for 2020. 

Jason Garrett: Dallas Cowboys (6-6)
Probability: 4

Jason Garrett used to be a former starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, so his ties with Jerry Jones are very strong. Well, they were very strong up until this recent skid that the Cowboys are on this season. Garrett has been with the Cowboys’ coaching staff since 2007 as the offensive coordinator. Halfway through the 2010 season, Jones made the executive decision to fire then-head coach Wade Phillips and promote Garrett as the interim head coach for a struggling Dallas team. During his decade-long tenure, Garrett has posted a respectable 83-65 record and has only had one losing season as the head coach. However, in these 10 years, he only brought the team to three playoff appearances and has never made it past the NFC divisional round.

After multiple years of going 8-8 or losing in the divisional round and not making progress, a general manager would normally move on from his head coach. Jones has been very close with Garrett which is why he has had his job for this long without having any real playoff success. Currently, the Dallas Cowboys are 6-6 and have been very losing easy games to below-.500 teams, costing them their chances of making the playoffs. At this rate, Jones will look into shaking things up with the coaching staff at the end of this season, and seeing that Garrett is underachieving with a talented team, it would not be surprising if his tenure as the head coach is over come January. 

Doug Pederson: Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)
Probability: 3

Another coach who has been slowly losing their team is the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Doug Pederson. Pederson seemed to have peaked during his Super Bowl 52 win. A coach who has won a franchise a Super Bowl should rarely ever be considered on the hot seat, but as of how the team has been playing since, it might be for the best. Pederson after winning the Super Bowl went 9-7 and ran off of a backup quarterback’s insane play. With Nick Foles as the starting quarterback, Doug Pederson looked like a genius, but when he starts Carson Wentz, his results are much different.

Pederson is currently 5-7 and is having trouble managing the offense for the Eagles this year as their franchise quarterback is not taking the next step forward. There is some blame to come to the head coach for not finding ways to help your franchise player improve. Pederson also has one of the more talented player pools on defense and they have not been able to find their identity after winning the Super Bowl two seasons ago. If the Eagles manage to finish strong this season, Pederson might be given another year with the team, but if they continue their sloppy play, the team might move on from the Super Bowl-winning coach. 

Matt Nagy: Chicago Bears (6-6)
Probability: 2

Although Matt Nagy is currently boasting an 18-10 record in two seasons as the head coach, his offensive play-calling could get him the boot early. The defense that Nagy was given has been the best defense seen in decades. In his first year, many teams were unfamiliar with Nagy’s collegiate offensive playbook which helped Mitchell Trubisky thrive.

But, after a season, teams now have film on Nagy. His offense has been abysmal thus far, and his play-calling has lost the Chicago Bears important games this season. Many can blame the performance of starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, but we did see last year that Trubisky can be labeled as a competent passer. This year, Nagy has been sticking to an easy-to-read offense and has been drawing blank after blank, stalling the offense and ruining a historic defense. 

Anthony Lynn: Los Angeles Chargers (4-8)
Probability: 2

Entering his third year as the Los Angeles head coach, Lynn was thought to have brought another year of Chargers playoff hopes to their new home in Los Angeles. This has not been the case for Lynn. The Chargers were considered one of the more-talented teams entering the 2019 season and were projected to fight for the title of the AFC West. Lynn’s Chargers are currently 4-8 and unless they win every game from here on out and everyone in their division loses every game, they will be missing out on the playoffs. Lynn’s offense has been miserable to watch as they are not a threat in the run game, and Phillip Rivers looks awful. The play-calling has caused another year of having five or more games in which the Chargers lose by seven or fewer points. Lynn’s offense has turned Rivers into a quarterback from the past, and are making higher-ups believe it is time to move to Tyrod Taylor. There have been key injuries to the Chargers’ offense and defense, but late-game play-calling has been the Achilles heel for the Chargers. 

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