We are officially 12 weeks into the NFL season, with 11 games being played and every team has had it’s bye week. There are teams that are virtual locks for the playoffs, teams still in the hunt, and teams that are basically out of it. At the end of the season, teams will evaluate their head coach, and either decide to keep him or fire him. Some coaches will be kept, but will be on a short leash the following season. As of today, the Cleveland Browns and the Green Bay Packers have already fired their head coaches in Hue Jackson and Mike McCarthy. Let’s get to the coaches.
Todd Bowles- New York Jets
Todd Bowles is as good as gone in New York, which is very unfortunate. I think Todd Bowles is a good coach, but when your staple is defense, and your defense has not played well, you will get the ax. The Jets are 21st in total defense, 19th is points allowed, 16th against the pass and 27th against the rush. Being 29th is total offense doesn’t help either. Yes, they started Sam Darnold at quarterback as a rookie, but a five game losing streak and six of the total losses being by double digits, and already being on the hot seat already spells doom for Bowles. He will find another coaching job, probably as a coordinator in this league.
Doug Marrone- Jacksonville Jaguars
Doug Marrone is a weird case. He is in his second year as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Last year, he went 10-6 and went to the AFC championship game. But the game ended with the Jaguars giving up the lead and not being able to close out New England. After an avalanche of comments by cornerback Jalen Ramsey this off season, the Jags are 3-8 after a 3-1 start. Couple a 7 game losing streak with locker room issues, with the fact Marrone quit his last job in Buffalo. The locker room seems a mess, the offense was tanked by quarterback Blake Bortles, and the defense, though statistically looked good, couldn’t carry this team this year. If Jacksonville finishes strong, I think he keeps his job. If they lose out, Tom Coughlin may move on. Is Jacksonville looking for a fresh start, or some sort of consistency, since they have had three head coaches since Jack Del Rio was fired during the 2011 season. I think he gets another year, but with the Jags, you never know.
Dirk Koetter- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dirk Koetter almost certainly looks like he is out the door. When The Buccaneers let Lovie Smith go after two years, the reasoning was that Koetter, the offensive quarterback at the time, could fix the turnover issues of quarterback Jameis Winston. In Jameis’ rookie year under Smith, he had 17 turnovers. Since then, under Koetter, he has 35 interceptions, 29 fumbles, and 14 fumbles lost for a total of 49 turnovers in less than two and a half years. The Bucs went from 9-7, to 5-11, to 4-7 this year. Weapons cannot be the excuse, with Mike Evans, O.J. Howard, and DeSean Jackson playing well this year. The inconsistency of both Winston and backup Ryan Fitzpatrick will lead to Koetter’s demise. Unfortunately for him, but I don’t think that the organization thinks he can fix the situation.
Corey Joseph- Denver Broncos
This may be the hardest coaching decision on the list. Before the Broncos beat the Chargers and Steelers, I thought that this was a done deal that Corey Joseph would be fired. I figured GM John Elway would want to bring in an offensive guy, or that he may be looking ahead to see who would be available in the off-season. The Broncos are now 5-6 and right back in the thick of things in the AFC. This Denver team has a tough defense when they don’t get gashed by the run, they play hard for Joseph, they run the ball well when they stick with it, and quarterback Case Keenum, though he hasn’t been spectacular, has proven to be functional. This to me depends entirely on how this season ends. If the Broncos make the playoffs, I think Elway will stick with him, though not make a long term commitment. If Denver falters and plays the way they have played most of the season, i would bet that Elway feels the pressure and pulls the plug and looks for a big name, especially if the Baltimore Ravens fire John Harbaugh.
John Harbaugh- Baltimore Ravens
With Ozzy Newsome stepping down as General Manager of the Baltimore Ravens, John Harbaugh’s future may be in jeopardy, which I think is a little crazy. Harbaugh has a Super Bowl win, a mediocre aging quarterback, little to no receivers year in and year out, and has now won three games in a row with a limited rookie quarterback in Lamar Jackson. The Ravens may mess around and make the playoffs. John Harbaugh embodies that franchise. After losing Ray Lewis and Ed Reed over the years, the defense has always been really good to at least respectable. The offense has been the issue, not the head coach. I have no idea what happens in this situation. I think the Ravens should keep Harbaugh for now, but i think it depends on how this season ends.
Adam Gase- Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins very rarely make sound decisions, so they may fire their young, offensive minded head coach after the season, though I would bet against it. It is hard to judge or gauge Gase or the Dolphins, because the Dolphins consistently have the same issue: Quarterback. Two years ago, Ryan Tannehill goes down, and the Dolphins lose to the Steelers in the wild card round of the playoffs. The next year, Tannehill gets hurt before the season, and the Dolphins bring in the RETIRED Jay Cutler. This year, Tannehill has been hurt again. The Dolphins started out 3-0, and are now 6-6, still somehow in the wild card picture. It is hard to fire Adam Gase when the Dolphins seemingly never retain their offensive talent. I believe Gase will get one more year at least to see if with a healthy quarterback the Dolphins can gain some consistency.
Ron Rivera- Carolina Panthers
Before the season started, I would never have thought Ron Rivera would be on the hot seat. Upon further review, he is a 50-50 coach to make the playoffs. If they miss the playoffs this year, he will have made the playoffs four times in eight years. The Panthers have lost four games in a row. Cam Newton threw four interceptions to lose to Tampa Bay. Patience may be running out in Carolina. I believe Ron Rivera is a very good head coach. This is a weird year in Carolina, and the rest of the schedule is not super friendly. He is safe if they make the playoffs, but if they completely crash and burn at the end, he is gone.