Here we are, 8 weeks through the NFL season. We have yet to see a head coach get fired, although a couple may have come close. Every year there is turnover in this league. The talk of what coaches may get released at the end of the year usually begins at the midway point. Here are the top 6 coaches on the 2017 hot seat. These are in no particular order.
After a 15-1 season in 2015, NFC South Division Championship, NFC Championship, and Super Bowl appearance, 2016 has been anything but nice to the Carolina Panthers. A usually sound defense has taken its lumps thus far in 2016. Do they miss Josh Norman? Is it just the way of the Panthers? Since the franchise’s start, they’ve never had back-to-back winning seasons. They are well on their way to achieving that again. Whatever the issue, the head coach will usually take the fall. If there is not a turnaround in Carolina, and let us just say they go from first to worst, there could be some rumblings for a change.
The Chargers had high expectations coming into 2016. Some of those have since faded and now they are playing catch up. If not for a dramatic win in week 6 over their divisional rival, the Denver Broncos, McCoy may have found himself out during the mini-bye. However, that was not the case and he finds himself holding on until the bye week at the earliest. The Chargers are looking to get a new a stadium. If this vote passes, the fans are going to want to a see a winner sooner, rather than later. McCoy needs to get in high gear to save his job or the Los Angeles Chargers could be a thing along with a new head coach.
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There has been a drastic shift in the Cincinnati Bengals in 2016. They are not performing at any of the levels that they had in the past. Usually, you would find this team winning on Sundays and faulting in primetime. That is not the case this year. They are faulting on all levels. I do not see this as a mid-season firing, however. I know they have a trip to London coming up and many of coaches have lost their job after that game. Not the case here. In fact, Lewis may be the safest of these 5 coaches. But we always know that every year has at least one surprise opening.
Yes, I know that Pagano just signed a new deal at the beginning of the season. That does not mean that there cannot be a buyout and someone new brought in. We know the turmoil that existed in 2015 and this offseason. The team is not performing better either. After the comeback loss to Houston, this made me start to think of putting Pagano on the hot seat. With the high-priced QB there should be some more winning going on. Maybe the change will come in the form of other staff members and not Pagano. That will be seen. I just know that there needs to be some change in Indy for the winning to return.
The 2016 Jacksonville Jaguars were expected to be one of the better, young teams on the season. That has yet to be the case. Currently, at 2-3 and 3rd in the AFC South, the Jaguars have played well below expectations. Their QB, Blake Bortles, is still throwing interceptions. They signed RB Chris Ivory in the off-season and he has yet to get going. And their defense, which was supposed to be one of the most sack-happy in the league only has 9.5 on the season. Things need to turn around if Gus Bradley is thinking of still being a head coach in 2017. The Jacksonville Jaguars have loads of talent on both sides of the ball. If Bradley cannot bring it, maybe someone else can.
Fisher is a one-man wrecking crew. Many people thought that Chip Kelly destroyed the Eagles, well Fisher is doing the same with the Rams. There should be no reason now that the Los Angeles Rams should not be playing Jared Goff. They are 3-4 and looking way up at the Seahawks. There is this wacky sense from Jeff Fisher that they can be competitive with Case Keenum at QB. OK, but when your QB costs you victories due to turning the ball over too many times, how is that competitive? Yes, you may be in the game score-wise, but it is just a matter of time before your QB is going to make that mistake. At least with Goff under center, you would have that excuse of youth and inexperience. That might just save your job.
These coaches may or may not be looking for work at the end of the 2016 NFL season. There is one thing that is certain, there may be a coach or two not on this list looking for work as well. Through 8 weeks these teams are performing well below some of their 2016 expectations. That usually makes for a warm butt.