Next Monday is the latest edition of the NFL’s Black Monday. The NFL season is not officially over and this last week of the year could be the make or break position for some teams. Let’s take a look around the NFL at some of the coaches around the NFL who are on the hot seat.
Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints
In all likelihood, Payton will still have his job at the end of this season. It has been a tumultuous for the Saints but this was deemed to be a retooling year. New Orleans shipped off their biggest offensive weapon and added a lot of new faces on defense. The team already made one coaching switch with the firing of Rob Ryan earlier this year. With Drew Brees still under contract, I don’t see the Saints looking to make a coaching switch. However, if next year looks the same as 2015 did for New Orleans, then no one in the Bayou is safe, and that includes Brees.
Tom Coughlin, New York Giants
The Giants have had a very up and down season. They started very poorly and had some bright spots but altogether this season has been a disappointing one for Big Blue. Every week it seems like the Giants face the same problems of blowing games late and mismanaging the clock. Coughlin’s play calling and decision making has directly cost the Giants at least two games this season (against the Jets and Cowboys). If New York has another late-game meltdown or suffers a blowout against the rival Eagles, I think it might be the end of line for the veteran coach.
Dan Campbell, Miami Dolphins
Status: Will be fired
This week’s game against New England could be a huge resume builder for Miami if Campbell can somehow motivate his squad to a victory. However, it will most likely be too little, too late. Joe Philbin lead to the Dolphins to an abysmal start and lost his job after four weeks. Campbell came in and the Fins played inspired for two weeks, winning both games handily. Since then, Miami has only pulled off ugly wins against Philadelphia and Baltimore. Getting to six wins on the season won’t change anything for Miami’s assessment of the season and it will not save Campbell’s job.
Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles
Status: Will be fired
When you take a team that won ten games and narrowly missed the playoffs in one of the NFL’s toughest divisions a season ago and turn it into a team that cannot surpass the .500 in the league’s second weakest division, you deserve to be fired. Kelly completely sunk the Eagles and his offseason moves have backfired. DeMarco Murray isn’t worth half of what the Eagles signed him to. Sam Bradford has been the model of inconsistency, Kiko Alonso looks underwhelming and it is clear that the team misses players like Evan Mathis, LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin. I will be shocked if Kelly is not fired and I personally think that Philly already should have let him go. [Update: The Eagles have fired Kelly. Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur will be the interim head coach.]
Mike Mularkey, Tennessee Titans
This year was obviously one where the expectations for the Titans were low. That didn’t stop the Tennessee brass from firing Ken Wisenhunt. Wisenhunt’s 3-20 start with the team in the two years and change he was in charge. Mularkey hasn’t had much better success, only winning two of the seven games he has been the head coach. However, with Marcus Mariota having just completed his rookie season, the team might be wary about completely starting over and forcing him to learn a new system. This decision is still very unclear.
Jim Caldwell, Detroit Lions
Detroit pulled off the interesting midseason move in which it fired its president and general manager, but kept its head coach. If that isn’t head scratching, then I don’t know what is. The move seems to have worked though. Since their bye, Detroit is 5-2 with one of those loses coming on a hail mary against the Packers on the last play. The switch at offensive coordinator also helped the Lions turn their season around. For a team that to the playoffs last year, this was still a disappointing season, but the Lions are trending upwards for 2016.
Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers
The Chargers entered 2015 with playoff aspirations. They will likely finish with a top five draft pick. It has not been a pretty season out in sunny California and the team is rumored to be moving to Los Angeles but that should not effect Mike McCoy. This was the first real sign of struggles for a Chargers team that has always been in the mix for the playoffs under McCoy. San Diego had a lot of new faces at key positions and some major injuries bogged this team down. San Diego has also been close in just about every contest. Eight of their eleven losses have been by only one possession. McCoy will get one more chance to get the Bolts into the postseason. If he fails next year, then he will be packing his bags.
Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys
Jason Garrett found out the hard way this year that it is really hard to win games without your best offensive players. With Dez Bryant and Tony Romo hampered by injuries for most of the season, Dallas struggled mightily. It affect the Cowboys on all side of the ball. Way too frequently, the offense’s inability to move the ball with Matt Cassell/Brandon Weeden/Kellen Moore at quarterback put the defense in a tough position and eventually, the defense started to crack. There have been some rumors flying around regarding Garrett’s status considering how poorly the Cowboys played this season, but given the circumstances, I think Garrett will be sticking around for 2016.