Black Monday Preview

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.



Payton won a Super Bowl in 2009, but has only won two playoff games in the six years years since.

Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints
Status: Safe
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
In years where Coughlin hasn’t won the Super Bowl, the Giants have not won a playoff game.

Tom Coughlin, New York Giants
Status: Undetermined
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
Campbell won a Super Bowl as a player on the Saints in 2009.

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.



Kelly jettisoned notable players over his tenure in Philadelphia leading to very mixed results.

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.jpg
This is Mularkey’s third time being an interim head coach.

Mike Mularkey, Tennessee Titans
Status: Undetermined
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.


38th CAB Flag Presentation to Colts
Caldwell led the Colts to the Super Bowl in 2009, but fell to Payton’s Saints.

Jim Caldwell, Detroit Lions
Status: Safe
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
McCoy has yet to lead San Diego to the postseason.

Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers
Status: Safe
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
Garrett only has one playoff appearance in his five years of being the Cowboys coach.

Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys
Status: Safe
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.


NFL coaches under the most pressure


5. Sean Payton New Orleans Saints

It is starting to feel like a pretty long time ago now that Payton made that Super Bowl run with the Saints. In fact this will be the sixth year that the Saints are removed from that championship season. Only seven players still remain from that New Orleans Super Bowl team. In the five years since the Lombardi Trophy, Payton has only managed two playoff wins. After a mediocre at best year in 2014, the Saints seemed like they were starting to clean house as the core of the team ages. A youth movement is sure to be coming sooner rather than later in New Orelans. Payton’s fate is likely tied to quarterback Drew Brees. If the now 36 year old quarterback decides to hang it up soon, it is likely Payton will be gone as well.

Marvin_Lewis4. Marvin Lewis Cincinnati Bengals

It might seem a little odd for Lewis to appear on this list considering he has four consecutive winning seasons behind him. Then you might remember the Bengals post season woes under Marvin Lewis are well documented. In six tries now, Lewis has come up empty. That makes it 12 seasons now under Lewis that he has failed to win a single playoff matchup. As the Bengals come into the season with a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, expectations should be reasonably high for Cincy. However, in a division with the Ravens and Steelers, the Bengals are often an afterthought which is why Lewis only comes in at number four on this list. The only thing that might save Lewis is that he recently signed a contract extension through 2016. However, if he fails to win a playoff game this year, Cincinnati’s front office might pull the trigger anyway.

Jeff_Fisher3. Jeff Ficher St. Louis Rams

I read an article recently saying that Jeff Fisher gets more benefit of the doubt than anyone for absolutely no reason. He almost led the Titans to a Super Bowl victory in 1999 but came up a yard short. That is pretty much Fisher’s only claim to fame here. He is entering his fourth year as the coach of the Rams and St. Louis has actually posted a worse record every year under Fisher. The Rams have yet to post a winning season under Fisher and there has been no talk of the playoffs around the organization. This team has not challenged the top of the division Cardinals or Seahawks either. In fact, a Fisher coached team hasn’t won a playoff game since 2003. Even in the tough NFC West, you eventually have to see results. If Fisher fails once again to even come close then it could be game over for him in St. Louis.

2. Chip Kelly Philadelphia Eagles

Jerry Jones fills both the owner and general manager roll in Dallas and tends to come under a lot of pressure for it. Chip Kelly now occupies the position of head coach and general manager. That means that he is destined to come under a lot more fire than he already has. In his first two seasons in Philly, Kelly has seen good results. He has put up winning seasons and even earned a playoff berth in 2013. However, Kelly has done a lot of house cleaning in his two years, expunging the team of it’s starting quarterback, running back, top two receivers and a good chunk of it’s offensive line. Many have criticized Kelly for trying to coach a pro team as he would a college one. So far it has worked but after Kelly gambled big time this offseason trading away LeSean McCoy and letting Jeremy Maclin walk in free agency, he is going to have some angry fans to answer to if things go south. This is Philadelphia we’re talking about here, newly minted most hated fan base in the league. Don’t expect them to wait patiently while Kelly continues to toy with the makeup of the roster. Kelly is definitely on a short leash.

joe_philbin1. Joe Philbin Miami Dolphins

Joe Philbin joined the Dolphins from the Packers in 2012 with some expectations. He was the mastermind behind the Packers Super Bowl run on the offensive side. He was given a rookie quarterback to mold in Ryan Tannehill and Dolphins’ fans understood that the team needed a year or two to really compete. Now entering year four of the Philbin era, the rebuild seems complete with Tannehill well installed and some big name acquisitions on both sides of the ball (i.e. Ndamokung Suh, Branden Albert, DeVante Parker). However, Miami has been middling around .500 for three straight seasons and does not really seem poised to take down division rival New England. Many of the draft picks under Philbin have been a mixed bag as well. It might not be widely speculated but there is definitely a ton of pressure on Philbin and Miami to perform this season. If Philbin provides another merely average season finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs, the Dolphins could be looking to start fresh under some new guidance.