Last week, we took a closer look at Gary Kubiak of the Houston Texans and the issues he was facing this season. He became the most likely coach to get fired before the season was over, and wouldn't you know it, he was fired within a couple hours of our hot seat watch going live.
Kubiak has led the Texans well in the past couple seasons, but he made multiple mistakes this year, possibly backed the wrong quarterback and ultimately led his team to a 2-11 record before he found himself unemployed. He's considered a strong offensive mind, and has served on Super Bowl winning teams in the past, but the Texans believe they have a team that's built to win now, and not later.
So Kubiak is out, and the Texans will search for a new head coach and a new quarterback this offseason. But who's next on the chopping block at this point? We've long discussed Greg Schiano and the utter failure that is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both on and off the field. But another coach has been making headlines for his issues as well: Mike Shanahan with the Washington Redskins.
Shanahan has led Washington to a 3-10 record, and recently made the decision to bench starting quarterback Robert Griffin III. Griffin is considered the future of that franchise, and Shanahan insists that the decision was made to protect the young quarterback, as he's been sacked 25 times over the past few weeks. Media reports citing anonymous sources have questioned his motivations for benching the quarterback.
Whatever the case, he seems on the cusp of being removed from his job. Will it happen before the season ends? Does this hot seat watch possess powers that will see him fired after it goes live? Probably not, but it won't be due to an abundance of job security.
Dennis Allen (Oakland Raiders), Jason Garrett (Dallas Cowboys), Rex Ryan (New York Jets), Leslie Frazier (Minnesota Vikings), Greg Schiano (Tampa Bay Buccaneers),
Gary Kubiak (Houston Texans) and Mike Shanahan (Washington Redskins)
After Week 14
Losers: Kubiak, Allen, Shanahan, Frazier, Garrett
We already know what happened with Kubiak after his team fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday. Shanahan and the Redskins were blown out by the Kansas City Chiefs, 45-10. Griffin managed to throw for just 164 yards in that game, so it's not like his benching will be a huge deal from a statistical standpoint.
Schwartz and the Lions fell to the Philadelphia Eagles, and Garrett's Cowboys fell to the Chicago Bears, meaning the Lions are now tied with the Bears within the NFC North, once again. The Cowboys trail the Eagles in the NFC East, which is significant given that Garrett may need a playoff victory to save his job.
Neither Allen nor Frazier are competing for the playoffs, which is just as well, because both fell. Oakland couldn't make it past the not-mathematically-eliminated New York Jets, while the Vikings kept it close but ultimately fell to the Baltimore Ravens, 29-26.
Victorious: Ryan, Schiano
As noted, the Jets managed to take down the Raiders to improve to 6-7 on the season. Ryan may need a playoff appearance and possibly a playoff win to save his job at this point. Geno Smith isn't the starter any longer and he can't hedge his bets on getting more time to develop Smith. Schiano and the Buccaneers managed to take down the struggling Buffalo Bills, 27-6. The Bucs are now 4-9, but still not going anywhere fast.
The Redskins will proceed without Griffin at quarterback, electing to go with Kirk Cousins. He'll draw the Atlanta Falcons in his first start of the season. Frazier and the Vikings will try and play spoiler when they face the Philadelphia Eagles.
Schiano and the Buccaneers might draw the toughest matchup of the day, as they host the 9-4 San Francisco 49ers. Then again, Allen and the Raiders play host to the 10-3 Kansas City Chiefs as well. That's another opportunity for a team to play spoiler, at least when it comes to seeding and the AFC West. Ryan and the Jets take on the Carolina Panthers, and on the road. So that's going to be another tough one.
Garrett and the Cowboys will host the Green Bay Packers, who will likely be without quarterback Aaron Rodgers again. Dallas is one down on the Eagles and needs this one to stay in it, especially given the fact that Garrett likely needs a playoff win to keep his job. The Kubiak-less Texans will take on the Indianapolis Colts, for what it's worth.
Most In Danger: Schiano (4-9)
In Danger: Shanahan (3-10), Frazier (3-9-1), Allen (4-9)
Less Danger: Ryan (6-7)
Least Danger: Garrett (7-6)
Fired: Kubiak (2-11)