Week 2 was not kind to NFL coaches on the hot seat. All but one coach that we consider to be fighting for his job lost and looked to Week 3 for redemption. As it happens, that's now been flipped around, and all of those coaches actually won in Week 3. For a refresher, these are the coaches officially on the hot seat, in our eyes:
In Week 2, Allen was the only victorious coach on the hot seat, as his Raiders took down the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. Ryan, Garrett, Schwartz, Munchak and Rivera all failed to various degrees. But things have been turned upside down in Week 3, and all the coaches (save for Allen) get a pass for another week and a brief respite from the hot seat. Let's take a look at what happened.
After Week 3
He was the only coach on our list to win in Week 2, and he's the only coach on our list to lose in Week 3. But then again, Allen's portion of that equation was about as predictable as Jim Harbaugh getting mad, Rob Gronkowski getting injured or Kenny Britt being disappointing. They were supposed to lose, because they were taking on the Denver Broncos.
Denver was favored by a million points or something to that effect, but the Raiders may have actually exceeded expectations. They know the Broncos, as AFC West rivals, and actually managed to put up 21 points, and not in garbage time. Peyton Manning had a "down" day, throwing for only three touchdowns instead of the customary five-plus, but Terrelle Pryor managed 281 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions for Oakland.
That's called progress, and it's the most important thing for Allen to keep his job this season. Raiders executives knew that Allen wasn't going to lead his team to the playoffs this year -- it wasn't expected due to the purge of inflated contracts but decent talent that the team underwent this offseason. But Allen showed some serious management issues in 2012 and if they showed up again this year, he could easily be out of a job.
He was in good form in this loss, for what that's worth.
Victorious: Ryan, Garrett, Munchak, Rivera, Schwartz
What a hot seat, huh? Four of our six coaches now have a winning record and are well on their way to saving their jobs. Of course, plenty can happen in this long season, but for now, the hot seat is at the back of their mind as they focus on getting to 3-1 heading into Week 4. But first, a quick look at how each coach won.
Ryan's Jets managed to down the deceptively-tough Buffalo Bills in Week 3, winning 27-20. The Jets committed a whopping 20 penalties in this game, but Geno Smith managed a 69-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes to win the game late, and that's all that matters at the end of the day. You can bet that there would be some furious people in the Jets organization if they had a loss in addition to those 20 penalties.
Garrett's Cowboys are probably the best team of these we're covering, and in Week 3, that was still the case. Garrett's team took down the St. Louis Rams, 31-7. Tony Romo had three touchdowns, and DeMarco Murray had a huge game running the ball, with 175 yards and a touchdown.
Tennessee has been competitive in every game thus far, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 16-9, in Week 1, narrowly losing to the Houston Texans in overtime and besting the San Diego Chargers, 20-17, this past week. San Diego is looking good this year, and the Titans managed to be just a bit better and they have some momentum going forward.
Not much to say about Rivera's Panthers ... outside of the fact that they blew the New York Giants out of the water. They ended up taking a 38-0 shutout and sent the Giants packing with an 0-3 record. That defense was finally on display. Schwartz's Lions overcame some injuries to down the Washington Redskins, 27-20. Matthew Stafford had a routine day, throwing for almost 400 yards and a pair of scores.
Allen's Raiders will face a tough matchup in the Washington Redskins for their game. But it's not a game that's unwinnable, and the Raiders could conceivably be 2-2 after the home game, given Washington's struggles. If he's unable to get them to a win, he'll have lost two straight games, which is never a good look.
As far as the winning coaches are concerned, Garret's Cowboys will take on the San Diego Chargers on the road. That seems like a really evenly-matched game, so it will be interesting to watch. The betting lines seem to favor San Diego by fewer than three points given the home-field advantage.
Ryan and Munchak will face off with each other, so one of the Jets and Titans will be 2-2 and the other will be 3-1 after Week 4. Tennessee is the clear favorite in that one, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out. It's unlikely that either coach would be in a dire situation if they lose that one, however. Its losing streaks that really mean something when it comes to hot seat. Detroit faces the toughest matchup of all the teams, as the Lions will take on the 3-0 Chicago Bears, a team many believe to be among the top in the NFL. Schwartz would earn a lot of goodwill if his team pulls out that rivalry matchup.
Lastly, Rivera and his Panthers are on their bye week this week.
Last week, we talked about how Gus Bradley was likely to get more time with the Jacksonville Jaguars in most scenarios. He was an excellent defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks and, obviously, he wasn't expected to lead the Jaguars to a winning record in just one season.
But Bradley will have certain expectations to get the team looking like it belongs in this league on a weekly basis. Thus far, Bradley has not done that. The Jacksonville organization will not have a tolerance for an 0-16 season with absolutely no positive signs whatsoever.
Some other coaches to keep an eye on include Greg Schiano in Tampa Bay, Tom Coughlin in New York, Mike Shanahan in Washington and Leslie Frazier in Minnesota. All could conceivably be on the hot seat later on in the season if things keep up.