There are a few coaches on our hot seat watch who may not be in any danger at all. Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants and Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers come to mind as coaches who continue to be referenced in the comments section as having job security based on the structure of the front office and past success.
However, we're not continuing to look at those guys because they're likely to lose their jobs -- they just happen to be in on the mediocrity and the NFL is extremely unpredictable. It's never shocking when a coach who has fallen completely flat on his face in a given season losing his job.
As the end of the season gets nearer, we'll narrow our focus, to be sure. But for now, we're going to talk about the bad teams and the coaches behind them.
Last week, we said goodbye to Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions. Not because he was fired, but because his team was doing well. We'll quickly mention that they made good on this, and improved to 6-3 with a win over the division rival Chicago Bears in Week 10. The coaches on our list are below:
Tom Coughlin (New York Giants), Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers), Rex Ryan (New York Jets), Jason Garrett (Dallas Cowboys), Dennis Allen (Oakland Raiders), Mike Munchak (Tennessee Titans), Greg Schiano (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Leslie Frazier (Minnesota Vikings) and Ron Rivera (Carolina Panthers).
After Week 10
Losers: Munchak, Allen, Garrett
Garrett and the Cowboys have missed multiple opportunities to really take control of the NFC East, but we could hardly refer to a game at the Superdome against Drew Brees and the Saints as an opportunity. The loss was unsurprising to say the least.
Munchak and the Titans had a horrible game in Week 10, falling to the Jacksonville Jaguars. That was the first win of Jacksonville's season. Whoops. Then the Titans squandered a 17-6 halftime lead at home over the Indianapolis Colts to lose Thursday. This has not been a fun week in Nashville.
Allen and the Raiders continued their losing streak to the NFC East by falling to Coughlin and the struggling Giants.
Victorious: Frazier, Coughlin, Tomlin, Rivera, Schiano
As noted, Coughlin's team took down the Raiders. Frazier and the Vikings managed a convincing win over the Washington Redskins, but lost Christian Ponder in the process, for whatever that is worth. Tomlin improved the Steelers to 3-6 with a solid win over the struggling Buffalo Bills.
The surprising wins were Rivera and Schiano. The Panthers managed to snap a five-game winning streak of the San Francisco 49ers. That was a defensive struggle, but ultimately ended 10-9 in Carolina's favor. Schiano and the Buccaneers managed their first win of the season, taking down the Miami Dolphins in convincing fashion.
Next Off The List/Next On The List
Rivera and the Panthers seem a likely candidate to be taken off the list if they grab another win or two. Rivera has struggled mightily to get that underperforming offense up to snuff, but hasn't been quite able to. Still, the defense was so good in Week 10, it didn't matter. If he keeps that front seven playing the way they've been playing, then the Panthers will win enough games to keep him at the helm for at least another year.
There are some teams that could soon be on the list. We're watching Joe Philbin with the Dolphins, thanks to the struggles on and off the field that have a stranglehold on that team. We're also watching the Jaguars, who managed to pick up their first win. Gus Bradley wasn't expected to do much, of course, but it's still worth noting. Gary Kubiak of the Houston Texans is another name to watch, as there have been reports of the front office being frustrated with some of his decisions.
Thursday Night Football
Munchak and the Titans were on Thursday Night Football, and our hot seat watch posts Friday morning, so we had to include this section to talk about them a bit. Tennessee got out to a 14-point lead over the Indianapolis Colts, but eventually squandered it in the second half. They allowed two touchdowns and a field goal in the third quarter, and another in the fourth that made their last-minute touchdown moot. Munchak and the Titans fell to 4-6 on the season.
Ryan and the Jets are surprisingly 5-4, but he will have the toughest time affirming his worth to his bosses. Ryan needs more playoff wins to keep his job, we think. They'll take on the Buffalo Bills so they should end up with six wins when the week is up.
Tomlin and the Steelers will take on the surging 6-3 Lions, while Schiano and the Buccaneers have a solid opportunity to pick up their second win of the season when they host the struggling 2-7 Atlanta Falcons. Tampa Bay looked decent on Monday, and Atlanta has been outright bad.
Allen and the Raiders will take on the struggling Texans on the road, but without an offense to speak of, they'll have trouble taking advantage of Houston's own struggles. Coughlin and the Giants face a tough matchup against the Green Bay Packers. The two toughest matchups of the week go to the Vikings and the Panthers.
Minnesota will take on the 9-1 Seattle Seahawks in Seattle, which is basically a foregone conclusion at this point. Seattle doesn't lose at home. The Panthers will take on the New England Patriots under the bright lights of Monday Night Football, which should be plenty interesting.
Most In Danger: Schiano (1-8)
In Danger: Frazier (2-7), Allen (3-6), Munchak (4-6)
Less Danger: Tomlin (3-6), Coughling (3-6), Ryan (5-4)
Least Danger: Rivera (6-3)