Coaches are usually the ones on the hot seat, but the temperature of their own derriere is tied to the success of the player they've deemed to lead their offense. And by that, I mean that if you've tied your offense to Christian Ponder, you've taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque.
Below is a list of players that may or may not be starting for their teams as the season wears on, from boiling hot to simply preheating the oven.
Could the Giants be in the midst of preparing to tear it down and start from scratch or is it just another bump in Eli Avenue?
Feeling hot, hot, hot
There are plenty of reasons to think that Greg Schiano is not a good fit for the NFL. Benching Freeman should not be one of them. Over their 0-3 start, in which a lot of people are probably close to losing their jobs after management spent so much in the last year to avoid things like this, Freeman was an obvious choice for a player that would be unemployed soon.
(And in this economy, I mean "unemployed" in the sense that he will be paid millions of dollars to stand on an NFL sideline.)
Freeman was 33rd in the NFL in QB rating among qualified passers. There are still only 32 teams.
Mike Glennon, Buccaneers - Comfortably room temperature seat
Well, let's be honest. We have no idea yet if Glennon is any good or how much of Freeman being terrible was tied to the offense around him. You would think that with Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams and Doug Martin that the offense would be pretty good, but Jackson has had a problem with drops.
Tampa is 31st in the NFL in scoring; Schiano will be fired if he doesn't just turn it around, but probably needs to get to the playoffs at this point. Can Glennon do that? The team isn't going to be switching back to Freeman any time soon.
Up next: The Bucs take on the Cardinals. Arizona is 26th in passing yards allowed, and just placed two starting linebackers on IR. If Tampa falls to 0-4, Schiano's last move as head coach might have been benching Freeman.
Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to the bench you go. At least for one more week. But it doesn't take a genius to figure out that if Hoyer leads the Browns to a division win this week over Cincinnati, that Rob Chudzinski would be a fool to put Weeden back in.
Besides, even though Hoyer has been in the league for three more years than Weeden, he's actually two years younger. Hi-Hoyer, Hi-Hoyer...
Christian Ponder, Vikings
Ponder was barely surviving when Minnesota was a playoff team a year ago. Now that they are 0-3, the only question is how much longer Leslie Frazier will be able to move forward without making a change before his own job is at stake.
If I were a betting man, I'd say that Clemson's Tajh Boyd and the Vikings could be a pair a year from now.
Up next: Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite their own 0-3 start, the Steelers are still one of the top pass defenses in the league, with opponents gaining only 5.9 yards per attempt. On some nights, Ponder only dreams of 5.9 yards per attempt.
The heat is on
Gabbert was just re-announced as the starter. He's likely safe due to the fact that the Jags' other option is Chad Henne. Most people in Jacksonville seem perfectly content with picking first overall next year. (Maybe not happy, but content.)
Up next: Indianapolis Colts. If the Colts can hold Colin Kaepernick to a terrible day at home ... well, Kaepernick and the 49ers have their own problems. Indy shouldn't have any problems with Gabbert.
Well, Matt Flynn, this might finally be your shot. Pryor has done enough to warrant keeping his job, but a concussion may force him to the sideline just as the Raiders are set to take on the Redskins and Chargers -- the worst and second-worst pass defenses in the NFL.
If Flynn can get Oakland to 3-2 and pass for big numbers during that time, would that give him the chance to start the next game at Kansas City if Pryor is healthy?
Up next: The Redskins are treating passing yards like candy and every day is Halloween.
Surprising switches for the future
New York is 0-3, the defense is terrible and Manning has thrown eight interceptions. He's also a $20 million cap hit next season and the Giants would save $13 million against the cap in 2014 and $17.5 million against the cap in 2014 if they cut him.
In a world where New York collapses to the worst record in the league, would it be prudent to draft Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater or would the team take Jadeveon Clowney, or possibly go another direction? Would Eli restructure his contract and how happy is the team with the idea of Ryan Nassib being the quarterback of the future? This much I know for sure: If the Colts can move on without Peyton Manning, the Giants can absolutely move on without his brother.
Up next: At Kansas City. The Chiefs are sporting perhaps the second-best pass defense in the league, behind the Seahawks. How will rookie Justin Pugh fair against the Chiefs' Justin Houston in protecting Manning from hitting the turf five or six times?
It certainly seemed like an encouraging Week 1 win over the Redskins. And then we found out that the Redskins are terrible. Vick is not signed past this season; at what point is Chip Kelly interested in seeing more of Nick Foles or even Matt Barkley?
Up next: Philly has three straight games on the road, starting this week at Denver. Vick could be taking a trip to the sideline sooner than expected.
Can't be true
Robert Griffin III, Redskins
No matter how bad Washington is, they've invested everything in Griffin. Despite a ton more passing yardage and leading the league in completions, Griffin's numbers are down across the board and he's almost no threat to run the ball. Even if he is a good passer, how much of his success in the pocket last season was linked to his threat as a runner? Without one, what does it mean for the other?
At least if the Redskins really tank, they can use their first round pick on a-- oh, wait a minute.
Up next: at Oakland Raiders. Opposing quarterbacks have completed more than 76 percent of their passes against the Raiders in three weeks, and Oakland actually played Jacksonville in Week 2. If Griffin wants to win back the hearts of millions and save Shanny his job, he should make like an ESPN doc and go 30-for-30.
If performance were the only indicator (55-of-102, three touchdowns, six interceptions) then it's possible that Smith would be on a hotter seat, but the Jets are 2-1 and don't have anybody else to play at the moment. He's pretty safe until Sanchez possibly comes off of injured reserve, and then he's really safe.
Up next: at Tennessee Titans, an above-average pass defense to start the year.