A warm seat before winter is not the most attractive thing for NFL head coaches.
With the 2021 regular season entering its final stretch, some teams may be looking to 2022 to find out who will lead their franchises in the future. That sound you hear is not that of a sleigh bell: it is the doorbell of the unemployment line.
2021 has been a year of disappointing returns for a couple of sophomores in Joe Judge and Matt Rhule – both head coaches are fighting and chasing wins with only five weeks left on the season, and if they don’t come in a hurry. Both of you could be looking for your next job in January. Meanwhile, some veteran coaches might be shown the door: some surprising, some not.
Here are who may be in danger of losing their job:
MORE: Will The Vikings Fire Mike Zimmer?
2021 NFL Coaches Hot Seat Rankings
Joe Judge, Giants
Judge’s ultra-conservative approach to managing the game has angered fans and resulted in a less-than-stellar 4-8 season. The Giants have just 19 total offensive touchdowns in 2021, and that number led to the firing of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
It’s not all up to Garrett though – Judge hasn’t done much to change the minds of fans and analysts who question his management of the game and his irritating personality. However, you can keep your job if the organization decides to part ways with Dave Gettleman this offseason (as has been reported to happen) and hire a guy who is more in line with Judge’s thinking.
With Garrett fired and Gettleman also potentially on the verge of disappearing, Judge could run out of meat shields to wear as the Giants continue to lose games. Don’t be surprised if the organization decides to walk away from him this offseason if they continue to fail down the stretch.
Pete Carroll, Seahawks
Carroll, 70, will likely not get the full boot-to-glute treatment, but a generous and friendly, “The Seahawks and Pete Carroll have mutually decided to part ways,” statement on Twitter after the 2021 season.
Seattle had to deal with a Russell Wilson finger injury and very poor defense to start the year, but it still sits at 4-8 and a long shot for a playoff appearance this season even though it recently defeated. to the 49ers.
Between a bad year, Russell Wilson’s reported desire to get out of Seattle, and the general feeling that the organization is headed for a restart, Carroll may be training his last games for Seattle, unless they finish strong in 2021.
Urban Meyer, Jaguares
Biggest question: So where does Urban Meyer go from here?
With major college head coach vacancies filled (including Meyer’s dream job at Notre Dame), it appears that both the Jaguars and Meyer are stuck with each other until at least the end of 2021, and probably 2022.
Meyer’s reputation as an offensive guru hasn’t helped Trevor Lawrence much – Lawrence’s 59.4 PFF rating is one of the worst QB ratings in all of football, and the third worst in the rookie class (Zach Wilson of the Jets lags behind at 58.5, while Davis Mills is the worst at 56.2). Lawrence has thrown just nine touchdowns to 10 interceptions with a 58 percent completion rate this year.
With Lawrence struggling and the drama and controversies that have followed him since essentially Day 1 in Jacksonville, the Meyer experiment may come to an end sooner rather than later. However, Shad Khan is traditionally a very loyal owner, so Meyer will likely have at least one more season to figure things out in Florida. Still, Year 1 of the Florida Man’s return hasn’t been particularly inspiring.
Vic Fangio, Broncos
The Broncos got off to a hot 3-0 start, then traded wins and losses to land again at .500 going into Week 14.
While the Broncos’ expensive defense is performing well enough, Denver hasn’t been able to do it on offense, it’s been more of a part of history. That may fall to offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur more than Fangio, but the decision to bring in Teddy Bridgewater this offseason (rather than drafting a quarterback) rests with Fangio as much as it does with general manager George. Paton.
Sitting at 6-6 and with matchups against the Bengals, Chargers and Chiefs remaining, the Broncos must prove they are more contenders than suitors in the AFC West, especially if their defense cannot contain the high-scoring offenses of Los Angeles and Kansas City. in the future.
Matt Rhule, Panthers
Rhule signed a seven-year deal before the start of the 2020 season, apparently giving him enough time to turn Carolina’s fortunes around. However, his relationship (and subsequent firing) of Joe Brady and the Panthers’ median results since the beginning of the season may render that contract meaningless.
Carolina’s carousel of quarterbacks has doomed the Panthers as much as the coach has, but Rhule has generally been uninspiring since taking office last year, coming from the college ranks. His firing from Brady could be seen simply as a philosophical difference in how the offense should have been run or as a scapegoat to hide from Rhule’s lack of understanding of a 2021 NFL offense.
Billed as a program builder, Rhule hasn’t built much at Carolina yet, despite having a very talented defense and a few pieces to work with on the offensive side of the ball. While his flashy contract says he will likely have at least one more year to figure things out, money is not an issue for Carolina owner David Tepper, who could choose to go for a higher one next offseason to get these Panthers who win now. well, winning now.
Mike zimmer, vikings
Record 2021: 5-7
You should never judge a player, coach or team for a single game, but Minnesota’s last-second loss to the Lions in Week 13 likely sealed Zimmer’s fate after the 2021 season.
While the Vikings are still technically alive in the NFC playoff picture, they scream “one and done” more than Super Bowl contenders.
A lot of that seems to be the Vikings’ tendency to downplay (or up) their opponent rather than hurt teams, despite having a very talented team – Minnesota games have been decided by a score of 11 games this season. – They have played 12 games in total. That is something quite remarkable.
While Zimmer has made a really nice stint as the Vikings head coach for the past eight seasons, as is the case with Pete Carroll in Seattle, sometimes a change of voices is needed in the building. That will likely happen this offseason.
Matt Nagy, bears
Record 2021: 5-7
It’s almost a surprise that Nagy hasn’t been sacked yet, especially with rumors circulating on more than one occasion that the Bears head coach would lose his job before a game.
Nagy’s Thanksgiving turned out to be quite happy after all – rumors indicated that the head coach would be fired after Chicago’s showdown with the Lions, a game they won, albeit in a very unpleasant and unenjoyable way ( similar to many other Bears games during the Nagy era).
While the quarterback’s situation with Justin Fields and Andy Dalton isn’t quite what the Bears hoped it would be at this stage of the season, that falls almost exclusively on the way Nagy and company have handled their rookie passer. .
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.