There's a reason the NFL is commonly known as the "Not For Long" league. But that's not exclusively for players. If coaches and general managers don't show results nearly immediately, then they, too, could hit unemployment.
At the halfway point of the NFL season, it's about that time that underperforming teams start to have rumors about moving on from coaches. While the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans fired coaches who were on the hot seat, there are plenty of other candidates who could be fired in the near future.
Here are the five likeliest coaches to be handed their walking papers.
Adam Gase, New York Jets
This is the most obvious one.
What else is there to say about the worst coach in the NFL?
Gase started his head coaching career with the Miami Dolphins in 2016. He led them to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth. Since that first season, Gase has failed miserably.
After starting his first season in New York at 1-7, Gase managed to get the Jets to a7-9 record. This season, the Jets are off to an 0-8 start. He finally relinquished play-calling duties, but it didn't matter much as the Jets have been embarrassed in every single game this season.
There is a very real chance the Jets end the season 0-16 as they have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. While there are plenty of reasons the Jets are historically bad, Gase certainly isn’t helping.
It's a matter of when, not if, Gase will be fired.
Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions
If Gase is the most likely coach to be fired, then Lions coach Matt Patricia is a close second.
The disappointing disciple of Bill Belichick has a record of 12-26-1 through 2.5 seasons, and despite the Lions being somewhat in the playoff race, they've offered no real hope at all during his tenure. And things aren't getting better, either.
The supposed defensive mastermind has struggled to field a competent unit despite spending valuable resources on that side of the ball. The team's usage of skill players is also confounding. Highly regarded rookie D'Andre Swift has been the third wheel in a mediocre running back committee headlined by 35-year-old Adrian Peterson.
It's time for the Lions to move on from another head coach who makes the Lions a complete afterthought in the NFC.
Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys
Could you imagine replacing Jason Garrett with a downgrade.— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) October 25, 2020
The Cowboys have one of the worst defenses the NFL has ever seen and now with Dak Prescott out for the season and Andy Dalton on the shelf for who knows how long, the Dallas offense might be just as bad as the defense.
You could argue that injuries are a big reason this team is underperforming. However, even if their offense was at full health, that defense wasn’t going to help them win many games this season. Is all of this McCarthy’s fault? Or course not. Having said that, his lack of leadership and actual coaching is far from helping the situation.
The Packers underperformed with a Hall of Fame quarterback in every year McCarthy was the head coach except one. Nothing in his past points to him being even an above-average coach. If the Cowboys finish this season with a record so bad that they can’t even win the NFC East (which will probably only need 6-7 wins), then McCarthy should be one-and-done as the Cowboys look for another fresh start.
The only thing worse than making a mistake is failing to correct that mistake. Jerry Jones made a mistake bringing in McCarthy and failing to cut his losses sooner rather than later will only make the situation worse like it did with Garrett. For the Cowboys, bringing in Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma, Eric Bieniemy from Kansas City or Joe Brady from Carolina should be the priority.
Doug Marrone, Jacksonville Jaguars
In Doug Marrone’s first season as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, he did something nobody expected. He helped lead them to the AFC Championship Game. Since then, the Jaguars have been an absolute trainwreck.
The Jaguars have made some questionable moves in recent years and have had issues with players as well. A lot of that has to do with the team’s owner Shahid Khan, who is far from a fan favorite. However, another big reason for the franchise's failures on the field is due in part to Marrone.
The Jags are 12-27 since their AFC Championship Game run, including 1-6 this season. After an opening season win against the Indianapolis Colts, the Jags have lost six-straight, mostly in blowout fashion. The defense has been horrid and Jay Gruden’s offense is struggling.
All around, the Jaguars franchise is a disaster right now. Gardner Minshew doesn’t look like the quarterback people expected him to be and the team has holes in almost every position. Unfortunately for Jaguars’ fans, Khan has stated that he is sticking with Marrone for now after their most recent loss. We’ll see if that is still the case in a few weeks after games against the Texans, Packers, and Steelers.
Anthony Lynn, Los Angeles Chargers
This one might be surprising, but should it be? Lynn, in his fourth season, as the man in charge of the Chargers has a 27-28 record in his tenure, including 2-5 in 2020.
This is one of the most talented rosters in the league, even with all the injuries, that they shouldn't be the last-place team in the AFC West. That's coming off a campaign where Los Angeles went 5-11.
Unless the Chargers go on a big run, Lynn should be dismissed. The Chargers roster is absolutely stacked, especially now that Justin Herbert looks like a future All-Pro passer.
The Chargers should look for a younger, aggressive coach who is pretty much the opposite of the run-first, conservative Lynn.
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