Being the head coach of an NFL franchise is a rollercoaster ride. Three or four wins on the run and you are praised to high heaven, yet, a few losses and the noose around the neck gets ever tighter.
With this in mind, UKPigskin have taken a look at six of the current crop who we feel are sitting on the hot seat going into the 2020 season.
This will come as no shock but on the hottest of hot seats is Adam Gase.
A questionable hire who boasted a meagre 23 – 25 record before joining up with the Jets. Not exactly the high flying hotshot that franchises are desperate to hire nowadays.
The Jet’s ended the 2019 campaign with a 7-9 record, not awful but nothing to shout about.
Don’t let this record deceive you, though, as this Jets team gave the Bengals and Dolphins their first wins of the season whilst encountering an absolute blowout against the Patriots in week seven (0-33).
“You can’t polish a turd, but you can put glitter on it” is definitely the best comparison for the 2019 Jets. Underneath the glitter of an average record you’ll find an absolute stinker of an offense.
Over the last decade (of which there are 320 teams), the 2019 Jets ranked 291st in points scored, 308th in first downs and 297th for total touchdowns.
In short, they are in the worst 10% of NFL offences over the last decade. And yet Adam Gase, an offensive minded coach returns for another year.
2020 is going to be a decisive year for Adam Gase in New York.
With Tom Brady finally leaving the AFC East, the division is now looking more difficult to predict than it has been in the last 15 years.
They have a great opportunity to make an improvement in their division and we’ll see if Gase is up to the task.
Dan Quinn and the Atlanta Falcons have regressed heavily since Super Bowl LI and have struggled to replicate that lethal offence led by now Niners’ head coach, Kyle Shanahan.
In the 2019 season, Quinn started the year as both head coach and Defensive Coordinator.
In short, it didn’t go well.
The Falcons went 1-7 before Quinn quickly decided to hand play calling responsibilities back to his coordinators.
Not a good look, especially when the team then saw an improvement finishing the year with a 7-9 record.
Though with that said, they still ended up with a bottom 10 defence and Falcons fans will still have nightmares form the 53 points that Houston Texans put up against them in week five (32-53).
The ‘Dirty Birds’ already have an explosive looking offence and with the addition of running-back Todd Gurley, the pressure will be on the team to hit the round running.
Quinn, who earned his stripes as a defensive coach could easily have been shown the door at the end of the year but he’ll be back for what may be last chance saloon in 2020.
It’s never a good idea to have a fight with one of your own players on the sideline is it? Well, that’s exactly what Doug Marrone did in week two.
The shouting match between him and Jalen Ramsey wasn’t the best start to the season and that led to question marks being raised if Marrone was the right man for the job from the off.
The Jaguars finished the season with a lacklustre 6-10 record.
Even with the rise of NFL favourite Gardner Minshew, it was Nick Foles who was meant to become the hero in Jacksonville but a broken clavicle put any hope of that on ice.
That AFC Championship appearance back in 2017 looks a distant memory and it’s safe to say that the team under Marrone has regressed drastically since then.
Nearly all of that terrifying defence nicknamed ‘Sacksonville’ is a thing of the past, most notably Calais Cambell (Baltimore Ravens), AJ Bouye (Denver Broncos), Jalen Ramsey (LA Rams) and Dante Fowler, Jr (Atlanta Falcons) have all left to greener pastures.
Let’s also not forget that Yannick Ngakoue has also been trying everything he can to get out of Jacksonville, even having a public twitter feud with co-owner Tony Khan.
The current camp hasn’t been a happy one even with ever-popular Minshew being a positive in 2019.
If the veteran coach cannot make a big improvement to both sides of the ball in 2020, London’s favourite franchise will have another coach at the helm.
Now in his third year as head coach, Matt Patricia will be under serious pressure to steer this long time suffering franchise in the right direction.
Another defensive ‘guru’ hired from the Bill Belichick tree that hasn’t found the same success as the main man.
Even with Matthew Stafford’s season cut short in 2019 due to injury, it was the defensive side of the ball that caused the most concern for fans.
The Lions invested heavily in their defensive line and that investment never reaped the rewards.
Out of all 32 teams, the Lions gave the opposing quarterbacks the most time to throw. Not ideal when they have to face Aaron Rodgers twice a year.
In the end, they finished 31st in total defence and rock bottom in pass defence.
Patricia was heralded as a defensive maestro in New England and this Lions team has been anything but.
Many star players such as Quandre Diggs (traded midseason to Seattle Seahawks), Glover Quin and star cornerback Darius Slay (traded to Philadelphia Eagles) publicly denounced Patrica’s coaching style and the culture he was trying to implement during their time with the Lions.
Not great when you’re trying to get players to ‘buy in’ to your philosophy and not great given the incoming of the much talked about first round draft pick, Jeff Okudah.
The Lions ended with a 3-12-1 record and for a team that had expectations of being play-off contenders, well, this ain’t it!
You also cannot ignore the fact that Patricia inherited a team that went 11-5 & 9-7 twice in four years; not exactly in need of a full rebuild.
Patricia has an ultimatum for 2020, compete for playoff a spot or you’re out.
Not exactly a shock mention per say, but when you trade away your best asset for peanuts, pressure and scrutiny shortly follows.
O’Brien shocked the NFL world when the Texans announced the trade of De’Andre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for a second round pick and injury plagued running back, David Johnson.
Even some of you fantasy football novices would not have accepted that trade.
Despite reaching the play-offs, the Texans were arguably inflicted with their worst and most unforgivable loss of the season during the AFC divisional round.
After taking an impressive 24-0 lead against the Kansas City Chiefs, O’Briens’ side suffered the mother of all self-destruction’s when they allowed the Chiefs to put up 41 unanswered points and ultimately lost the game 51-31.
Change was needed by the end of the 2019 season, instead the franchise doubled down making the 50-year-old both head coach and general manager.
Talk about having too much on your plate…
Even if fans want someone new to guide this team, Bill O’Brien has got his roots firmly set in Houston. At least for 2020 that is.
Yes, you read that right, Matt LeFleur gets a shock mention.
Why? Because you don’t mess with Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers decided against giving Rodgers the weapons he so badly needed in the draft and instead chose quarterback Jordan Love in the first round.
Unless they are planning on playing Love as a receiver fans were rightly not happy and neither was Rodgers, who was shown by his coach and management that they had found his successor.
Not great when he has stated on numerous occasions that he wants to play well into his 40s.
LeFleur began his reign at the end of Rodgers’ time with the Packers, or is it the other way round?
Usually when a coach and player fall out, the player is shown the door but when it’s management versus one of the greatest quarterbacks in the game, it’s going to be the coach getting in line at the NFL job centre.
Mike McCarthy was fired at the end of the 2018 season with the primary reason being that the Rodgers-McCarthy relationship was at an end.
Not that it was a relationship that ever really flourished, considering it was McCarthy in 2005 (then 49ers offensive coordinator) who chose Alex Smith number one overall and left a glum faced Aaron Rodgers to fall down the draft board.
As Bleacher Report said “Nobody holds a grudge in any sport like Rodgers. When it comes to Rodgers, grudges do not merrily float away. They stick. They grow. They refuel.”
Good luck LeFleur, you’re going to need it.