As we head into week 16 of the NFL, there are exactly ten days until the infamous “Black Monday” where the majority of the annual head coach firings take place. Unfortunately for these head coaches, this unfortunate holiday lands on New Years’ Day in 2018. Most of these five coaches are probably aware of their future at this point. Let’s take a look at who is most likely to get the axe this offseason.
1. The Hottest of Seats: John Fox, Chicago Bears (12-32)
Fox is essentially a guarantee to be out after this year. His influence has been on a steady decline in Chicago since the team’s management decided to trade up to draft quarterback Mitchell Trubisky without any say from Fox. After three dreadful seasons, Fox currently has the worst winning percentage in the team’s history at .273. The Bears must act now or risk jeopardizing the career of their new quarterback.
2. Hue Jackson, Cleveland Browns (1-27)
On the verge of recording the second winless season in NFL history (2008 Detroit Lions) and finishing his Brown head coaching tenure with a record of 1-29, I don’t think I need to expand on much here. John Fox is ranked higher because the Bears are used to winning and unfortunately for the Browns, it’s going to be tough to recruit a good head coach to turn around the worst franchise by far in pro football. There are some bright spots on the team in receiver Josh Gordon and young quarterback DeShone Kizer. God speed to them…
3. Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-15)
Two years ago, Koetter was promoted to head coach from offensive coordinator mainly to continue developing a young Jameis Winston into one of the league’s upcoming elite quarterbacks. While Winston has shown sparks at times, overall he currently holds a touchdown to interception ratio of 12-6. Even if you give Koetter the benefit of the doubt of Jameis not playing for a few games due to injury this year, this team is still vastly underperforming after a promising 2016 campaign and offseason additions including all-pro receiver DeSean Jackson.
4. Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts (52-39)
Sunday’s 20 point loss in Jacksonville ensured the Colts will finish with its first losing record under Pagano. A lack of player development on top of coming up short in multiple close games this season will likely cost him a chance for redemption in Indy. Given the huge question mark that is quarterback Andrew Luck’s future, it may be best for the franchise to start with a clean slate heading into the offseason.
5. Vance Joseph, Denver Broncos (3-9)
After starting his first head coaching job 3-1, the Broncos lost eight straight. In his defense, Denver has one of the most unstable quarterback situations in the league with Trevor Siemen, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch. The home attendance has taken a massive hit the past few games, but personally I think he may get another chance next season.