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NFL coaches fired: Matt Rhule becomes first NFL coach fired in 2022

NFL coaches fired

The 2022 regular season is four weeks in, meaning it’s time for the list of NFL coaches fired will rapidly gain strength. That list is now at one with the Carolina Panthers having opted to move off Matt Rhule after less than three full seasons as their head coach.

Change is inevitable in the National Football League as organizations set higher standards for excellence and patience wears thin. While change is expected, no one saw the Jon Gruden story coming last season. Urban Meyer’s firing was much easier to foresee. After frequently embarrassing himself and others, Meyer had to go. He became the first of the NFL coaches fired last season.

With that in mind, let’s examine the head coaches who could be fired and those who have received their walking papers as the NFL season continues.

NFL coaches fired in 2022

Matt Rhule, Carolina Panthers

NFL coaches viewed Matt Rhule as a lame-duck before the summer even began and he was among the favorites to be one of the first NFL coaches fired in 2022. Entering Week 5 with his job at stake, the Carolina Panthers lost 37-15 on Sunday and owner David Tepper fired him less than 24 hours later.

It’s not a surprise. Rhule went 1-27 when opponents scored at least 17 points, including 25 consecutive losses. One of the highest-paid coaches in the NFL never established his footing, going through multiple offensive coordinators and even more starting quarterbacks. While his time in the NFL is over, Rhule immediately becomes the most coveted coach in college football and should be among the leading coaching candidates for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Wisconsin Badgers.

  • Matt Rhule record: 11-27

NFL coaches fired in 2022: Kliff Kingsbury among coaches on hot seat in 2022

Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders

nfl coaches fired: ron rivera
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

During their current four-game losing streak, the Commanders have been outscored 72-17 in the first half. To say that this isn’t acceptable would be an understatement. Rivera knows that more than anyone else.

Washington’s latest loss came agains the Tennessee Titans in a game that it could have easily won. The team had first and goal from Tennessee’s two in the final moments down 21-17. That’s when Carson Wentz threw a walk-off interception, culminating in a fourth consecutive defeat.

“We’re going to continue to talk about becoming who we think we can. We’re going to talk about working to get better, and we’re going to talk about that. We’re not going to back down from what we’re trying to do, it’s hard. It’s difficult, and there’s nothing easy about this game.”

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera after team’s most-recent loss

Losing to the Cowboys is one thing. Seeing Cooper Rush outplay Carson Wentz is a completely different thing. Seeing Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts receive MVP chants inside your home stadium is just embarrassing. Losing a game on the final play brings everything to a whole new level, and it could have Rivera out of a job sooner rather than later.

Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals

nfl coaches fired: kliff kingsbury
Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Gross. That’s the best way to describe how Arizona has performed down the stretch during Kingsbury’s pedestrian tenure in the desert. The Cards are 7-15 in December and January under the head coach. Last season saw Arizona lose six of its final 10 games after starting the campaign with a 7-0 mark. It’s led to some rivals questioning Kingsbury as a head coach in the pros.

Even after Week 4’s ugly win over the Carolina Panthers, Arizona doesn’t look like it’s anywhere near a playoff-caliber team. Its narrow defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5 adds another layer to this. Arizona now finds itself at 2-3 on the season and has lost all three at home. One has to wonder when enough will be enough for Arizona’s brass despite having handed Kingsbury an extension during the offseason.

NFL coaches fired: It’s getting hot in here

Arthur Smith, Atlanta Falcons

nfl coaches fired: arthur smith
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta might have saved its season with a narrow Week 4 win over the Cleveland Browns. But this team does not have the talent to compete for a playoff spot. Unlike the aforementioned Snyder, Falcons owner Arthur Smith does have some patience. We’re just wondering how long-lasting that will be should Atlanta go into a funk once again.

The Falcons are 9-13 in 22 games under Smith. He also drew a ton of criticism after blasting the media following an ugly Week 1 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Simply put, Smith might be in over his head. Perhaps, the Falcons initiate a full-scale rebuild under a new head coach should struggles be the name of the game moving forward. With games coming up against the 49ers and Bengals following a Week 5 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that could come sooner rather than later.

NFL coaches fired in 2022: Seat that are warming up

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL: New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It remains highly unlikely that Pittsburgh would even entertain the idea of moving off Tomlin, one of the most successful head coaches in modern NFL history. Continuity has been the name of the game for this organization in that it has had all of three head coaches since 1969. That’s a real thing.

Also real is the fact that Pittsburgh is coming off an absolutely humilating 38-3 loss to Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. Its defense allowed Allen to throw for north of 300 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone. Gabriel Davis torched the team at nearly every turn, too.

“They’re a good football team. It’s nothing mystical about it. They did similar things to Tennessee. We know it’s capable of happening. I’m just disappointed that we didn’t coach well enough, or play well enough, to prevent it from happening today. And that’s just the reality of it. So, we got to absorb the position that we’re in and what transpired today.”

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin following Week 5’s loss

Pittsburgh now finds itself at 1-4 on the campaign. It has been outscored by a league-high 51 points. The team is relying on a rookie quarterback in Kenny Pickett with games coming up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles ahead of a Week 9 bye. While it’s highly unlikely that Tomlin will be one of the NFL coaches fired this season, it’s something to pay attention to.

Bookmark this page for further updates about NFL coaches who could be fired during the 2022 season.

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