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NFL coaching hot seat: Josh McDaniels, Matt Eberflus in trouble after Week 3

The National Football League is about results. General managers, head coaches and players must all deliver or they’ll be replaced quickly. As we look ahead to the 2023 season, the NFL coaching hot seat proves there are a lot of head coaches under pressure this year.

We saw five NFL coaches fired last season, including two coaches in their first seasons with the team. In a business that is fast approaching $20 billion in annual revenue, failing to deliver sufficient results means less profit for teams and that results in owners making changes.

Related: NFL Coach of the Year race

Failing to deliver winning seasons is the fastest way to get fired. However, several coaches on the hot seat this year have Super Bowl rings and a track record of success. In a time when owners care about what a coach has done for them lately, though, repeated failures could force dramatic changes that alter the NFL as we know it.

NFL coach hot seat rankings

  1. Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears
  2. Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers
  3. Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders
  4. Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders
  5. Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  6. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
  7. Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints
  8. Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys
  9. Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns
  10. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

Our analysis of the candidates on the NFL coaching hot seat is updated every Monday.

NFL coaching hot seat 2023 after Week 2

Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears hired Matt Eberflus in 2022 with the hope the defensive-minded coach could create a defense that reminded fans of the glory days and surrounded himself with a coaching staff that unlocked the offense. We’re 19 games into the Eberflus experience and it can only be described as a failure. Chicago has one of the worst NFL defenses since September 2022 and Justin Fields hasn’t made any improvement in offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s scheme, which is often the subject of public criticism.

In Week 3, things went just as you’d expect from the worst team in the NFL against the reigning Super Bowl champions. Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce torched the Bears’ defense, proving once again that Eberflus simply isn’t able to do the basic things he was brought to Chicago for. It’s only a matter of time until Eberflus is fired.

Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers Rookie Minicamp
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers have an MVP-caliber quarterback, two Pro Bowl pass rushers, an All-Pro defensive back and several other Pro Bowl talents on both sides of the ball. Not only that, the Charges are spending the most cap space in the NFL ($211.389 million) this season. Yet, head coach Brandon Staley is seemingly turning diamonds into dust. Los Angeles should’ve parted ways with Staley after the 2022 season, following the team’s historic collapse in the playoffs. Instead, a roster with enough talent to compete for the Super Bowl fell to 0-2.

Related: NFL power rankings 2023

Even in a Week 3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, it certainly doesn’t feel like Staley helped Los Angeles win. The Chargers won in large part on Sunday because of their offense, which is operated by play-caller Kellen Moore). Maybe this win turns the Chargers’ season around, but Staley hasn’t demonstrated anything this year to take himself off the NFL coaching hot seat.

Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Buffalo Bills
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve kept Josh McDaniels off the NFL coaching hot seat in 2023 because of offseason reporting that the Las Vegas Raiders have no interest in firing him. Then, you see coaching decisions like the one he made on Sunday Night Football, which captured that he might not be cut out for this job.

McDaniels is 10-22 as an NFL head coach over the last three seasons, a mark that would typically get most NFL coaches fired. Las Vegas is also averaging the fewest points in the second half of the game, tying into a troubling theme from last season where this team fell apart late in games. Money and loyalty might be the only reason McDaniels remains the Raiders’ coach in 2024.

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

While the New England Patriots have played things close with two Super Bowl contenders, taking them to the final minutes, the scoreboard matters. Robert Kraft sees a Patriots team that is 0-2 for the first time since 2001 and it’s a massive disappointment. Belichick’s defense is still one of the best in the NFL, but it’s apparent some bad draft picks will prevent New England’s offense from even being above average in 2023. If the Patriots don’t win at least eight games this year, Belichick might be among the NFL head coaches fired in 2024.

Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Tennessee Titans
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Just when the Dallas Cowboys began to look like a Super Bowl contender, everything fell apart. The Trevon Diggs injury is a devastating blow and if Week 3 is any sign of what’s to come, Dallas will no longer have the defense capable of carrying this team every single week.

As for Mike McCarthy’s offense, it didn’t look sharp on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals and its biggest issues happened in critical spots, including the red zone. McCarthy needs playoff wins this year and the stunning Week 3 loss is a reminder of how quickly the bottom can fall out on the Cowboys.

Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders

NFL: Washington Commanders Rookie Minicamp
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders won ugly in Week 1, beating an Arizona Cardinals team that many thought had a chance at going winless. Instead, the Commanders’ offense struggled mightily with Sam Howell not providing the level of play anyone hoped for. It’s a reminder of what Rivera-coached teams look like when he doesn’t have an MVP-caliber quarterback.

Rivera’s record is why he’s on the NFL coaching hot seat. over the last five years, including the end of his stint with the Carolina Panthers, Rivera doesn’t have a winning record. Following Cam Newton’s MVP season in 2015, Rivera hasn’t won a playoff game and holds a 51-58-1 record.

Keep all of that in mind moving forward. If the Commanders can’t win eight-plus games this fall, new ownership will likely complete the franchise facelift by replacing Rivera with a modern and likely offensive-minded head coach.

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

If the Pittsburgh Steelers fired Mike Tomlin, he would land another NFL head-coaching gig within days. Right now, Tomlin’s situation in Pittsburgh feels like what happened to Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles. Reid only had one losing season in Philadelphia from 2000-2011, then the Eagles went 12-20 in the next two seasons. Everyone realizes a fresh start might be in everyone’s best interest.

From the Steelers’ perspective, moving on from Tomlin would create an opportunity to hire an offensive-minded coach who could help unlock Kenny Pickett. The bright side of finding a great play-caller and quarterback guru as a head coach, no other team can try and hire them. However, Pittsburgh will also run the risk of losing Tomlin’s leadership, demeanor and experience. Those same qualities are exactly why he’d be hired by another NFL team.

Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Blowing a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter isn’t the greatest endorsement for an NFL head coach, but the New Orleans Saints also lost Derek Carr to injury in that game. Still at 2-1, New Orleans can absolutely win the division thanks to weak competition and one of the easier schedules in the NFL. If they fall short of that, though, that’s when Dennis Allen’s seat gets hot.

What NFL coaches are on the hot seat in 2023?

Matt Eberflus, Mike McCarthy, Josh McDaniels, Brandon Staley, Ron Rivera, Kevin Stefanski, Todd Bowles and Dennis Allen are the NFL coaches on the hot seat in 2023.

Is Brandon Staley on the hot seat?

Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley is on the hot seat in 2023. Staley currently has one season remaining on his original four-year, $24.5 million deal.

First NFL coach fired odds 2023

Here are the latest odds for the first NFL coach to be fired in 2023, via Covers.com.

  • Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys – +600
  • Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – +600
  • Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders – +700
  • Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders – +700
  • Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns – +900
  • Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints – +900

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