We are through the first 12 weeks of the 2020 NFL season. Three head coaches have already been fired. The Houston Texans shockingly moved on from Bill O’Brien after an 0-4 start. After that, the Atlanta Falcons fired longtime head coach Dan Quinn after an 0-5 start to the campaign. Then, the Detroit Lions fired Matt Patricia.
There seems to be a theme here. NFL teams are not being anywhere near as patient with their coaches during what has already been an odd 2020 NFL campaign. It could very well lead to other head coaches being fired here in the not-so-distant future. Let’s look at the top candidates to be shown the door next.
Updated: Dec. 4, 12:51 PM EST
Anthony Lynn ‘fighting for his job’ in Week 13
It appears the Chargers are about ready to give Lynn the pink slip after posting a 3-8 record to date in 2020. According to Albert Breer of SI.com, the latest buzz coming out of L.A. is that Lynn is on really thin ice as his team prepares to take on the New England Patriots in Week 13.
Young quarterbacks often have severe difficulty against Pats coach Bill Belichick. Should that prove to be the case again this Sunday as stud rookie Justin Herbert goes up against Belichick’s schemes, there’s a strong chance the Chargers will lose and that Lynn might be down to his last straw.
Considering all seven of Lynn’s losses this season were by one possession prior to last week’s 27-17 defeat — and it took a lot of incompetence to not score a late touchdown in that one — the argument could be made he’s just one or two pieces away from trotting out a legit contender. Herbert is a source of optimism at the most important position, and star defensive back Derwin James will be back from injury next season.
On the other hand, a new voice to lead the locker room could be just what this Chargers franchise needs to elevate among the NFL’s elite in the coming years. It seems like Los Angeles is leaning toward that as its front office assesses what to do with Lynn going forward.
Jets seem to be playing out the string with Adam Gase
We’ve heard throughout pretty much the entire 2020 season just how hot Gase’s seat was. At this point, it seems to be a safe bet that he will last the remaining couple months. The Jets find themselves at 0-9 on the season. They are averaging 13.4 points per game and giving up nearly 30 per outing.
At this point, an argument could be made that the Jets will go down as the worst team in NFL history should they lose out. Again, that likely won’t impact Gase for the remainder of the season. There’s push back within the Jets’ front office as it relates to firing him in-season.
Could Chargers move on from Anthony Lynn?
The Chargers are 2-7 this season. All seven of their losses have come by one score. Dating back to the start of last season, Los Angeles is 3-16 in one-score games. The one common denominator is this embattled head coach.
Whether it was Philip Rivers last season or impressive rookie quarterback Justin Herbert this year, most of the blame can’t be placed on those tossing the rock. Lynn has struggled from an in-game coaching perspective. It’s time for the Chargers to move on from him and find Herbert a more qualified offensive-minded head coach to lead the charge. Whether that happens before the 2020 NFL season comes to a conclusion remains to be seen.
Doug Marrone seems to be a lame duck in Jacksonville
Loser of nine consecutive games, the Jaguars have been a bit more competitive recently. That included a 24-20 defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Packers in Week 10. Will this be enough for Marrone to last the remainder of the season?
I am not too sure. Here’s a team that is giving up over 30 points per game. The offense remains in flux due to the injury to Gardner Minshew. We’re talking about a long-term rebuild in Duval. I highly doubt that the Jags’ front office thinks Marrone will be the man to lead that rebuild. Delaying the inevitable doesn’t make much sense here, especially with Jay Gruden and Ben McAdoo as internal candidates to take over on a full-time basis.
Updated: Oct. 14, 4:04 PM EST
Next NFL head coach fired?
It really is time for the Jets to fire Adam Gase
Exactly what value does Gase provide to the Jets’ organization right now? We already know that a spat with Jamal Adams led directly to the All-Pro safety being traded to the Seattle Seahawks ahead of Week 1. The head coach is now overseeing a team that’s 0-5 on the season and has been outscored by north of 17 points per outing.
The backdrop here being Gase’s decision to bring Sam Darnold back in Week 4 after the franchise quarterback suffered a shoulder injury. It has cost Darnold one game thus far. Gase has lost his locker room. That’s never a good thing for a head coach. Now, he’s leading a team that could very well go 0-16. It’s now time for embattled head coach to be fired.
Would the Lions fire Matt Patricia in-season?
Speaking of being in over your head, it’s now readily apparent that Patricia is not a head coach in the NFL. Patricia now boasts a 10-25-1 record since taking over as the Lions’ head coach back in 2018. Remember, this is an organization that fired Jim Caldwell after he went 36-28 in four years as the team’s head coach.
A defensive-minded coach dating back to his time under Bill Belichick with the Patriots, Patricia has overseen a unit that’s yielded an average of 31.8 points per through four outings. This comes after Detroit ranked in the bottom seven in total defense under Patricia last year. Simply put, it’s time for the Lions to cut their losses and fire Patricia.
Joe Judge could be one-and-done with the Giants
We have not seen it too often around the NFL. Head coaches being fired after just one season. Most-recently, the Arizona Cardinals fired head coach Steve Wilks following a three-win 2018 season. Back in 2015, the San Francisco 49ers fired Jim Tomsula after a five-win campaign, only to turn around and move on from Chip Kelly following his only year as their head coach in 2016.
It’s more than possible that New York makes this same decision. It was shocking to learn that the Giants hired a former special teams coordinator to be their next head coach. Through five games, Judge seems to be in over his head. New York ranks 31st in the NFL in scoring and has been outscored by north of 10 points pre game. Daniel Jones continues to regress. While it won’t be during the 2020 season, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Giants fired Judge after 16 games.
Rumors about Doug Pederson being fired in Philadelphia
The dramatic fall from grace we’ve seen from these Eagles since their Super Bowl title back in 2017 is stunning. After consecutive seven-win seasons, Philadelphia finds itself at 1-3-1 on the campaign. Quarterback Carson Wentz has taken a major step back through five games. He is now on pace to throw 29 interceptions. Given Pederson’s MO as a quarterback whisperer, that does not show him in the best of lights.
There’s been rumors suggesting that the Eagles might fire Pederson. Despite a Week 4 win over the injury-plagued San Francisco 49ers, said rumors are not going to die down any time soon. Will the Eagles’ brass give Pederson the remainder of this year? It’s possible. However, if things continue on this downhill slide during the remainder of the NFL campaign, it would not be a surprise if the head coach were fired.