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Ranking the five NFL head coaches who could be fired next

Vincent Frank
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Hue Jackson’s firing won’t be the final move of this ilk…

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson was the first at his position to be fired this season. It came at the midway point of the 2018 campaign, and it won’t be the final move of this ilk.

Heading into Week 9, a total of six teams have two wins or fewer. That includes the New York Giants, Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers, all of whom boast coaches who have been at the helm for less than two full seasons. All three coaches seem to be safe right now.

In no way does that mean other coaches aren’t on the hot seat following Jackson’s firing.

Here, we rank the five NFL head coaches most likely to be fired next.


Vance Joseph, Denver Broncos

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At 3-5 on the season and with five losses in their past six games, the Broncos have fallen completely out of playoff contention after eight games. The expectations heading into this season were that Denver would be able to turn things around with new quarterback Case Keenum and a still-solid defense. Obviously, that has not been the case.

It’s also led to the Broncos’ brass not necessarily giving Joseph a vote of confidence even before his second season as head coach comes to a culmination. Denver has won just one-third of its games since Joseph was hired. It has also lost three games by one score this season and was blown out by the 3-5 New York Jets back in Week 5. Short of the team coming out on top against a red-hot Texans squad next week, we fully expect rumors of Joseph’s demise to pick up heading into to the team’s Week 10 bye.


Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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As the Buccaneers’ valiant comeback effort against Cincinnati came up short this past Sunday, questions were raised about Jameis Winston’s long-term future under center. Despite missing the first three games to suspension, the former No. 1 overall pick is tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with 10. Given that Koetter was primarily promoted from offensive coordinator back in 2016 to help Winston progress under center, it’s certainly not a good look for the head coach.

Should Koetter actually decide to bench Winston for Fitzpatrick for good, it won’t represent the best of optics. He has also posted an 8-15 record since leading the Bucs to a surprise 9-7 mark in 2016. Now at 3-4 and facing irrelevance in the NFC South, it would not be a surprise if Koetter was canned here soon.


Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills

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A defensive mind dating back to his days with the Carolina Panthers, that side of the ball has played pretty well through seven games. Unfortunately, Buffalo’s offense could very well finish as one of the worst in the modern era. It heads into Week 9 averaging less than 12 points per game and ranks dead last in passing. In fact, Bills quarterbacks have thrown three touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions on the season. Ouch.

Sure McDermott led this team to its first playoff appearance since 1999 last season. The issue here is that he pretty much led the charge as it relates to Tyrod Taylor’s benching and subsequent trade to the Cleveland Browns. Given how bad the quarterback position has been in Western New York, that’s not a good thing. With games coming up against the first-place New England Patriots and Chicago Bears, further futility could lead to McDermott being fired during the team’s Week 11 bye.


Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys

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We already know that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is not fond of firing head coaches midseason. It took a brutal 45-7 loss to the Packers on national television back in 2010 for Jones to fire then-coach Wade Phillips, only to replace him with Garrett. Prior to that, he seemingly held on to Dave Campo and Chan Gailey for too long. Such is the nature of the beast when we talk about an owner who likes to have that lap puppy on the sidelines.

Even then, the Cowboys’ complete lack of relevance could lead to Jones taking this drastic measure. Dallas finds itself two games behind Washington in the NFC East coming out of its bye. With games coming up against Philadelphia (twice), Washington and New Orleans, another bad stretch could lead to Garrett being canned prior to Christmas. Because, at that point, it would make no sense to hang on to a lame-duck coach without any future within the organization.


Doug Marrone, Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone

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This is somewhat of a shocking inclusion to the article. Marrone led his Jaguars to a 10-6 record and a surprise AFC Championship Game appearance last season. At that point, it seems that he was in Duval for the long haul. In fact, these Jaguars entered the 2018 campaign as top-end Super Bowl contenders. Every single thing that could go wrong has gone wrong since then.

Losers of four consecutive games, there appears to be a major rift in the locker room. Blake Bortles has struggled big time, leading to players on the defensive side of the ball growing frustrated. It’s not exactly the ideal scenario in an NFL that relies heavily on leadership from the quarterback position. Should this thing continue to go south following Jacksonville’s Week 9 bye, there’s a small chance Marrone will be the scapegoat in Jacksonville.

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