Which NFL coaches are in the hot seat after week 11? Nathaniel Hackett, Lovie Smith...
Though the Broncos coach is the clear front runner among coaches at risk of losing their job, there are in fact a few others who should be concerned.
Even if you’re a casual fan of the NFL, you can appreciate that there isn’t must margin for error when you’re a coach. With the season being just 18 weeks long, the margin for error is slim as teams battle it out for a playoff spot. With that in mind, we’re taking a look at which coaches are on the hot seat right here and now after 11 weeks of action.
Nathaniel Hackett is now a ‘When not If’ situation
The future of Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett now seems set to follow the same route as former Panthers coach Matt Rhule and former Colts coach Frank Reich. That’s to say, like the two former coaches, Hackett is more or less certainly about to be dismissed from his post. There was hope that after their Week 9 bye things would be turned around, but Denver has now lost two straight following their break which brings them to a record of 3-7, last in the AFC West and virtually no chance of making the playoffs. Yet, it’s not just the fact that they’ve been losing, but rather the way in which they have which is the real concern. The Broncos have failed to score at least 20 points in nine of 11 games this season Hackett at the helm. Indeed, they’re now 3-6 in games decided by seven points or fewer. Not a good look for a coach who has been described as offensive minded.
“We’ve been so close, we’ve had so many opportunities. We’ve had a lot of things happen this year that are unfortunate. But we have to continually find ways to win. That’s my sole purpose, that’s all I’m looking to do,” Hackett told reporters after Sunday’s loss. With that, the clocking is ticking on Hackett’s tenure in Denver, but we can’t imagine it will be doing so for much longer.
Which other NFL coaches are on the Hot Seat?
Lovie Smith (hotter)
With a record of 1-8, a struggling quarterback and a run defense that has holes to say the least, the Texans and their coach are in a bad way at the moment. Indeed, Smith has done himself no favors in Houston and is most definitely now facing the possibility of getting the axe. The Texans’ front office has already shown a willingness to fire a coach after one year, as they did when they replaced David Culley with Smith, so we have no reason to believe they won’t do it again. Add to that, the idea that they will be able to draft for a franchise QB in the coming year and you’ve got yourself a scenario where they will likely go after a younger more offensive-minded coach.
Josh McDaniels (colder)
To his credit, McDaniels was able to avoid the chopping block for another week, while simultaneously condemning Nathaniel Hackett after he spearheaded a revenge victory and season sweep of the Broncos. Whether he can continue to save his skin, with games against the Seahawks and Chargers coming up remains to be seen.
Kliff Kingsbury (hotter)
Though the Cardinals did manage to beat the Rams in Week 10, we’ve got a feeling that moment of joy is about to be snuffed out, when they take on the 49ers in a “home” game in Mexico City. At the moment, their offense is missing several key players and to make matters worse they’ve got games against the Chargers and Patriots coming. Kingsbury will need to watch where he sits.
Kevin Stefanski (hotter)
Stefanksi took the Browns to an AFC wild-card berth and subsequent playoff victory just two seasons ago, but it’s clear a lot has happened since then. While he should be credited for building an offense around Jacoby Brissett in the absence of Deshaun Watson, the defense has been an issue that has plagued the Browns. Though they picked up a win over the Bengals on Monday night, it’s clear that the Browns are a team heading downhill at speed.