Hot Seat Update: Which NFL Coaches Could Get the Axe?

With two weeks left to go in the regular season, the NFL saw its second head coaching change of the year on Sunday as the Jacksonville Jaguars have relieved Gus Bradley of his duties following the team’s 21-20 loss to the Houston Texans.

Bradley, who went 14-48 in his four seasons with the Jaguars, had his team on the brink of a breakout this season, but he failed to deliver as the team currently sits at 2-12 on the year.

Bradley is the second coach fired just this week, as the Los Angeles Rams also said goodbye to their field boss as Jeff Fisher was given the axe in Southern California.

With two weeks left in the regular season and the fates of many teams already sealed, the question becomes this: what other coaches will be given the old heave-ho by their teams at the end of the season?

To answer that question, we’ll break down situations where coaching changes could be in the offing and give our thoughts as to whether or not the teams involved are likely to make those decisions.

Rex Ryan – Buffalo Bills

Chance of Change: 9/10

Consider this one a near complete and total lock: Ryan will not be the head coach in Buffalo next season. The team, which had one of the top defenses in the NFL before Ryan arrived, as plummeted into NFL mediocrity under his guidance, and after a lost season, the team is almost assuredly going to make a change.

Chicago Bears – John Fox

Chance of Change: 5/10

This one is a tough one, because the Bears have shown a ton of resilience under Fox during the last few weeks as injuries and suspensions have robbed them of their effectiveness. Even still, there are still plenty of questions about Fox’s technique and whether he’s the coach that can fully develop the young players the team’s future is going to be built around, and so there is more than a passing chance that a change will be made.

Cincinnati Bengals – Marvin Lewis

Chance of Change: 7/10

Lewis is currently the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL, but with the Bengals all but eliminated from the playoffs, it’s time to make a change in Cincinnati. The team’s undisciplined approach was clear for the world to see in their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, and it’s clear that an attitude change is sorely needed for the team.

Cleveland Browns – Hue Jackson

Chance of Change: 2/10

It seems insane that there is virtually no chance that a change will be made at the head coaching position for a team that is 0-14, but with the challenges that Cleveland has faced and with some of the young talent that the team is in the process of working into their system, Jackson is still looked at as the long-term answer for the squad, and it seems highly unlikely that a change will take place.

Indianapolis Colts – Chuck Pagano

Chance of Change: 3/10

A power struggle between Pagano and G.M. Ryan Grigson was front and center for this team in the offseason, and after another season that will likely not result in a playoff berth, Grigson may have the ability to fire Pagano…..but he still shouldn’t. There won’t be many candidates on the market that would be considered an improvement, and the problem in Indianapolis seems to be the general manager more so than the coach.

New York Jets – Todd Bowles

Chance of Change: 8/10

It’s a shame that Bowles isn’t working out in New York, but judging by his team’s approach to games and the completely lackluster performances that they have been putting forth in recent weeks, this relationship is all but over in the Big Apple. Bowles will get another head coaching chance down the line, but it likely isn’t going to work out in New York.  

San Francisco 49ers – Chip Kelly

Chance of Change: 5/10

There is a strong argument to be made that Trent Baalke is the man to blame for the sorry state of the 49ers, but there is also a chance that Kelly could leave the Bay Area, though whether his departure will be voluntary or not remains to be seen.

There is some hope on the part of the team that Kelly’s ability to work with Colin Kaepernick could save his job, but could he be tempted to sit out a season and wait to see if any college jobs open up, or perhaps resign to work with Jared Goff in Los Angeles now that Fisher has been fired? Both are possibilities, so this is a very fluid situation.

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