There are plenty of familiar story lines heading into Week 4 of the NFL season.
The Denver Broncos are looking like a championship team. New Orleans is back on top in the NFC South. Miami appears to be one of those “surprise” teams that could make the playoffs. Oakland is struggling once again.
And New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin is on the hot seat.
Coughlin’s teams seemingly start slow every year before sneaking into the playoffs, but that appears very unlikely right now. New York was embarrassed by the Carolina Panthers, 38-0, this past Sunday, and appear to be spiraling out of control. The Giants are averaging only 44.3 rushing yards per game (last in the NFL), their defense has produced three sacks (tied for worst in the NFL) and allowed 38.3 points per game (worst in the league). Meanwhile, Giants quarterback Eli Manning has thrown five touchdowns and eight interceptions and owns a 70.5 passer rating.
While the first day of fall indicates September for most people, rumors about Coughlin’s job security is the needle for NFL fans.
THIS WEEK'S THREE HOTTEST SEATS
1. Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay
After two straight close losses, the Bucs decided to end all suspense and lose 23-3 against the New England Patriots. Former Bucs coach Raheem Morris probably believes he could do more this team than the lackluster squads he was given – and is probably correct.
2. Tom Coughlin, New York Giants
New York’s next three opponents are Kansas City, Philadelphia and Chicago. Unless the Giants can pull off an upset, this could be a 0-6 team.
3. Ron Rivera, Carolina
Carolina had a strong win heading into its bye week, but this team still has plenty of issues. The Charlotte Observer reported Rivera will not lose his job during the season. That does not mean it will not occur after this year.
Mike Shanahan, Washington
Fred Smoot recently ripped Shanahan, and it is hard to blame him after Washington’s 0-3 start. Shanahan has led Washington to only one winning season in the past four years. It is just a matter of time before Washington general manager Bruce Allen begs Jon Gruden to come out of retirement and coach his team (both men worked together in Tampa Bay).
Rex Ryan, New York Jets
The Jets are 2-1 and Coughlin’s team is 0-3? Now that is something most NFL observers did not foresee prior to this season.