There are a few coaches, probably two who will meet at midfield at the Metrodome after Sunday's game, who realize that Sunday might be their last day on the job.
After this week's games, 12 teams move onto the playoffs. For some of the 20 teams whose season ends, they'll deal with the reality of Black Monday.
The Monday after the season is usually when the carnage starts. Disappointed teams clear out coaches and front offices, looking for a new start. Houston got a jump on everyone by firing Gary Kubiak during a terrible season, and there was a report Saturday that Penn State's Bill O'Brien was the "overwhelming candidate" to take over, though that isn't official.
What about the other coaches on the hot seat? Let's take a look ...
Leslie Frazier, Minnesota: Frazier addressed his job status to his team this week, saying it was the "elephant in the room." The Vikings have had a disappointing season, Frazier has just one more year on his contract, and a 20-32-1 record with no playoff wins as Vikings coach might signal a change.
Jim Schwartz, Detroit: NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Sunday that the Lions coaching staff and front office could be cleaned out after a season of "some serious dysfunction." It shouldn't surprise anyone if Schwartz, who coaches against Frazier in Minnesota today, is let go after the Lions somehow failed to win the NFC North this year.
Mike Shanahan, Washington: This has seemed like a foregone conclusion for a while, and on Sunday morning the Washington Post said people in the Redskins' organization are bracing for Shanahan's departure, which could come as soon as Monday.
COULD BE GONE
Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay: Schiano will be a top target at Penn State if it loses O'Brien, Rapoport reported. Will Schiano be unemployed by that point? It seemed when the Buccaneers started 0-8 that there was no chance Schiano would survive, but Tampa Bay has played better in the second half and the latest from the rumor mill seems to be that Schiano will keep his job. Whether he wants to keep it or go to Penn State or another college job might be determined later.
Dennis Allen, Oakland: Allen was on the hot seat last year and survived. Does he survive another year in which the Raiders' play tailed off at the end of the season? The roster isn't very good, but there have been rumors and reports for a few weeks that Allen's job for 2014 isn't safe yet. ESPN's Adam Schefter said on Sunday's pregame show that Allen might survive, but some of his assistants might be retained.
Jason Garrett, Dallas: ESPN's Ed Werder reported about a week ago that Garrett would be fired if the Cowboys don't make the playoffs. So Garrett might need a win over Philadephia to win the NFC East, with backup Kyle Orton replacing Tony Romo at quarterback, to save his job. Owner Jerry Jones has long supported Garrett though, and nobody ever knows what Jones will do.
Mike Munchak, Tennessee: This has been another disappointing season in Tennessee, and the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt this week laid out the cases to fire Munchak and to keep him. Nobody seems to know whether Munchak, who is 21-26 with the Titans, will survive.
MIGHT BE STICKING AROUND AFTER ALL
Rex Ryan, N.Y. Jets: Last week, Ryan was telling his team that he thinks he will be fired. Then this weekend Adam Schefter of ESPN and Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News wrote that their sources indicated Ryan would come back for 2014. Mehta said the announcement could be made on Sunday. Given the constant drama with the Jets, it shouldn't be a surprise that this is the weirdest of all the coaching hot seat situations.
Those are the coaches and teams everyone will be tracking on Black Monday, but there always seems to be a surprise or two on the Monday after the regular season ends. Any coach who hasn't made the playoffs will feel a little better if his phone never rings on Monday.
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