There are only four weeks left in the NFL regular season, and while over half of the teams in the league have a strong shot at making the playoffs, there are several that don’t.
No team has yet been mathematically eliminated from the postseason, though that will likely change after this week.
But even a couple of coaches of teams that still have a chance might not be sleeping well at night. We’ve already seen Hue Jackson fired by the Cleveland Browns and Mike McCarthy fired by the Green Bay Packers, and the business of the NFL means there are more changes to come.
Who else is on the hot seat? Here are some possibilities.
Todd Bowles, New York Jets
Bowles is in his fourth season guiding the Jets, and his first season remains his best — New York went 10-6 that year. The Jets have been in rebuilding mode since, and Bowles was given a two-year extension late last season, when he got five wins from a roster many considered the worst in the NFL. But this year they’re just 3-9. The Jets believe they got their quarterback of the future in Sam Darnold, and may make a change to guide Darnold and the team’s development.
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals
It’s time for a change. It just has to be. It is certainly admirable that in a must-win business Lewis has been able to survive 16 years, and that the Bengals have stuck with him through the lean times, but it’s time. The Bengals have lost four straight games, a streak that began before Andy Dalton’s season-ending thumb injury.
Adam Gase, Miami Dolphins
Like Bowles, Gase’s first season was his best: in 2016, the Dolphins were 10-6 and went to the playoffs. They were 6-10 last year when Gase lured Jay Cutler out of retirement after Ryan Tannehill needed his ACL repaired, and are currently 6-6. Miami isn’t out of the playoff hunt — there are four AFC teams at 6-6, a game back of current No. 6 seed Baltimore — but it seems to be all over the place. After starting the season 3-0, the Dolphins’ pattern since has been lose two, win one. That’s not a good formula.
Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Koetter and the Buccaneers have seemingly bounced back from a streak that saw them lose seven of eight games, and have won their last two. If Jameis Winston’s current play continues, it may save Koetter, whom Tampa Bay bounced Lovie Smith for in 2016 to continue developing Winston and guiding the Buccaneers. But the team still hasn’t been to the postseason since 2007.
Vance Joseph, Denver Broncos
A month ago, Joseph’s seat was seemingly on fire. They lost six of seven games, the exception being a Thursday night win over the Arizona Cardinals. But since their Week 10 bye, the Broncos have been on a hot streak, winning three straight, including over the Chargers and Steelers, both of whom are currently in position to make the playoffs. As a result, Joseph’s seat is a lot cooler. Now 6-6, they’re among the group of AFC teams just outside a wildcard spot.
Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers
Usually, a coach that’s led his team to the playoffs four of the last five years wouldn’t be in danger. But the Panthers have lost four straight games, and on Monday, Rivera made moves that lead one to wonder if he believes his job is on the line: he fired two defensive assistants and stripped his defensive coordinator of play-calling duties (Rivera will now call plays).
John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens
Another coach who was in trouble just a few weeks ago, Harbaugh may stay with Baltimore because of a twist of fate: Joe Flacco’s hip injury forced Harbaugh and the Ravens to play rookie Lamar Jackson, and the team is 3-0 since; Baltimore is in the second AFC wildcard spot currently. But Harbaugh is only signed through this season.
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