- Washington enters the season with many questions at quarterback
- The Giants continue to employ Eli Manning as the starting QB on sinking squad
- Picking the first NFL head coach to be fired is an inexact science, but some worthy favorites have emerged
Like clockwork, there are always head-coaching vacancies to be filled once the NFL regular season comes to an end and “black Monday” arrives.
Many years, there’s an opening or two in the middle of the season, and that’s where the latest NFL prop wager comes into play. There are now odds on which head coach get’s fired first in 2019!
The league has eight coaches starting their tenure this season. You can effectively cross them off the list. You’d have to be egregiously bad in your first season at the helm to get fired first. The seats are hotter for the incumbents.
Let’s explore what head coach will get the axe first this year.
First NFL Head Coach Fired Odds (2019)
|Jay Gruden||Washington Redskins||7-9||+300|
|Pat Shurmur||New York Giants||5-11||+700|
|Matt Patricia||Detroit Lions||6-10||+1000|
|Bill O’Brien||Houston Texans||11-5||+1200|
|Dan Quinn||Atlanta Falcons||7-9||+1200|
|Doug Marrone||Jacksonville Jaguars||5-11||+1500|
|Jason Garrett||Dallas Cowboys||10-6||+1500|
|Mike Zimmer||Minnesota Vikings||8-7-1||+1500|
|Adam Gase||New York Jets||7-9*||+2000|
|Brian Flores||Miami Dolphins||11-5*||+2000|
|Mike Tomlin||Pittsburgh Steelers||9-6-1||+2000|
|Ron Rivera||Carolina Panthers||7-9||+2000|
|Kliff Kingsbury||Arizona Cardinals||5-7*||+3000|
|Anthony Lynn||Los Angeles Chargers||12-4||+3000|
|Freddie Kitchens||Cleveland Browns||7-8-1*||+3000|
|Mike Vrabel||Tennessee Titans||9-7||+3000|
|Sean McDermott||Buffalo Bills||6-10||+3500|
|Kyle Shanahan||San Francisco 49ers||4-12||+3500|
|Matt LaFleur||Green Bay Packers||9-7 *||+4000|
|Pete Carroll||Seattle Seahawks||10-6||+4000|
|Vic Fangio||Denver Broncos||12-4*||+5000|
|Bruce Arians||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||N/A||+5000|
|John Harbaugh||Baltimore Ravens||10-6||+5000|
|Jon Gruden||Oakland Raiders||4-12||+5000|
|Zac Taylor||Cincinnati Bengals||12-4*||+7500|
|Frank Reich||Indianapolis Colts||10-6||+7500|
|Matt Nagy||Chicago Bears||12-4||+7500|
|Sean Payton||New Orleans Saints||13-3||+10000|
|Andy Reid||Kansas City Chiefs||12-4||+10000|
|Doug Pederson||Philadelphia Eagles||9-7||+10000|
|Sean McVay||Los Angeles Rams||13-3||+10000|
|Bill Belichick||New England Patriots||11-5||+15000|
* Denotes coach was either an assistant or coaching in college last season. Odds taken 07/03/19.
Winning Records, Shaky Ground
You’re either being disrespected or living on a house of cards if you’ve just coached your team to a winning record and you’re one of the favorites to get chopped. In the top 14, four head coaches share that distinction. Bill O’Brien and Jason Garrett even won their divisions, and still rank in the top 10.
"You're talking to a guy that's tried to fire Jason Garrett three times." – @BryanBroaddus
Bryan thinks this is an important year for Garrett to prove something to Jerry Jones. @mlombardiNFL @AmalShah1 on #FollowTheMoney
M-F 4A-7A PT/7A-10A ET & replay 9A-12P PT/12Ph 12P-3P pic.twitter.com/Ydv9jVx3Xf
— VSiN (@VSiNLive) July 16, 2019
Garrett has been living on a permanent hot seat as he enters his ninth full season steering America’s team. Under his guidance, the Cowboys have either perpetually underachieved (three 8-8 seasons, one 9-7 year) or fizzled out of promising campaigns (three 10+ win seasons, two playoff wins total in five games).
Bill O’Brien’s competition, AFC South:
– Mike Vrabel – his former assistant
– Doug Marrone – his good friend
– Frank Reich – only got the job because the guy they really wanted had a surprise change of heart and bailed on them
Nobody likes to lose.
But imagine losing to that.
— Matt Hammond (@MattHammondShow) July 18, 2019
O’Brien, meanwhile, looked like toast after finishing the prior season at 4-12, but rebounded to 11 wins, powered by a nice nine-game winning streak at the end of the year. However, he was aided by the lowest strength of schedule. This year, there’s no hiding, as Houston faces the fourth toughest slate.
Mike Tomlin strongly defended his locker room and discussed what’s required of Ben Roethlisberger’s in 2019. pic.twitter.com/ZOvNGuhkNb
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) July 17, 2019
Mike Tomlin and Anthony Lynn are being looked at because of their underachieving. The Steelers lost two of the best skill players in football this season and questions now swirl over what kind of atmosphere and environment is being fostered behind the scenes. Lynn, meanwhile, has one of the deepest and most talented rosters in football, but the Chargers flamed out to the Patriots in the divisional round.
.@AdamSchein's Top 5 NFL Head Coaches Under the Most Pressure in 2019
1. Jason Garrett (Cowboys)
2. Mike Tomlin (Steelers)
3. Mike Zimmer (Vikings)
4. Freddie Kitchens (Browns)
5. Pat Shurmur (Giants) pic.twitter.com/I2UCQ7GjIu
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) July 22, 2019
Should either the Steelers or Chargers struggle out of the gate, perhaps in-season changes are in store.
Wearing Out Their Welcome?
A little seniority, a little struggle, and that could signal a need for change. Ron Rivera is entering his ninth year, and has a Super Bowl berth on his resume, but is coming off a 7-9 year. To his credit, the Panthers have yo-yo’d from losing seasons to double-digit wins the following year, a run going back seven seasons.
— Steelers Depot ?? (@Steelersdepot) July 20, 2019
His NFC South foe Dan Quinn is entering his fifth year at the helm, and just a few seasons removed from a gut punch of a Super Bowl loss to the Patriots.
.@falcons #RiseUp Head Coach Dan QUINN preaches CTI: competitive toughness index and every player is scored everyday. Look for this defense to be much better under QUINN this year. #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/Cn7vYCpOhF
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) July 23, 2019
The hangover season is over, but if the Falcons are still wobbling, calls for Quinn’s dismissal will be coming.
What’s the Best Bet?
The biggest messes are in the NFC East, where Washington is stuck between Case Keenum, Colt McCoy or rookie Dwayne Haskins to fill in for the injured Alex Smith at QB. None of the choices seem like good ones right now, and that spells disaster for Jay Gruden.
I was thinking the other day…someone should definitely take a chance on Jay Gruden as a head coach in 2020 after he inevitably gets fired in Washington
— Dan Karkotsky (@dkarkots) July 23, 2019
Meanwhile, Pat Shurmur is trying to cobble together an offense that just dealt Odell Beckham Jr., Eli Manning’s lone home-run hitting receiver. And even then, it had come down to short passes hoping he’d break loose. Expect to see dozens of Saquon Barkley chekdowns per game, and lots of L’s for the G-Men.
— Kevin Boilard (@KevinBoilard) July 22, 2019
Digging for a little more value, and Garrett (+1500) and Rivera (+2000) seem enticing, but here’s a sleeper: Mike Zimmer (+1500). The Vikings are coming off a sub-par season with Kirk Cousins taking over the starters’ duties. He needs to improve, but the NFC Norris is no easy task: the Bears will be better, and so will Aaron Rodgers and the Pack.
If the season gets away from Zimmer like it did partway through last season, they won’t be firing the offensive coordinator John DeFilippo – this time, it will be the head coach.