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Odds to Be First NFL Coach Fired in 2019: Jay Gruden Listed as Favorite, Shurmur Set at 7-1

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NFL Football

Jul 24, 2019 · 2:08 PM PDT

Washington head coach Jay Gruden
Jay Gruden is the favorite to get fired first this season in the NFL. Photo by C Watts (flickr) [CC License].
  • 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)

Coach Team 2018 Record Odds
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.

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).

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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