NFL Odds for Next Coach to be Fired
Ever been fired from a job? It's a horrible feeling. You are lost and confused and angry. If you have lived through it, you wouldn't wish that on anyone. Yet, for some perverse reason, we all take pleasure in the potential firing of coaches in sports. There are few things more interesting to speculate about as we get further into a season. This year in the NFL, there are no shortage of guys who are on some version of a hot seat. There are as many as 14 or 15 guys right now who could be fired without causing too much surprise. Here is a look at five of the most interesting cases:
Pat Shurmur, New York Giants: It would be a truly epic shock if Shurmur isn't fired after this season. In fact, it would be a pretty big surprise if he made it that long. He is at even money to be the next coach fired, and that is more than a fair price. Daniel Jones looked alright early on but is not progressing. And why would he, given what is around him. Saquon Barkley is a shell of his best self and could be ruined entirely if Shurmur is given too much rope. There just isn't any progress here, and there isn't any reason to expect any. It isn't all Shurmur's fault, of course. The team liquidated assets in the offseason without a clear plan of what that would mean, or how it would lead them to be better in any hurry. But a change is needed, and the Giants are again in the market for a new coach in all likelihood. And given their track record over the last while - the next coach will be the third full-time coach and fourth overall since Tom Coughlin left in 2015 - it is hard to imagine them getting it right next time, either.
Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons: Quinn is such an interesting case. He isn't that far removed from a Super Bowl berth, and that could save him. But this team has never been mentally tough under him and has not been as good since Kyle Shanahan left. The Falcons have two big wins the last two weeks, and that could earn him another year if it continues. But it shouldn't. He shuffled his coordinators heading into the season, and his assistants coming out of the bye. The former seemed to have a negative impact, but the latter has been positive. But that doesn't matter. This is a team with issues. They got out to a 1-7 start with a roster far better than that, and yet it wasn't that much of a shock. He's now just the seventh choice to be the first coach fired at +1000, but he needs to go.
Freddie Kitchens, Cleveland Browns: This is not an experiment that is working. He was picked because he fit so well with Baker Mayfield. And coach and QB have been a disaster together. Like Quinn, he could be earning himself a little more credit because of recent success. And like Quinn - even more so - he absolutely shouldn't. It was clear in the preseason through his comments that he was not ready for this role, and he has not grown into it. The Browns screwed up at a very important time, but they can fix it. They need to. He's currently the fourth choice to be fired first at +500.
Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals have really pulled off a feat. They fired the worst coach in football in Marvin Lewis, and yet somehow found someone who is coaching the team even worse. Taylor got hired for one reason - he worked for Sean McVay. He was too young, too inexperienced, and totally outclassed. And he was going into a situation where a coach with a very firm grip had been in place for far, far too long, so it would take a deft hand to undo what was in place and make progress. He has not been able to do that, and this team is just an irredeemable mess. He's at +700 to be the first coach fired. The biggest thing working against him is that the Bengals could look to save face and find a way to avoid admitting they made a mistake. But that won't help them move forward, and they desperately need to do that. There is value in him at that price.
Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys: On one hand, Garrett has been largely incompetent and has mostly underachieved for parts of the last 10 seasons. So, he could easily be given the chance to underachieve for years to come - it's not like he works for the most astute front office in the league. But it sure feels like the time has come for him to move on. Jerry Jones has been talking about other coaches with regularity, and this team should be better than their record. It feels like a lock for him to be fired in my eyes. He's at a fat +1500 to be the first coach fired. The team is currently leading the NFC East because that division is so lousy, and as long as they are a playoff team that will keep him in his job at least into the postseason. But if that were to change in the next couple of weeks, he could be on shaky ground. Either way, I am betting against him getting another chance.
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