Five Weeks into the 2023 NFL season and there are quite a few Head Coaches who are on the “Hot Seat” and need to start winning to keep their jobs. It’s always a “hot” topic this time of year, especially for coaches who have teams that are performing well under expectations. Even though the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals are both 1-4, we’re going to give their Head Coaches a little more leeway than other HCs, seeing as how both are in their first year with their respective teams. So, which Head Coaches are “feeling the burn”?
Brian Daboll/New York Giants (1-4)
Brian Daboll is in his second year as the New York Giants Head Coach. In his first year, he brought the Giants to a playoff berth as the number six seed, where they eventually went to Minnesota and beat the Vikings on their own turf by a score of 31-24.
The following week, New York traveled to Philadelphia where they were quickly brought back to reality in a 38-7 loss by the Eagles. With high hopes of getting back to the playoffs, the Giants have come away with only one win (against the Arizona Cardinals, who are also 1-4), and are 32nd in the NFL in Net Points having only scored 62 and giving up 153. Yikes! New York is 31st for points scored, 28th for points allowed, and they have the fifth worst turnover differential at -5. The next three games for the Giants are at Buffalo, hosting Washington, and then hosting the New York Jets. If they can’t win two of three, Daboll’s days might be diminishing.
Kevin O’Connell/Minnesota Vikings (1-4)
The Vikings finished last season at 14-3, and every Minnesotan had high hopes once again. However, O’Connell and the Vikes took one on the chin from the New York Giants in the first round of the playoffs, and coming into this year, they have looked slow and sluggish. Well, except for maybe Justin Jefferson. In the offseason, Minnesota lost some key players in Dalvin Cook, Za’Darius Smith, Adam Thielen, and others.
They didn’t replace anyone on their terrible offensive line from the previous season either, which kept Kirk Cousins on his back all too often. The Vikings are ranked 9th worst in Points Allowed and have the worst turnover differential of any team in the NFL at -9. Some “experts” thought that the Vikings would run away with the division once again, especially after Aaron Rodgers went to the Jets. That doesn’t seem to be the case at this point, especially with new of Jefferson being sidelined for a while. Look for the Vikings to trade Cousins before the deadline. That might be the only thing that saves second-year Head Coach O’Connell this season. Lord knows his defense can’t save anything.
Josh McDaniels/Las Vegas Raiders (2-3)
Last night, second-year Head Coach Josh McDaniels and the Raiders beat the Green Bay Packers in Las Vegas by a score of 17-13. Was it pretty? No. Did it save McDaniels’ job? Possibly.
Last year the Raiders finished third in the AFC West with a record of 6-11. So far this year, they are 2-3 having also beaten the 1-4 Denver Broncos in Week One. Las Vegas is tied for fourth in LEAST amount of points scored, they are tied for third worst in turnover differential, and they are 25th is Net Points. The Raiders’ next three games are New England at home, at Chicago, and at Detroit. This is an easy schedule considering both the Patriots and the Bears have only one win each. However, McDaniels didn’t last two full seasons during his first Head Coach position in Denver, so you never can tell.
Bill Belichick/New England Patriots (1-4)
After listing off three different second-year Head Coaches, we get to a coach that has been in his position for over two decades. This is Belichicks twenty-fourth season as the Head Coach of New England, and it is by far his worst season yet. The Patriots have scored the least amount of points this season, which also includes four teams that have already had a bye week. They are second worst in turnover differential at -8, and they are ranked eighth for most points allowed. Belichick has already taken his starting Quarterback, Mac Jones out of two games, and does not seem to have an answer going forwards.
To be fair, I don’t think anyone outside of Patriots fans had New England finishing above third in the division this year. However, I don’t think anyone saw them being a bottom five team at this point either. I believe the last two years officially answers the “Was it Brady or Belichick?” question, so now we can move onto, “When will Belichick hang it up?” questions. Bill is 71-years young and has done way too much to let bad year after bad year diminish his legacy. Maybe it’s time that Coach Belichick calls it a career and rides off into the sunset.
Chicago Bears/Matt Eberflus (1-4). Another second-year coach who has the worst record out of any of them at 4-18, with the third most given up points and sixth worst turnover differential saved his butt last week by beating Washington. Minnesota, Las Vegas, and the Chargers are next up. Good luck!
Washington Commanders/Ron Rivera (2-3). Are you starting to see a pattern that all these teams that are doing poor are playing each other soon? Yeah…that’s why whoever wins, still has a chair to sit on. The Commanders have beaten the Cardinals and the Broncos this season but still have the second most points allowed and are tied for fifth worst in turnover differential with the Giants at -5. Next up: At Atlanta, the Giants and then Philadelphia.
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