Anthony Lynn appeared to be the NFL’s next great Black head coach.
Like Mike Tomlin and Tony Dungy before him, Lynn brought instant charisma and ability to the Los Angeles Chargers. Guiding the Chargers through a move from San Diego, Lynn led them to two straight winning seasons upon arrival.
The fun times may be over for Lynn in California. He leads the Week 9 rankings of NFL head coaches who could be fired after the year.
These coaches could be fired tomorrow
The following NFL head coaches are all but guaranteed to be looking for new jobs when the 2020 season ends. In fact, their teams could fire them before the season ends.
Adam Gase, New York Jets: If the winless Jets don’t defeat New England at home in Week 9, the odds of an 0-16 season will increase dramatically. Bright spot for the Jets: rookie wideout Denzel Mims has looked sharp in his first two games and is a possible building block.
Doug Marrone, Jacksonville Jaguars: Could rookie quarterback Jake Luton save Marrone’s job? It’s possible. But the Jaguars are in such disarray that even a miracle to 8-8 likely won’t save him.
Their seat is warming up
The following NFL head coaches need a strong performance in the next few weeks to save their jobs. There are various reasons, however, why they are not considered locks to be fired right now.
Anthony Lynn, Los Angeles Chargers: Lynn looked like a rising superstar when he led the Chargers to an AFC divisional round appearance in January 2019. The Chargers are only 7-16 then, however, with thirteen of those losses coming by eight points or fewer. That is unacceptable in the NFL.
Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys: Injuries are the tale of the 2020 Dallas Cowboys. However, that excuse may not be enough to save McCarthy after one season. If he survives, though, one should expect a full purge of his coaching staff.
Wait and see what happens
The following NFL head coaches are in wait-and-see mode. They could be casualties of Black Monday, or they could survive for another season. How their teams perform to close the season will be instrumental in saving their jobs.
Joe Judge, New York Giants: The Giants’ struggles to close one-score games could be a major indictment against Judge. At this point, one should expect Judge to survive, but he paired with a new general manager and quarterback next year.
Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions: Detroit has played at a competitive level this season, but they’re still not where they need to be in Patricia’s third year. We should have a better idea about his future following the Thanksgiving game against the dismal Texans.
Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings: Minnesota surprised everyone with a road win over the rival Packers in Week 8. Whether or not Zimmer returns in 2021 could be his decision.
Vic Fangio, Denver Broncos: The good news is that Denver took advantage of the Chargers’ inability to close out games. Denver is 3-4 and, if they can close the year with eight total wins, Fangio should be safe.
Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals: Taylor is firmly on this list unless Cincinnati pulls off a few more impressive wins as they did in Week 8. At least Joe Burrow is playing at a high level.
The coach is safe … for now
The following NFL head coaches are considered safe for now. There is always a chance the teams could part ways with them in the offseason, but it is trending that they will keep their position going into 2021.
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots: If Bill Belichick isn’t on the Patriots’ sideline next year, he’ll either be on TV or in Cancun. It will be Belichick’s choice if he wants to retire before he turns 69 next April.
The Patriots may need a couple of years to rebuild their depth and find a suitable quarterback. Does Belichick want to stick that out? Only time will tell.
Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers: This is no Super Bowl hangover in San Francisco. The 49ers have a combined $80 million on injured reserve right now. Shanahan is safe, but this listing is for anyone who suggests the 4-5 record could lead to his demise.