Wednesday, December 17, 2008
It’s that time of the year!!! Just 2 weeks left of regular season football and that head coach hot seat is definitely warming up. This season we have plenty of candidates……one of them being Rod Marinelli, who COULD be fired because the Lions have lost every game this season.
Eric Mangini (New York Jets) - Potentially on the hot seat if the Jets fail to make the post-season. For now I think he’s safe considering this is his 2nd season with a winning record with just 3 seasons under his belt.
Tony Sparano (Miami Dolphins) - Absolutely not, he is not on the hot seat.
Bill Belichick (New England Patriots) - See above.
Dick Jauron (Buffalo Bills) - I really don’t care that the Bills were dumb enough to give Mr. 7-9 a 3 year contract extension, his butt is burning. Remember the Bills were Super Bowl contenders after week 5? Now they’re out of post-season contention and are 0-5 in their division after HE called arguable one of the dumbest plays in Bills history. Only Jauron can think JP Losman can come through in the clutch and completely ignore his fully-functioning running game. Once upon a time the Bills we the dominant AFC team in the 90’s, now Jauron has got them getting no more than 7 wins every year.
Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers) - Why? They’re a Super Bowl contender.
John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens) - Nope.
Romeo Crennel (Cleveland Browns) - The 10-6 season was a facade, Crennel is on the hot seat. For a supposed defensive guru the Browns sure aren’t doing anything to try and get out of the bottom half of the league in any defensive category. I’m quite sure he and a good chunk of his staff are fired after this season.
Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals) - There’s a sinking ship and Marv is the captain. Throw him overboard!
Jeff Fisher (Tennessee Titans) - Nope.
Tony Dungy (Indianapolis Colts) - He is on the way out anyway because he’s retiring so…….nope.
Gary Kubiak (Houston Texans) - A possible winning season for an expansion team means….nope.
Jack Del Rio (Jacksonville Jaguars) - There is way too much talent for this team to fail to string together back-to-back seasons. Del Rio has pretty much lost control of the team and it’s time to move in a new direction, in my opinion.
Mike Shanahan (Denver Broncos) - As long as Pat Bowlen is owner then Shanahan is safe. Also, they’re probably going to win the division so…..nope.
Norv Turner (San Diego Chargers) - Norv Turner seriously destroys every team he coaches. Turner is a much better coordinator than a head coach, and his claim to fame last season was winning playoff games with Marty Schottenheimer’s team.
Tom Cable (Oakland Raiders) - He is an interim and he probably has no shot at being a permanent head coach.
Herm Edwards (Kansas City Chiefs) - As Carl Peterson goes, so does Herman Edwards. You play to win the game!!!! Too bad Herm doesn’t practice what he preaches.
Tom Coughlin (New York Giants) - Nope.
Wade Phillips (Dallas Cowboys) - It is Jerry Jones, and he can pull the trigger. This was the team that was supposed to waltz into the Super Bowl and now they may end up missing the playoffs. By all means he is on the hot seat.
Andy Reid (Philadelphia Eagles) - This winning streak is all fine and dandy but it may all be for naught. I think it’s been made clear by the media and Eagles fans across the country that Walrus is in trouble.
Jim Zorn (Washington Redskins) - He is probably on the hot seat but I think it is totally unwarranted. Defensive coordinator Greg Blache on the other hand should be in trouble. What do you mean you don’t prepare for trick plays?
Brad Childress (Minnesota Vikings) - He’s held off the hot seat for now with their great run to 1st place in the division. Of course if they somehow choke and lose the division (and the playoff spot) then I think he should be back on.
Lovie Smith (Chicago Bears) - I said “yes” earlier this year before I realized that offensive coordinator Ron Turner is not really good at his job. If something does not work over and over again (Jason McKie up the middle from the 1) then you should take it out of the playbook. Smith is fine, especially if they win the division.
Mike McCarthy (Green Bay Packers) - It’s obvious that the Packers are going to have to rebuild the front 4 of their defense so that they can stop collapsing towards the end of games. McCarthy should stay.
Rod Marinelli (Detroit Lions) - Take a wild guess.
John Fox (Carolina Panthers) - Nope.
Jon Gruden (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - Why am I tempted to say yes? If they don’t make the playoffs and lose out this would be the 6th season in a row in which they either fail to make the playoffs or lose their first playoff game when they do make it. It’s too close to call, I’m going to say he is not on the hot seat.
Mike Smith (Atlanta Falcons) - Not a chance.
Sean Payton (New Orleans Saints) - Not this year…
Ken Whisenhunt (Arizona Cardinals) - HAHA!!! No.
Mike Singletary (San Francisco 49ers) - Bill Walsh called Singletary earlier this week and said he should be the new permanent head coach.
Mike Holmgren (Seattle Seahawks) - Lame duck coaches are not on the hot seat. Incompetent defensive coordinators (John “Off Coverage on 3rd and 1″ Marshall) SHOULD be.
Jim Haslett (St. Louis Rams) - He may be fired even though he is an interim. The Rams are actually playing worse than with Scott Linehan even with their 2 wins this season.
You’ve got 11 coaches on the hot seat. We will revisit this post when all of the firings and resignations have been made and see how accurate I am.
Both offenses in Pitt/Bal's matchup played horrificly, turning the ball over several times. Rookie Qb Joe Flacco looked cool under the pressure of the number one defense in the NFL, for a while anyway. It didn't take long for the front seven to rattle Flacco up, and he was picked off twice in the game, the second INT clinched the win for Pittsburgh in the 40-degree weather.
You can cry and complain all you want if your Baltimore, but that isn't going to change the outcome. The best thing for Baltimore is to move on and prepare for their Saturday night matchup with the playoff-hungry Dallas Cowboys. This game will make or break the season for both teams involved. We will get to see what Flacco is made of when he goes up against the NFL's sack leader, DeMarcus Ware, who is 3 1/2 sacks shy of Michael Strahan's single-season sack record of 22 1/2.
As for Pittsburgh, Coach Tomlin and his crew will be put to the test once again on Sunday, December 21st when the top-ranked defense will face off with the run-oriented offense of the Tennessee Titans. Head coach Jeff Fisher has made it his priority to play smash-mouth football--running the ball down the opponents throat and packing a mighty punch on defense. Tennessee's backfield consists of powerful running back, LenDale White and the elusive rookie Chris Johnson, who was selected to this year's AFC Pro Bowl roster. According to White, the explosive duo is the original smash and dash. In other words, White claims he came up with Carolina Panthers' RB's DeAngelo Williams and rookie Jonathan Stewarts nicknames of "Smash" and "Dash," and they stole the idea from him. Either way, the duo of the vet and the rookie will give Pittsburgh a run for their money, especially if Pittsburgh can't get their running game going early and often.
The winner of the heavily-anticipated game will likely determine the number one seed in the AFC playoffs. Meaning they are playing for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, and will most likely play all their starters despite already being in the playoffs.
Yes, it is week 16 starting tomorrow night when the wild card hopeful Indianapolis Colts, 10-4, play their fifth out of the team's six divisional games, against the disappointed Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9). Peyton Manning is almost certain to have another big fantasy day on his way to leading the Colts to their 11th win and a playoff berth.
A Colts win would mean the Ravens, Dolphins, Jets and Pats (depending on week 16 outcomes) are all competing for the last playoff spot. Two of the four teams, all of which are having solid seasons, would be left out of the picture come January (since one of the three named AFC East teams would finish the season with the division title). Who will it be? Well, we have yet to find out if Matt Cassel is capable of leading the Pats to a snowy December win in Foxboro, and the Dolphins and Jets are both on hot streaks (MIA: won 7 of last 8, NYJ: won 7 of last 10), so I'm gonna say the AFC East division will come down to the Dolphins and Jets.
But, Baltimore has also been playing great on both sides of the ball and have won seven of their last nine games. My bold prediction is Indy wins fifth seed with win over Jacksonville, Baltimore wins sixth seed with an 11-5 record and Miami wins out to clinch the East with an 11-5 record.