Kliff Kingsbury’s shtick is thin
We are nine weeks into the season and the list of NFL head coaches who have been fired is just one. That included Carolina Panthers leader Matt Rhule, who got his walking papers after Week 5.
That said, there are other coaches who find themselves firmly in the hot seat now that we’re about halfway through the regular season. Below, we take a look at several NFL head coaches who are in the hot seat and we are right now.
Related: NFL Power Rankings Updated by Sportsnaut
NFL head coaches with hot seats set on fire
Frank Reich, Indianapolis Colts
Reich’s career with Indianapolis got off to a great start with the team earning a playoff appearance in its first season in 2018. Two years later, Indianapolis won 11 games and made a playoff return. Unfortunately, it was completely downhill from there.
The Colts snuffed out a playoff appearance last season by losing each of their last two games. They, in turn, chose to leave Carson Wentz for former NFL MVP Matt Ryan. Just nine games into the 2022 campaign, and Ryan has been benched with the team now at 3-5-1.
NFL head coaches shouldn’t get byes in the modern league. Colts general manager Chris Ballard has done everything possible to build a winning roster now. As he shares a ton of blame in Indianapolisit is Reich who leads this team in the field.
Indianapolis’ last loss to the New England Patriots by a score of 26-3 was nothing short of humiliating. With Sam Ehlinger under center, the Colts totaled 121 yards of offense. Isn’t Reich supposed to be a scholar in attack? Obviously, that hasn’t been the case with him in the hot seat after nine weeks.
Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals
Raw. That’s the best way to describe how Arizona fared throughout Kingsbury’s pedestrian era in the desert. The cards are 7-15 in December and January under the head coach. Last season, Arizona lost six of its last 10 games after starting the campaign with a 7-0 mark. This has led some rivals to question Kingsbury as head coach in the pros.
Even after defeating the New Orleans Saints in Week 7, there’s no guarantee Kingsbury’s job is safe. We’re talking about a 3-6 team that continues to invest heavily in its roster. The experience with Kyler Murray and the head coach’s own relationship with his quarterback has now been put under the microscope.
Now in the midst of a two-game losing streak, Arizona finds itself three games behind the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. It was a complete disaster in the desert. Now the question is whether Kingsbury will be one of the next NFL head coaches fired despite signing an extension this past offseason.
Related: Sportsnaut’s Updated NFL Playoff and Super Bowl Predictions
Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders
Just brutal. Las Vegas’ 24-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 8 pretty much put this team down. He then went to Jacksonville and took a 17-0 first-half lead against the Jaguars on Sunday before blowing the game away. This marks the third time in 2022 that the Raiders have lost a game in which they were leading by more than 17 points. It depends as much on the coaching as it does on the players.
That said, Raiders owner Mark Davis gave McDaniels a vote of confidence as he struggles in his second stint as NFL head coach.
“Josh McDaniels is our head coach and will be for years to come,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said of McDaniels’ employment status, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
It’s very good and dandy. But things have to change here and in the short term. More embarrassing performances could actually make McDaniels one and done in Sin City. After all, he’s now 4-13 as a head coach in his last 17 games since joining the Denver Broncos. That won’t be enough.
NFL head coaches in the hot seat: the temperature is rising
Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers
Now in his fourth season as head coach of the Packers, LaFleur is overseeing a major regression. After a brutal Week 9 loss at the hands of the hapless Detroit Lions, Green Bay lost five straight games for the first time since Aaron Rodgers’ first season as a starter in 2008.
The Packers are also averaging 17.1 points per game. It would be their lowest result since the days of Lindy Infante in 1991. That’s not the company LaFleur wants to keep. And in reality, he could be in the hot seat if things continue to spiral out of control.
“Everybody’s very, very, very disappointed right now,” LaFleur said after the Week 9 loss. “I’ve seen us miss out on some opportunities and make way too many critical mistakes.”
At some point, LaFleur will have to take responsibility for Green Bay’s struggles. Regardless of the lack of talent in the skill position, any offense Rodgers led shouldn’t score nine points against a defense that was heading into Week 9, giving up 32.1 points per game. It’s that simple, and it could make LaFleur one of the surprising NFL head coaches fired after the season.
Nathaniel Hackett, Denver Broncos
Teams don’t fire head coaches until a full season into their tenure, unless it’s an absolute disaster. See, Urban Meyer last season. At this point, Hackett could be headed in that direction with the Broncos in just eight games. The team currently sits 3-5 on the campaign. He ranks 31st in the NFL with just over two touchdowns per game. Did we mention that Hackett got this job primarily because he was widely respected as an attacking mind?
From an in-game coaching perspective, we’ve seen Hackett make mistake after mistake. He failed to elevate the Broncos’ game despite the addition of future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson, who is struggling like never before.
It could very well become clear to the Denver brass and the new ownership group that Hackett is in over his head. It’s no different than former Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, who proved himself better suited in the NFL as a coordinator. It may not be until Week 18, but Hackett could be one of the first NFL head coaches to be fired on Black Monday after the season.
NFL head coaches fired in 2022 season
Matt Rhule, Carolina Panthers
Matt Rhule was considered a lame duck even before the start of the summer and he was among the favorites to be one of the first NFL coaches fired in 2022. Going into Week 5 with his job on the line, the Panthers Carolina lost 37-15 on Sunday. and owner David Tepper fired it less than 24 hours later.
It is not a surprise. Rhule went 1-27 when opponents scored at least 17 points, including 25 straight losses. One of the highest-paid coaches in the NFL never established his position, going through multiple offensive coordinators and even more starting quarterbacks. With his time in the NFL over, Rhule immediately becomes college football’s most coveted coach and is expected to be among the top coaching candidates for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Wisconsin Badgers.
Bookmark this page for ongoing updates on NFL head coaches in the hot seat throughout the season.