There’s good and bad to every job, and NFL head coach has more pressure on than most others, some win, some lose, but which coach will be the first to be relieved of their position? Here we take a look at the NFL odds.
When looking at this market there are a few things you want to consider: How long have they been in the job? Did they under-perform last season? were injuries a reason? Does the GM have any patience at all? Did they spend in the off-season? How long is their contract?
You can narrow the list down to around half the league fairly easily, if they made the playoffs last season the chances of them doing so incredibly badly to be out of a job this season is very unlikely, so that’s 14 coaches off my list already.
If they’ve only been in the job a year or two it’s unlikely, so I’ll rule out Rhule, Kingsbury, Taylor, Judge, Meyer, Stefanski, and probably Mike McCarthy, despite him being the favorite to be sacked first on this list at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
Teams such as the 49ers under-performed last year but they suffered badly with injuries and Kyle Shanahan is considered one of the better coaches in the league, so he’s going nowhere.
It’s safe to say that Zac Taylor at Cincinnati hasn’t done as well as he’d have wanted in his time, but the head office are patient. Also, the Mixon/Burrow injuries as well as big defensive signings getting injured early on will get him through this season at the very least.
Jon Gruden is high up on the list, but with another six years still on his contract, I’d be surprised if the Raiders made the move and he seems to have a lot of power in the building.
So my shortlist would be quickly narrowed down to Vic Fangio (Denver) at +750, Matt Nagy (Chicago) +850 and Mike Zimmer (Minnesota) +1100.
Analyzing the Shortlist
So let’s look a little closer at those three. The Broncos have assembled one of the better defenses on paper and Fangio is a defensively minded coach. His tenure is going to be based on how well that side of the ball does this year. With Drew Lock dividing opinion at QB, it’s the area which may have to do the work to get them to the play-offs. They have talent on offense and they are expected to do well this season.
It’s been a rough time in Chicago for Nagy and QB seems to be the position that’s been letting them down in the last few years. So, the list of excuses is getting shorter for Nagy now that they have drafted Justin Fields to be their franchise signal-caller going forward. He may not start the season, but there will be calls for him to get in early and if they struggle early Maggy will be under pressure to make the change which might not be best for results.
The outsider of the three I’ve narrowed it down to would be Mike Zimmer at the Vikings. Another defensively-minded coach, that side of the ball struggled after an over-haul last season. They’ve got Kirk Cousins on a big contract still, one of the best RBs in the league and Justin Jefferson blew up in his first season. They’ve got a tough schedule playing the AFC North and NFC West as well as having a tough division.
If you’ve got your shortlist down to a few guys then looking at the schedule could be the best way to narrow it down even further.
Of the three coaches and teams mentioned above, the Broncos have a nice start with the Giants, Jags, and Jets. If they don’t win at least two of those there could be some instant pressure on Fangio, but it should give them a decent start to the season, they have a week 11 bye.
The Bears start on Monday night at the Rams, then have a couple of AFC North matchups, it could all depend on whether Justin Fields is thrown into the fray. If he’s straight away it will give them a few weeks grace, and might even get Nagy the season. However, if Dalton starts and they lose two of the first three then the pressure will be on, they have a week 10 bye.
The Vikings start with the Bengals then have the Cardinals, Seahawks and Browns, it’s not the easiest start and a stumble in the first game could mean an 0-4 start and pressure on Zimmer from the start. They have an early bye week in week 7 and the toughest stretch of their schedule coming off their rest.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.