I’m trying to be a little more positive. And I’m currently positive that, when the 2021 regular season ends, coaches and General Managers will be fired. Usually, it’s more than a few.
Every Friday, we’ll look at the guys who are, who may be, and/or who are believed to be in danger, grave or otherwise. I’ll also apply a number to each one, on a scale of one to 10. The higher the number, the greater the heat.
Here we go, in no particular order.
Bengals coach Zac Taylor: Going for it on fourth and short from his own 30 while up by 14 points was not wise. Giving Joe Burrow the freedom to change an overtime fourth-down run to a pass saved the day. Hot-seat rating: Four.
Texans coach David Culley: The top candidate for one-and-done entering the 2021 season got it done in Week One. While reality may set in soon, the vibe is currently as good as it likely will get. Hot-seat rating: Two.
Jaguars coach Urban Meyer: Based on Sunday’s loss to the Texans, there will be more of the same. Through Week Nine, he may match his total number of losses during his time at Ohio State (also nine). The talk of him possibly leaving has started. The possibility that Jaguars owner Shad Khan will decide to make a change after one season can’t be ignored, especially without knowing more about Meyer’s contract. Hot-seat rating: Four.
Raiders G.M. Mike Mayock: He’ll be the 2021 scapegoat, if the Raiders fail to make it to the playoffs. Week One win notwithstanding, the Raiders have a long way to go to get to the postseason — especially since everyone else in their division won, too. Hot-seat rating: Seven.
Broncos coach Vic Fangio: New G.M. George Paton may want his own coach. Fangio’s team started strongly enough to stave off that talk, for now. Hot-seat rating: Three.
Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman: It’s on Roman to make the offense more versatile. Early in Week One, it was. As the game moved toward crunch-time, Roman reverted to a Madden-style handful of bread-and-butter plays. For Baltimore, that’s usually Lamar Jackson running. The clock is already ticking on Roman. Hot-seat rating: Eight.
Giants G.M. Dave Gettleman: The offensive line played a lot better on Thursday night, four days after the Giants barely looked like an NFL team. The end result is 0-2, and the Giants need to turn it around quickly, or the chatter will increase. Hot-seat rating: Five.
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy: They had the best loss of Week One. For now, it looks like they’ll be good enough to keep McCarthy from being in real trouble. But there’s still a long way to go. Hot-seat rating: Two.
Everyone in Chicago: Many believe that G.M. Ryan Pace, coach Matt Nagy, and possibly even team president Ted Phillips are on the hot seat this year. This ignores the fact that the team has been to the playoffs twice in the last three years. It also overlooks the reality that the decision to send next year’s first-round pick to the Giants in order to trade up for quarterback Justin Fields automatically gives everyone at least two years. Hot-seat rating: One.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer: Zimmer boasted about his defensive acumen before Week One, after repeatedly saying the team will be pretty good. Sunday in Cincinnati was pretty bad. Undisciplined play, inconsistent offense, and, ultimately, a misguided decision to treat midfield like the goal line with 50 seconds left in overtime — coupled with the failure to call time out when it was obvious that Joe Burrow had changed the play. With upcoming games against the Cardinals, Seahawks, and Browns, an 0-4 start is realistic. Which, obviously, would be even worse than last year’s 1-3. Hot-seat rating: Five.
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury: It’s playoffs or bust in 2021. The Cardinals, who have been around for over 100 years, have never had a coach longer than six. Failure isn’t an option. So far, it’s been anything but failure. Hot-seat rating: Two.