Earlier this week, NFL teams began purging their teams by releasing coaches, coordinators and other front office personnel.
In what was dubbed “Black Monday,” a handful of head coaches were fired and others parted ways after disappointing seasons. There are rumors surfacing that a few more head coaches could be facing uncertain futures as we move closer to the official 2019 NFL season.
Many fans believe that if a team makes the playoffs, then the head coach is safe. However, that’s not always the case. With the buzz over the recent firings still circling the NFL like vultures over a carcass, not all 12 of the playoff coaches are safe. In fact, NFL betting sites are now listing a future bet asking if any of the playoff coaches will be fired before the Super Bowl.
BetOnline has the following odds on whether or not a coach will be fired by February 4th:
- Yes (+200)
- No (-300)
On the surface, the betting odds are reasonable as both offer value. I would’ve expected the “No” option to be higher and for the “Yes” option to be lower. But, before I pick which betting option to choose, we must first examine all 12 coaches in the playoffs. I’ll start with the AFC teams and then work my way into the NFC teams.
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Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs captured the #1 spot in the AFC conference and will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. For head coach Andy Reid, this is his 6th season at the helm with KC and he has a record of 65-31 during the regular season.
Reid has won double digit games in 5 of 6 seasons with the team. He’s also gone to the playoffs in 5 of 6 seasons, which includes this year. Furthermore, Reid’s name is being mentioned as a candidate for the Coach of the Year award. Reid signed a 5-year extension with KC in the summer of 2017.
Prior to joining KC in 2013, Reid was the Eagles head coach for 14 years and had a record of 130-93-1. He only had 3 losing seasons at Philly, and had a run of 4 straight NFC title games and 1 Super Bowl appearance.
The biggest knock on Reid is his playoff record, which is 11-13. Even if he loses in the Divisional Round of the playoffs this year, there’s absolutely no way the Chiefs are firing him.
New England Patriots
When it comes to Bill Belichick, what else can be said about the best coach in the NFL and one of the greatest coaches of all time. What he has done in New England, is something that will probably never be duplicated again. Belichick is believed to be the highest paid coach in the league, and rightfully so.
Bill has a 225-79 record with the Pats, which is a .740 winning percentage. He’s gone 28-11 in the playoffs for his career, 27-10 with the Patriots. He’s won 5 Super Bowls, 8 AFC championships and 16 divisional titles.
Belichick is will never be fired by New England. They could possibly rename the team after “Coach Hoodie.”
The Texans had a roller coaster season that saw them start off going 0-3 and talks of the sky falling. But, the team came together and won 9 straight games.
Houston come into the playoffs as the #3 seed and looking to advance to the Divisional Round for the second time. They will face their divisional rival the Colts in the Wild Card round this weekend.
When the team started off 0-3, head coach Bill O’Brien was rumored to be on the hot seat. This was despite the 4-year contract extension he signed in January 2018.
Once the team turned things around, O’Brien’s job became secure once again. Bill is 42-38 in the regular season and 1-2 in the playoffs. This was his 3rd AFC South divisional title.
Even with a loss to the Colts in the playoffs, I still expect the Texans to keep O’Brien around for at least one more year.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was in a similar position as Bill O’Brien earlier this season. At one point, the Ravens were 4-5 and just lost 3 straight games.
They fell further behind in the division and the playoff standings. And, also like Houston, the Ravens went on a run as they won 6 of their final 7 games and clinched the AFC North division.
Additionally, they found their identity as a ground and pound offense with a devastating defense. The perfect example of Baltimore football.
During their losing streak, Harbaugh’s name surfaced as a potential candidate to be fired. It was a shock to many considering Harbaugh has a 104-72 record in the regular season, a 10-5 postseason record, and a Super Bowl win. The Ravens have been an annual contender for their division under Harbaugh’s tenure.
After letting Harbaugh swing in the wind for a few weeks, the Ravens announced that they will be bringing their head coach back for 2019. However, that’s the final year on his contract and the two sides are working on a new deal.
Harbaugh is one of my favorite coaches in the league and he’s apparently the favorite of other NFL teams as well. Reports have surfaced that the Miami Dolphins are seriously considering a trade with the Ravens for Harbaugh. Right now, it’s being speculated that the Ravens would ask for two first round picks from the Dolphins.
With that said, there’s no way the Ravens fire Harbaugh this offseason.
Los Angeles Chargers
Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn is in his second year with the team as their head coach. In two seasons, he’s tallied a solid 21-11 record with the Chargers. Furthermore, his team finished tied with the Chiefs for the best record in the AFC.
Lynn signed a 4-year deal with the Chargers in January 2017, after being the interim coach for the Buffalo Bills in the final game of the 2016 season. Lynn is highly respected by his players and peers.
Anthony Lynn is the only other AFC coach in the running for the Coach of the Year award according to many NFL betting sites. There’s no playoff outcome that will lead to his firing this year.
Out of the 6 AFC playoff teams, the Colts are the only team to have a rookie head coach.
In February 2018, the Colts signed former Eagles offensive coordinator, and former NFL QB, Frank Reich to a 5-year deal. He was “plan B” for the Colts after they were strung along and dumped by Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels who initially agreed to take the job.
Despite being a backup option, just like he was a backup QB most of his NFL career, Frank Reich succeeded when given the job. The Colts turned their franchise around this year and posted a 10-6 record under Reich.
Furthermore, the return of Andrew Luck was a huge success as the franchise QB finished in the top 5 of many QB statistical categories. Additionally, the o-line was better and the defense took big steps forward.
Not only has Reich done a great job in the regular season, the Colts have a legitimate chance to advance further into the playoffs. Reich is going nowhere!
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints finished as the #1 seed in the NFC and have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They also finished with the best record in the NFL, have one of the top offenses in the league and have an improved overall defense.
The Saints are the odds on favorite to win the Super Bowl this year and it’s largely due to the marriage of QB Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton. These two have combined to become one of the most successful coach-QB duos of all time.
Payton has been the Saints coach since 2006. In 12 years with the team, Sean has a 118-74 regular season record and a 7-5 postseason record. Payton has 6 playoff appearances and 1 Super Bowl victory.
Sean is considered one of the top coaches in the league and would be snatched up in a heartbeat if the Saints fired him. In 2016, Payton signed a 5-year, $45 million dollar extension with the team. So, he will be around for a few more years. There’s no postseason outcome that will cost Payton his job.
Los Angeles Rams
Sean McVay is the top young coach in the NFL and he has morphed the Los Angeles Rams into a Super Bowl contender in his first two years there. McVay has compiled a 24-8 record during the regular season and 0-1 in the playoffs last year.
McVay signed a 5-year deal in January 2017, after being a successful OC in Washington. He won the Coach of the Year award last season and is a candidate this year as well. The Rams finished #2 overall in the NFC and tied with the Saints for the best record in the NFL.
McVay has done a masterful job resurrecting QB Jared Goff’s career and turning Todd Gurley into a MVP candidate. There’s no possible postseason outcome that will lead to the Rams firing McVay.
Like the Colts, the Chicago Bears are the only team in the NFC to have a rookie head coach. Almost one year ago, the Bears signed Matt Nagy to become the 16th head coach in team history.
Nagy was a highly touted offensive coordinator like McVay. He helped to turn things around last year for the Chiefs’ offense which went on to become one of the best in the NFL.
This year, the Bears finished 12-4 and made the postseason by winning the NFC North Division. They defied the odds and made the playoffs despite most betting sites and pundits expecting Chicago to finish dead last in their division with a miserable record.
Nagy is another untouchable coach. Because he’s a successful rookie that just got one of the league’s most revered franchises back to the playoffs, there’s no way the Bears fire Nagy even if they lose to the Eagles on Sunday.
Just like with the Ravens, Colts and Texans, the Dallas Cowboys started off the year poorly. At the half way mark of the season, Dallas was 3-5 and left for dead.
Dallas made a big trade to get wide receiver Amari Cooper from the Raiders and it gave the team the spark they desperately needed. Dallas finished the year going 7-1 and clinching the NFC East division.
Out of all the playoff coaches, Dallas head coach Jason Garrett has been the most maligned coach of the bunch. For the last few seasons, Garrett’s name has been constantly associated with the hot seat and potential firing. In fact, members of the media and former Cowboys players have called for Garrett to get fired.
Of all the coaches in the postseason, Garrett is the one that could be fired. For his career, Garrett is 77-59 in the regular season since he took over as the head coach in 2010. He’s only made the playoffs on two occasions prior to this season and has a 1-2 record in the postseason.
Expectations are always high for the Cowboys and if they don’t beat Seattle on Saturday night, there’s a real chance that Garrett can be fired.
Seattle is Carroll’s third stop in his NFL coaching career. Prior to Seattle, Pete turned the USC Trojans into a national collegiate powerhouse. And, prior to the Trojans, Pete had two forgettable tenures with the Jets (6-10) and the Patriots (27-21).
With the Seahawks, Carroll has gone 89-54-1 in the regular season and 9-5 in the postseason with 2 Super Bowl appearances and 1 SB win.
Like the Ravens, Cowboys and Colts, the Seahawks found themselves at 4-5 on the year and on the outside looking in on the playoffs. From that point, they went on to win 6 of 7 games and clinch the 5th seed in the NFC. Furthermore, Seattle became the #1 rushing team in the league and restored their defensive aura.
Some pundits believe this has been Carroll’s best coaching job with the Seahawks. The team agreed, as they signed him to a 3-year contract extension that will keep him as the head coach through the 2021 season. Carroll reportedly receives $11 million a year, which makes him one of the highest paid coaches in the league.
With his extension not even two weeks old, I don’t see any scenario where the Seahawks fire Carroll after the postseason.
Doug Pederson went from being the former Eagles QB to their head coach and a conquering hero as Pederson led Philly to a Super Bowl win last year. Philly has gone 29-19 under Pederson in the regular season and 3-0 in the playoffs. This year, the Eagles went on a torrid run at the end of the season to make it to the playoffs by capturing the final Wild Card spot.
Prior to the 2018 NFL season, Pederson was signed to a contract extension that keeps him in Philly through the 2022 season. The Philly fans can be some of the most brutal fans in all of sports. Even if the Eagles fall to Chicago this Sunday, I still expect Pederson to be cheered and loved by the fanbase due to his Super Bowl win and making the playoffs this year despite the injuries and lack of depth.
Keep in mind, this is the same fanbase that booed Santa Claus. Doug is safe for at least one more year no matter what the outcome is this postseason.
Will Any Playoff Coach Get Fired?
Out of the 12 head coaches in the playoffs, only Jason Garrett’s future is in doubt. All reports indicate that his tenure with the team will be tied to how the Cowboys due in the postseason. With that said, Garrett’s in trouble because I don’t believe that Dallas will beat Seattle this Saturday night.
In regards to this bet, the smart money is on “No” at -300 because 11 of 12 coaches are safe. If you feel risky this postseason than take the Eagles to beat the Bears and the “Yes” option (+200) for this NFL prop bet.