We’ve officially reached Firing Season (szn for the kids), that part of the year when your team is out of playoff contention and the constant losing of painful games begins to make waves across the league. By week 13, we finally know which teams are good and which are dreadful and now we can focus on playoff positioning and getting rid of the dead weight.
The first head to roll (excluding the early firing of Jay Gruden) is Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera. To be honest, maybe I’m naïve but this one surprised me. Not only for being the first one gone with 4 games to go but because he was missing his starting QB for the entire season. Ron will undoubtedly find another job quickly, as he is not only universally liked but also respected and successful. QB Cam Newton is most likely also on the move come seasons’ end, what an interesting and scary time for Panther’s fans…
Ron Rivera is the winningest coach in Panthers history, at 76-63-1 in nearly nine seasons.— Joe Person (@josephperson) December 3, 2019
And putting aside Xs-and-Os, and wins and losses, Rivera is a good and honest man.
Which coach is next? Well, more than I can count on one hand are on the hot seat, some seats are literally on fire…
Who had Ron Rivera losing his gig before Dan Quinn might? pic.twitter.com/iC4mMM12qq— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) December 3, 2019
Falcon’s HC Dan Quinn, Cowboys’ HC Jason “The Clapper” Garrett, Browns’ HC, and full time babysitter Freddie Kitchens, Jets HC Crazy Eyes Adam Gase, the Redskins already fired sitting duck Jay Gruden weeks ago, NY Giants HC and permanent re-tread Pat Shurmur (so if you’re keeping track at home that’s 3/4 NFC East teams, with some major changes needed at almost every assistant coaching position for the Eagles), Jag’s HC Doug Marrone, and maybe even Broncos’ HC Vic Fangio. You could probably even add to this list, we are in desperate times (and to think I was unsure what I might cover in the offseason, hellooooo coaching searches, surprising hires, and Nick Saban/Urban Meyer rumorsssss!).
Odds to be Cowboys coach Week 1 next season (via @betonline_ag):— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 25, 2019
Urban Meyer: 3/1
Josh McDaniels: 4/1
Lincoln Riley: 5/1
Robert Saleh: 5/1
Sean Payton: 6/1
Jim Harbaugh: 12/1
Ken Norton: 16/1
Kris Richard: 16/1
Mike Leach: 20/1
Tom Herman: 33/1
Nick Saban: 40/1
Tony Romo: 150/1
Coaches aren’t the only ones feeling the heat this time of year, and no I’m not talking about the heat on a Lamar Jackson pass or a Chris Carson run, though they are probably feeling that too. Before the week started, Steelers QB Mason Rudolph was benched, which isn’t exactly in the holiday spirit Mike Tomlin, in favor of QB Devlin “Duck” Hodges. Breaking news, Duck helped the Steelers beat the Browns in a game that featured a lot less excitement than the last one.
Jags’ big money offseason acquisition and starting QB Nick Foles was benched mid-game vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in favor of the mustache man QB Gardner Minshew. It was then announced Minshew mania will continue for the remainder of the season, prepare accordingly.
Top 3 things in life that make no sense to me…— Cousin Sal (@TheCousinSal) December 1, 2019
1) The placebo effect
2) building of The Pyramids
3) Nick Foles NFL career
Out in sunny LA, the Chargers lost on a last second field goal on the foot of Philly’s own K Brandon McManus in an aggressive final 8 seconds from rookie starting QB Drew Lock and the Broncos. The point here is that long-time starting QB Philip Rivers’ days may be numbered in the city he has outwardly hated since before the team moved there. The next man up in LA is QB Tyrod Taylor, and the fantasy waiver indicates this could be a real move in week 14.
In one last job loss, the hurting Eagles receiving corps lost its highest-graded receiver Mack Hollins, who was finally cut week 13 despite not catching a pass since September (I cannot make this up if I tried).
The Ravens beat the 49ers in a rainy, cold, heavy-weight battle, a potential preview of a game we could easily see in February. The Ravens are currently the best team in the AFC, both on the field and in the standings. The 49ers loss in conjunction with the Seahawks victory over the Vikings on MNF makes the 49ers the current 5th seed in the NFC and they would travel to Dallas (or dare I say, Philadelphia) as the wild card. HOW!? (JK, we know how, but really the NFC East should forfeit its home game for being so undeserving).
And lastly, I’m all in on the Tennessee Titans and comeback player of the year(?)/freed from the chains of Adam Gase QB Ryan Tannehill. The team, the QB, and the RB are all peaking as we head into the homestretch and it is changing the landscape of AFC big time.
Titans are playing their best football of the year.— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) December 1, 2019
⚔️ 5-1 record, Tannehill with 15 total TDs in last 6 games
⚔️ Derrick Henry: Over 1,000 rushing yards, double-digit TDs on the year
Red-hot after their 2-4 start, look out for them in the playoff race. pic.twitter.com/1CRVT0rLJR
By this time next week, another coach may be gone or another QB may be benched, but no matter the outcome, just remember, the Patriots offense is garbage and that should bring us all joy. Happy Holidays!