Who’s on the hot seat, halfway through the season?
Week Nine has ended, which means that all teams have played at least eight games. One of those teams already has fired its coach. History says at least several more will do the same.
So who’s in trouble with eight weeks left in the season?
In no particular order, here’s a list of the guys who currently could be learning in less than eight weeks that their services no longer will be needed.
Jason Garrett, Cowboys: There’s a growing belief in league circles that, if the Cowboys don’t make it to the playoffs, Garrett will be gone. The real question is whether owner Jerry Jones would hire an A-list, type-A replacement or another B-level coach who will gladly let Jones be the actual or perceived puppeteer.
Dirk Koetter, Buccaneers: The situation is becoming more dire for Dirk. And he surely knows it, as evidenced by the misguided, desperate, and clunky fake punt in the latest, loss to the Panthers.
Todd Bowles, Jets: After a 3-3 start, the Jets have lost three in a row, and CEO Christopher Johnson could be ready to find an offensive specialist who will get the most out of quarterback Sam Darnold.
John Harbaugh, Ravens: Though he’d be unemployed for hours not days, a failure by the Ravens to rectify a 1-4 free fall could bring the Harbaugh era to an end. Which could result in the Browns finally hiring a Harbaugh to coach the team.
Adam Gase, Dolphins: Currently 5-4, a disastrous finish could prompt owner Stephen Ross to forget about that unlikely 2016 playoff berth and make a change. If Gase stays, he may have no choice but to replace Ryan Tannehill at quarterback.
Vance Joseph, Broncos: Denver needs to finish 5-2 to avoid the first back-to-back losing seasons for the team since 1971-72. As a result, anything other than 5-2 will make Joseph’s termination more likely -- unless G.M. John Elway opts for a third chance to prove that he made the right hire in 2017.
Mike McCarthy, Packers: With a new G.M. who seems to be intent on doing things differently and a direct-line reporting obligation to CEO Mark Murphy, a failure to make it to the playoffs despite having one of the best quarterbacks in league history could result in another coach finally getting a chance to get it done in Green Bay.
Pete Carroll, Seahawks: An unsettled ownership situation actually could help Carroll get another year, since it could be months before an answer emerges as to what will happen with the franchise. With Carroll under contract, it could make sense to stay the course until the next owner decides what he or she wants to do.