Oakland Raiders

NFL head coach firing tracker

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NFL head coach firing tracker

TEMPE, Ariz. — Bruce Arians is retiring from coaching after five mostly successful and usually entertaining seasons as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

The 65-year-old two-time NFL Coach of the Year, known for his Kangol-style hats, colorful vocabulary and love of a wide-open offense, announced the decision on Monday after meeting with his players.

Arians won a franchise-record 50 games in his five seasons with Arizona.

Counting his stint as interim coach of the Indianapolis Colts, he went 59-35-1 as a head coach, counting the playoffs.

Before that, he won two Super Bowl rings as an assistant coach in Pittsburgh, the second one as offensive coordinator of the Steelers team that beat Arizona in the 2009 Super Bowl.

Arians has had health issues in recent years, including treatment for diverticulitis and a successful fight against kidney cancer last offseason.

Bears decide to not retain Fox
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Chicago Bears fired John Fox on Monday after a 5-11 season, ending one of the least successful coaching stints in team history.

The Bears announced the dismissal one day after a loss at NFC North champion Minnesota.

Chicago has had four consecutive losing seasons — each with 10 or more losses. The Bears haven't finished above .500 since they let Lovie Smith go following a 10-6 finish in 2012. They haven't been to the playoffs since 2010.

Fox was 14-34 in his three years with Chicago, a .292 winning percentage that ranks as the second lowest for the Bears. Only Abe Gibron was worse — 11-30-1 (.274) from 1972-74.

He is 133-123 in 16 seasons as a head coach and is one of six coaches to lead two teams to Super Bowl appearances, joining Don Shula, Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves, Dick Vermeil and Mike Holmgren.

Fox helped orchestrate quick turnarounds while leading Carolina and Denver to a combined six division titles and seven playoff appearances in 13 years before he took over Chicago in January 2015.

Caldwell done with Lions
The Detroit Lions have fired coach Jim Caldwell.

Detroit made the move Monday, dismissing a coach who received a multiyear contract extension before the season.

The Lions ended their season with a 35-11 win over to Green Bay. They went 9-7, their third winning record in four years.

Detroit met relatively modest expectations this season, but raised hopes by starting with a 3-1 record before fading.

Caldwell was 36-28 in four seasons and went 0-2 in two postseasons with the Lions. Including three years with the Indianapolis Colts, he is 62-50 and 2-4 in the playoffs.

Raiders fire Del Rio after 3 seasons
Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio has been fired after a disappointing season.

Del Rio said owner Mark Davis told him after the team's season-ending 30-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday that he would not be retained as coach in Oakland. Del Rio had signed a four-year contract extension last February after Oakland ended a 13-year playoff drought with a 12-win season last year.

The Raiders followed that up with one of the most disappointing seasons in the NFL. Oakland went 6-10 for the second biggest one-season drop in wins in franchise history.

Pagano, Colts part ways
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts fired coach Chuck Pagano on Sunday, less than two hours after they ended a 4-12 season with a 22-13 victory over Houston.

Team owner Jimmy Irsay made the announcement in a statement, wishing Pagano and his wife well in the future.

The move comes after Indy missed the playoffs for the third straight year, the team's longest postseason drought since a seven-season absence from 1988-94.

With Andrew Luck missing the entire 2017 season, Indy never had a chance. The Colts wound up with their first losing season since 2011, their second since 2002, and the first in Pagano's six seasons as coach.

Pagano finished his first head coaching job with a 56-46 record, including a 3-3 mark in the playoffs.

How Eagles' run D can make history Sunday

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How Eagles' run D can make history Sunday

Some good, some bad in this week's Roob's Stats. Don't worry … it's mostly good!

• The Eagles haven't allowed a rushing touchdown in their last nine home games. That's the 10th-longest streak in NFL history and five shy of the NFL record of 14, set by the 1995 and 1996 Steelers. Only four teams have gone an entire season without allowing a rushing TD at home — the 1942 Chicago Cards, 1977 Bills, 1985 Saints and 2005 Arizona Cardinals. 

• The Eagles' one third-down conversion Monday night was their fewest in 13 years since they went 0-for-8 in a loss to the Steelers in 2004 — their only loss that year with the starters in the lineup. This was the first game the Eagles won with just one third-down conversion since Nov. 18, 1990, when they beat the Falcons 24-23 despite going 1 for 9 on third down. Their one conversion in that game came on their first third down. They had a 3rd-and-5 on their first drive and Randall Cunningham converted it with a 10-yard pass to Keith Byars.

• With one TD pass and one INT, Nick Foles extended the Eagles' streak of games with one or more touchdown pass and one or fewer interception to 17, dating back to the end of last year. That's the third-longest streak in NFL history, behind the Falcons' 21-game stretch from 2015 through earlier this year and an 18-game streak by the 49ers over the 1994 and 1995 seasons.

• Zach Ertz's nine-catch game was his 12th career game with eight or more receptions. That's 12th-most in NFL history by a tight end and most in Eagles history by any player.

• Ertz locked up his third straight season with 70 or more catches and 800 or more yards. He and Travis Kelce are the only tight ends to do that in each of the last three seasons, and he's the first player in Eagles history to do it three straight years. Only seven tight ends in NFL history have had longer streaks with 70 catches and 800 yards.

• The Eagles have seven players with two or more interceptions — Patrick Robinson (four), Rodney McLeod, Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby (three each) and Corey Graham, Rasul Douglas and Malcolm Jenkins (two each). This is the first time since 1991 they’ve had seven players with two or more interceptions. In 1991, it was Eric Allen (five), Wes Hopkins (five), Seth Joyner (three), Rich Miano (three), Byron Evans (two), Ben Smith (two) and Otis Smith (two).

• Derek Barnett's touchdown as the game ended Monday night was the first by an Eagles' rookie defensive lineman in 36 years, since Greg Brown recovered a Joe Theismann fumble and returned it four yards for a touchdown against the Redskins at the Vet on Sept. 27, 1981.

• The Eagles won despite netting just 219 yards of offense. That's their fewest yards in a win in 12 years, since they had 201 in a 17-16 win over the Rams in 2005 with Mike McMahon at quarterback at the Edward Jones Dome.

• Monday's game was the first in which the Eagles forced five turnovers in a half since the last day of the 1999 season, when they forced six in the second half of a win against the eventual Super Bowl-champion Rams at the Vet. Those six turnovers were a Mike Mamula interception of Kurt Warner, a Robert Holcombe fumble forced by Tim Hauck (now an Eagles assistant coach) and recovered by Barry Gardner, a Rashard Cook strip-sack of Joe Germaine recovered by Mamula, a Cook interception of Germaine, a Watson fumble forced by Gardner and recovered by Hauck and a pick-six off Germaine by Al Harris.

• If the Eagles gain 55 or more rushing yards and allow 61 or fewer rushing yards Sunday, they will become the fifth team in NFL history to gain 2,100 or more rushing yards and allow 1,200 or fewer rushing yards. 

Don't forget Nick Foles' stunning comeback last time he bottomed out

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Don't forget Nick Foles' stunning comeback last time he bottomed out

Nick Foles’ performance on Christmas Day wasn’t the worst game of his NFL career. Not even close.

Foles completed 50.0 percent of his passes for 4.3 yards per attempt with a touchdown and an interception in the Eagles’ 19-10 win Monday over the Raiders — and the quarterback’s performance was even more brutal than that line would indicate. Inaccurate. Holding the ball too long. Throwing off of his back foot. Risky decision making.

Doesn’t exactly inspire confidence for the Eagles’ upcoming playoff run. But it wasn’t Foles’ worst.

There are several games that could objectively qualify as Foles’ worst, though one comes to mind for its relevance. The sixth-year veteran once completed 37.9 percent for a 2.3 average in a 17-3 loss to the Cowboys, experiencing many of the same issues we witnessed against Oakland. Inaccurate. Holding the ball too long. Throwing off of his back foot. Risky decision making.

Yet, whatever similarities may exist between those two contests is not what brought Foles’ dreadful Cowboys performance to mind. It’s what happened afterward.

It turned out Foles sustained a concussion at some point during that 2013 outing against the Cowboys and would miss the next game against the Giants. Then upon returning one week later, he was suddenly unstoppable.

Foles immediately followed perhaps the worst game of his career with his best, completing 78.6 percent of his passes for a 14.5 average and tying the NFL record with seven touchdowns against the Raiders. That was only the beginning. He threw 23 touchdowns to only two interceptions over a span of nine games, including the playoffs, leading the Eagles on a 7-2 run during that span.

That’s Foles. One week, he can do no wrong, throwing for over 400 yards and multiple touchdowns. The next, he could struggle to lead a scoring drive or so much as complete a pass, and all his worst habits will rear their ugly heads at once.

To borrow a term from The Athletic's Sheil Kapadia, Foles is a “high-variance” quarterback. And while that may not be ideal for an Eagles team with Super Bowl aspirations, what it means is his bad game Monday isn’t necessarily reason to panic, either.

The book is out on Foles. Give him time in the pocket and weapons, and he can pick you apart. Get him thinking too much and make him move his feet, and he’s prone to slumping.

But the nice thing about Foles coming off a bad game is he typically doesn’t let that carry over into the next one.

Almost every time Foles has played what could objectively be considered one of the worst games of his career, he’s bounced back with a solid performance. Ten times Foles has posted a passer rating below 70.0 in a start — seven times, he responded with a rating of 85.0 or better the following week.

All three exceptions were right in a row, leading to Foles losing his starting job with the Rams. Of course, Foles didn't have time in the pocket or the weapons he does with the Eagles, and until Christmas, he had played well in starts or relief appearances since.

There's still no telling whether Foles is good enough to lead the Eagles deep into the playoffs. However, basing that opinion on how he performed in one game seems faulty, when he's shown an ability to correct mistakes and adapt throughout his career.

In other words, don't be surprised if Foles comes through with a much stronger performance when the playoffs open in January. Time will tell whether it will be enough to take the Eagles anywhere, but don't count Foles out just yet.