Mmmmm. OTAs. Mini-camps. Which NFL Coach to be fired first?
NFL teams will be headed to training camp next month. It’s almost here and while we wait it’s always fun to take a look at which NFL head coach will be the first one fired in 2021.
It’s a brutal job, one where the only thing that matters is winning. From Week 4 in 2020 through February of 2021, seven NFL coaches were fired. Seven new coaches were hired. That only means that seven guys are safe in 2021. Or are they?
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Mike McCarthy, Dallas (+750)
One of two favorites to get the axe first is former Super Bowl winner Mike McCarthy who struggled in his first season in Dallas. The struggle was really due to the season-ending ankle injury suffered by QB Dak Prescott.
The Cowboys finished 6-10, but McCarthy ditched defensive coordinator Mike Nolan for Dan Quinn who should improve the Cowboys defense. With Prescott back under center, it’s hard to see Dallas struggling there. They averaged 500 yards of offense and 31.5 points per game when he played last season.
The problem for Dallas is that they open the season against defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay. They then take on the Chargers, Eagles, Panthers, and Giants. Dallas could be 4-1 or they could be 0-5. If it’s the latter, McCarthy might not make it through the season.
Did you see our last article where we answered the age old question? Why are sports hard to predict?
Vic Fangio, Denver (+750)
The other favorite to get canned first is Denver’s Vic Fangio. Under the defensive-minded Fangio, the Broncos are 12-20 in two seasons. They went 7-9 in Year 1 but regressed to 5-11 last year.
Despite being a defensive guy, Fangio’s Broncos ranked 25 in points allowed and 21st in total defense. That’s not good. The offense has struggled with Drew Lock at quarterback and the franchise is still searching for a franchise guy since Peyton Manning retired in 2015.
The 2021 season gets underway at the New York Giants. Then, the Broncos get the Jaguars and Jets. A strong start could dig Fangio out of a hole. If the Broncos don’t start strong, they are in for another disappointing season and Fangio will be shown the door.
Matt Nagy, Chicago (+850)
After winning the NFC North in his first season as the Bears head coach, Matt Nagy has gone downhill. Chicago has posted back-to-back 8-8 seasons thanks, in large part, to an offense that has been anemic at best.
Nagy came to Chicago heralded as an offensive mastermind after serving as coordinator of the Chiefs offense. The Bears have ranked outside the top 20 in points scored in each of the past two seasons.
For Nagy, keeping his job will fall squarely on the shoulders of rookie QB Justin Fields. The Bears took Fields with the 11th pick in this year’s draft. They also signed former Cincinnati and Dallas quarterback Andy Dalton. At some point this season, Fields is going to take over. When he does, it will either save Nagy or send him packing.
Rest of the Hot Seats – NFL Coach to Be Fired First
Jon Gruden (+1000 at top NFL sportsbooks) has gone 57-55 in three seasons with the Raiders. He has produced exactly zero trips to the postseason. Kliff Kingsbury (+1200) is 13-18-3 overall and will play once again in the toughest division in the NFL.
Cincinnati’s Zac Taylor (+1200) has just six wins in two seasons. The Bengals will start 2021 with Minnesota, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, and Green Bay. That won’t be easy. If it gets ugly, Taylor could be gone before the Bengals bye week.
Best Bet – NFL Coach to Be Fired First
When looking at the NFL Coach to be fired first, the smarter bettor should see that Dallas is likely to be better as long as Prescott stays healthy. In a weak division, Dallas will compete for the title which will save McCarthy.
The better NFL futures bet is on Fangio. The Broncos offense will be extremely mediocre with Lock at quarterback. The defense, which is supposed to be a strong point under Fangio, has largely underachieved.
The Broncos have to play Kansas City twice and they face the AFC North,which minus Cincinnati is very good. Denver is pulling any miracles and making the postseason, so Fangio is likely gone.
The best bet though is on Nagy. Fangio might make it through the season. Nagy will not. His offenses have been terrible the past two seasons. At some point, he’ll be forced to start a rookie quarterback. As good as Fields might be, he won’t be good enough to save Nagy’s job.