Sports Magazine

First NFL Head Coach Likely to Be Fired in 2022

By Nicolas

We’ll start this off by saying that we never wish anyone to lose their job…So now that that’s out of the way, we can all agree that getting fired is part of the gig in the National Football League. As a matter of fact, that’s the way it is in all professional sports. As the saying goes, “You’re hired to get fired.”

It’s important to factor in a coach’s impact on an NFL game for placing wagers the week of, futures bets, and even looking as far ahead as the NFL Week 5 odds. Whether that coach will even make it through an entire season is another story altogether.

Like most offseasons that preceded it, there were many coaching changes that affected the landscape of the league. Those fired from their posts included Matt Nagy, Mike Zimmer, Brian Flores, Joe Judge, David Culley, and Vic Fangio. Sean Payton and Bruce Arians both decided to step down, with the Saints and Buccaneers both opting to promote from within.

But there were two coaching changes that happened during the 2021-22 season as well. Jon Gruden resigned amidst an email scandal, and Urban Meyer was dismissed just 13 games into his NFL tenure. So let’s take a look at a few candidates who would be most likely to get the pink slip during the 2022 campaign.

Matt Rhule - Carolina Panthers

It’s been reported multiple times that Rhule is on the hot seat in Carolina. The Panthers lured him away from Baylor in 2020, and he’s only entering his third season, but the 10-23 record has been underwhelming, to say the least.

An injured Christian McCaffrey and inconsistent quarterback play have played a major role in his disappointing beginning, leaving many to wonder if there’s any light at the end of the tunnel for Rhule.

The Panthers missed out on acquiring Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson, landing instead on Baker Mayfield, who will compete with Sam Darnold for the starting job. Rhule’s decision on who’s under center on Opening Day might just be the one that determines his fate.

Kliff Kingsbury - Arizona Cardinals

The NFC West got a little less competitive after the Seahawks traded Wilson to Denver, and you could argue that San Francisco may take a step back before they can move forward with Trey Lance taking over for Jimmy G. So even though the Rams should be right back in title contention, you would think the Cardinals would have an easier path back to the postseason.

But those expectations might just be the catalyst to knock Kingsbury off the hot seat and directly into the unemployment line if Arizona isn’t performing well in the first half of the year. 

He’s only been in charge for three years in the desert, but he has yet to win a playoff game, and there is apparent friction between his quarterback and the organization. Can he stand the heat and lead the franchise to their first postseason victory since 2015?

Dennis Allen - New Orleans Saints

We noted above how Sean Payton’s surprise resignation opened the door for the Saints to promote Allen from defensive coordinator to head coach. Payton and Drew Brees were one of the winningest head coach/QB combos over the last decade and a half, but now they are both gone, replaced by Allen and Jameis Winston.

The Saints could surprise a lot of critics or they could be one of the worst teams in the NFL. Most organizations would give a head coach in their first year some breathing room, but Allen has been a head coach before, and he’s not new to the team, making it easier for the front office to move on if New Orleans struggles.

Three other names to keep an eye on as the season progresses include Frank Reich, Ron Rivera, and Mike McCarthy, but it’s much harder to predict a coach’s demise in the preseason as opposed to at the end of the season.

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