NFL Coaches on the Hot Seat After Week 10: Josh McDaniels Does the Unforgivable

Josh McDaniels' seventh loss in nine games came against Jeff Saturday. That result alone is enough to make him one of several NFL coaches on the hot seat.

With two already fired and more than a half-dozen other NFL coaches on the hot seat, this is shaping up to be another active hiring cycle.

We examine who’s probably safe and who probably needs to call a realtor. And we begin with the biggest disappointment, so far, of the Class of 2022: Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels.

Is Josh McDaniels Among NFL Coaches on the Hot Seat?

What a disaster in the desert. A quick reminder of the events of the last year:

In January, team owner Mark Davis fired a guy who not only held together the chaos factory that was the 2021 Raiders season but actually got Vegas to the postseason for a guy that went 11-17 in his first failed try as a head coach.

So yeah, Rich Bisaccia can certainly be forgiven if he secretly feels a small sense of satisfaction over what’s gone down with the Silver and Black this year.

Davis dropped Bisaccia — the interim in 2021 after Jon Gruden’s exit — for McDaniels. And the decision has not aged well.

MORE: NFL Week 11 Power Rankings

McDaniels lost Sunday for the seventh time in nine games — with the latest defeat coming at the hands of a guy coaching a high school just days earlier. Yes, McDaniels got out-classed by Jeff Saturday — in his first game as an NFL coach of any capacity.

The Raiders blew a home fourth-quarter lead — they’ve been outscored by 109-94 in the second half and overtime this season — against a team in a big-time crisis.

The result’s significance was not lost on their foundering quarterback. Derek Carr — who is now 59-77 as a starter in his nine-year Raiders career — fought back tears in his postgame news conference.

“Sorry for being emotional,” he continued. “I’m just pissed off about some of the things, you know, that a lot of us try and do just to practice. What we put our bodies through, just to sleep at night.”

It’s hard to believe McDaniel slept great Sunday. He waited so long to take another head coaching job after his failed first try, and it’s all gone so badly.

Colts owner Jim Irsay surely took extra pleasure in Sunday’s result. McDaniels had accepted the Colts’ HC job in 2018, only to back out just hours before his introductory news conference.

McDaniels was a desired candidate due to his years of excellence as the mastermind of the Patriots’ offense. He has yet to replicate that success as a head coach, either in Denver or Las Vegas.

But the Raiders’ biggest weakness is their defense. Vegas is last in sack rate (3.2%) and red zone defense (72.4%); 30th in yards per play allowed (5.9) and third-down defense (48.7%); and 29th in interception rate (1%).

McDaniels started his postgame news conference thusly: “I feel like a broken record.”

“We’re going to have to learn to take some of these close losses and make some of the plays we need to make throughout the course of the game … to find our way into the win column,” he added.

With games against the Chiefs, Seahawks, 49ers, Chargers, and Patriots still on the schedule, that doesn’t seem super likely.

The odds are better the Raiders pick in the top five of the draft than they get anywhere near .500 this year. That means big changes are coming.

Carr is almost certainly gone after this year. It remains to be seen if Davis is so disgusted with this year’s disaster that he completely cleans house — and makes McDaniels a two-time failure as a head coach.

UPDATE: The Athletic reported Monday that McDaniels has been given assurances by ownership that he will return in 2023.

Hot Seat Tiers: Call the Fire Department

Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals did the bare minimum Sunday: They beat one of the NFL’s eight worst teams at home. But they’re still a very long shot to make the playoffs.

Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders

Three coaches in Raiders history were one and done: Joe Bugel, Hue Jackson, and Art Shell (in his second go-round with the franchise). Their combined winning percentage? .291. McDaniels will need to finish 3-5 to beat that mark.

Lovie Smith, Houston Texans

Houston’s decision to hire Lovie was always a bit of a head-scratcher. And with just one win in his first nine games in Smith’s third try as an NFL HC, that decision looks more and more like a mistake.

Hotter Than a Wing in Buffalo

Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints

It’s hard to have three different losing streaks in the season’s first 10 games, but the Saints have done it. Allen needs a strong finish to ensure he’s not one and done.

Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions

A few more wins and maybe we’ll drop Campbell a tier. But where are those wins going to come from? Detroit’s next five opponents are the Giants, Bills, Jaguars, Vikings, and Jets.

Nathaniel Hackett, Denver Broncos

Hackett had two weeks to get his offense fixed. That time apparently wasn’t well-spent. Coming off their bye, the Broncos (3-6) managed just 10 points and 4.3 yards per play in a loss to Tennessee.

Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers

Football is an emotional rollercoaster. Just ask LaFleur, who beat the Cowboys in overtime Sunday despite trailing by 14 in the second half and having Aaron Rodgers yell at him on national television.

Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns

As we wrote Sunday after the Browns’ 39-17 shellacking at the hands of the Miami Dolphins, the Browns’ 2022 season is effectively over. Stefanski needs to show improvement over their last eight games, particularly when Deshaun Watson returns.

Simmering, But Not Scorching on the Hot Seat

Doug Pederson, Jacksonville Jaguars

At some point, you are what your record says you are. And despite all their talent and solid advanced stats, the Jaguars are 3-7, with games against playoff contenders in five of their last seven weeks.

Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders

The Commanders are 11-point and four-to-one road underdogs Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles. That means bettors strongly believe Washington will drop to 4-6 on the season — which means Rivera would drop to 18-25 as the Commanders’ coach.

Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers

There’s no shame in a one-score loss to the 49ers on the road, but the way the Chargers lost — scoring fewer than 21 points for the fourth straight game — is confounding, considering Justin Herbert is their quarterback.

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