1st NFL Head Coach To Be Fired: Betting Odds & Our Favorites
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No NFL head coach wants to be the first to be relieved of his duties during the upcoming season. But one of them has to be. So why not bet on it?
Unibet has posted odds on which head coach is first to hand back his whistle:
First NFL Coach To Be Fired
|Matt Patricia, Lions||+300|
|Doug Marrone, Jaguars||+400|
|Adam Gase, Jets||+800|
|Dan Quinn, Falcons||+1000|
|Bill O’Brien, Texans||+1100|
|Anthony Lynn, Chargers||+2500|
|Matt Nagy, Bears||+2500|
|Zak Taylor, Bengals||+3000|
|Bruce Arians, Buccaneers||+3300|
|Vic Fangio, Broncos||+3300|
|Brian Flores, Dolphins||+3300|
|Mike Zimmer, Vikings||+3300|
Odds current as of publication and subject to change.
Bookies.com breaks down the list and makes an NFL futures betting odds pick.
Top Guys Last Year Hit
It’s worth noting that last year, oddsmakers hit the nail on the head. Redskins coach Jay Gruden was the favorite in NFL betting to be the first head coach ousted at +300, and he didn’t make it out of October. Giants coach Pat Shurmur, the only other nearby contender at +500, lost his gig the Monday following the regular season finale.
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There were four other coaches at +1500 going into last season. One of them was Jason Garrett of the Cowboys, who also won’t be back in 2020. The other three were Marrone, O’Brien and Quinn — three of the top contenders this year.
Favorites Are Favorites For A Reason
Two coaches are vying to not be the favorite for this dubious honor.
Patricia went 6-10 in his first year in Detroit, but last season the team torpedoed to a 3-12-1 record. There is one big asterisks on that: When Pro Bowl QB Matthew Stafford was lost for the season, Detroit went 0-9 the rest of the way.
Patricia has Stafford back and the opportunity to add an immediate contributor with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The leash is short but the team should be improved.
Meanwhile, this is probably the last chance for Marrone, who was stuck guiding a mess of a situation in Jacksonville after the ouster of executive vice president Tom Coughlin.
Marrone led the Jaguars to a surprising run to the AFC Championship game his first year in town (2017), but the team needs a turnaround after consecutive 6-10 seasons.
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Worthy Darkhorses To Be Fired
Gase went 7-9 in his first season in New York, enough to get a second chance and even a third one with a small bump in success.
O’Brien and Quinn, however, might need to do more.
O’Brien has had an offseason full of questionable choices, highlighted by the trade of star WR DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals for oft-injured and overpaid RB David Johnson. O’Brien has guided the Texans to a winning record in five of his six seasons, including 11-5 in 2018 and 10-6 last year. I would think he’ll get a full 16 weeks to prove the team is still headed in the right direction. If he’s going to be let go, it’s likely the day after the regular season ends.
I’m not as sure about that for Quinn. Quinn guided the Falcons to the Super Bowl in 2016 with an 11-5 season, but they haven’t had the same success since and are coming off back-to-back 7-9 seasons. Atlanta went 6-2 the second half of last season, which allowed Quinn to return. But time is running out on the Matt Ryan-Julio Jones era in Atlanta. If the Falcons have another poor start to the season, Quinn may not be around to see the end of it.
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The 2020 NFL schedule has not yet been released, so it’s tough to gauge which of these hot-seat coaches may have more trouble getting off to a strong start. But there are two coaches who stand out right now as most likely to be updating resumes mid-season.
Marrone was reportedly told prior to Jacksonville’s 2019 season finale that the game would be his last. He was surprisingly brought back. But he needs to get the Jaguars off to a strong start to remain the coach for all of 2020.
Here’s the problem with that: personnel-wise, the Jaguars might be the worst team in the NFL. If one team appears to be in tank mode in order to land Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft, it’s the Jags.
Quinn needs to prove he can get the Falcons back to playoff prominence. But that may not happen — Ryan has been on a downward trend the last two seasons and the cash-strapped team didn’t improve in the off-season. Now the Buccaneers have Tom Brady and the NFC South just got a lot tougher.
Take Marrone and Quinn and you finish in the black if either are first to go.