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#pounditThursday, February 25, 2021

5 NFL coaches and GMs who could be fired on Black Monday

Adam Gase

As the famous holiday song goes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Everyone is in the holiday spirit with Hanukkah and Christmas having just passed, but that will be short-lived for those in the NFL.

Just a week after Christmas has concluded, the dark clouds will begin to approach and then, as the new year is ushered in, many officials across the NFL will likely be ushered out. That is, of course, because Black Monday is right around the corner and as the name indicates, it’s one of the most difficult days on the league calendar.

Here is a quick look at five general managers and head coaches who could be given a pink slip on Black Monday.

5. Zac Taylor, head coach, Cincinnati Bengals

In 16 seasons under Marvin Lewis, the Bengals won six-or-fewer games just twice. Under Zac Taylor, they’ve accomplished that twice in two years. As the saying goes, the grass is not always greener on the other side. Cincinnati won just two games in 2019 and will win no more than five games this season, which puts pressure on ownership to bring in their third head coach over a four-year span. However, back-to-back wins over the Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Texans have the Bengals looking much better entering the final week of the season. The late wins are helping Taylor’s job status. But is it too little too late? Most likely, but a season-ending win over the Baltimore Ravens would certainly make the decision much tougher.

4. Anthony Lynn, head coach, Los Angeles Chargers

Following a 45-0 loss to the New England Patriots in Week 13, many expected the Los Angeles Chargers to fire head coach Anthony Lynn, but the team decided to wait. Since then, the Chargers have reeled off three consecutive victories to up their record to 6-9. Will it be enough to save Lynn’s job? Had the wins come over teams more talented than the Atlanta Falcons, Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos, perhaps they would have carried more weight, but the fact remains: the Chargers have not been competitive in the AFC since 2018, and it may be time for a change. However, if L.A. closes out the season with a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, it would be a major feather in Lynn’s cap, and one that would likely give ownership some pause before making a decision. But that is a mighty tall order for Lynn and this Chargers team.

3. Dave Gettleman, general manager, New York Giants

After three sub-par seasons as the team’s general manager, it’s hard for even the most staunch Dave Gettleman supporter to present a sound argument on why he deserves one more year in New York. The Giants are devoid of top-end talent, their depth is drastically lacking, and if we’re being completely honest, the 70-year-old Gettleman is certainly not getting any younger. Yes, the Giants have flashed at times and provided a few reasons for optimism going forward, but at some point, more is needed to justify staying the course. The franchise has lacked consistency since the departure of Tom Coughlin, and some may be wary of even more change, but we all know what the definition of insanity is. If Gettleman somehow survives the upcoming offseason, it will be his final year in East Rutherford barring a major turnaround in 2021.

2. Doug Marrone, head coach, Jacksonville Jaguars

Doug Marrone somehow survived a mid-season firing while general manager Dave Caldwell got the axe, but his brief delay of termination is likely coming to an end. Although the Jaguars have played much better of late, they’ve still managed to pick up just one victory this season, dropping Marrone’s record with the team to 23-42. The organization has not experienced a winning season since 2017, they have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft locked up, and any incoming general manager is likely to want his own coach and players. What more needs to be said? Yes, there is some speculation that Marrone may be able to hang on and re-take the reigns next season, but that seems increasingly unlikely despite the rumors. Come Black Monday, it’s all but assured Marrone will be among those on the chopping block.

1. Adam Gase, head coach, New York Jets

They Jets have won back-to-back games and can potentially go out on a three-game winning streak, but it’s not going to be enough to save head coach Adam Gase. Even the fierce defense of Gase from the players won’t be enough. It’s too little too late, and the fact that Gase even survived the season in East Rutherford is somewhat of a miracle. He’s gone 9-22 to this point over his two seasons and here in 2020, the Jets will finish dead last in both offense and defense. Offensively, it will be the second consecutive season in which they finished 32nd overall. The real kicker? Gase has publicly acknowledged his failures and admits he let the franchise down, which is a sad, albeit honest self-reflection. It’s hard to imagine Gase ever filling the role of head coach again.

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