On Sunday morning, Jay Glazer reported that the Jets head coach told the team that he believes he will be fired after the season. And a few hours ago, I noted that while the Jets have a 7-8 record, that’s not an accurate reflection of the team’s production this year. So one week from today, will new general manager John Idzik decide to go in a different direction on Black Monday?
After making the AFC Championship Game in both 2009 and 2010, Rex Ryan’s Jets have now failed to make the playoffs in each of the last three years. From 1988 to 2012, 62 head coaches went three straight years without making the playoffs while coaching the same team. As it turns out, the head coach returned in 33 of those cases for the following season, but in each of the last five instances, ownership has chose to fire the head coach. That’s the situation Ryan and Mike Munchak are in, and Jason Garrett would join them in that boat with a loss to Philadelphia next Sunday, too.
On average, the teams that fired the head coach won 4.8 games in Year N, and then won 7.4 games in Year N+1. That includes the three new head coaches in 2013 in Buffalo, Arizona, and San Diego.
Of the 32 teams to retain the head coach, the average team won 6.9 games in Year N and then 7.3 in Year N+1. Those are full season results — the table below shows the number of wins by that specific coach in Year N+1.
|JAX||2010||Jack Del Rio||8-8||3-8-0 (0-0)|
|HOU||2010||Gary Kubiak||6-10||10-6-0 (1-1)|
|HOU||2009||Gary Kubiak||9-7||6-10-0 (0-0)|
|CHI||2009||Lovie Smith||7-9||11-5-0 (1-1)|
|HOU||2008||Gary Kubiak||8-8||9-7-0 (0-0)|
|BUF||2008||Dick Jauron||7-9||3-6-0 (0-0)|
|CIN||2008||Marvin Lewis||4-11-1||10-6-0 (0-1)|
|CLE||2007||Romeo Crennel||10-6||4-12-0 (0-0)|
|SFO||2007||Mike Nolan||5-11||2-5-0 (0-0)|
|TEN||2006||Jeff Fisher||8-8||10-6-0 (0-1)|
|NOR||2004||Jim Haslett||8-8||3-13-0 (0-0)|
|HOU||2004||Dom Capers||7-9||2-14-0 (0-0)|
|NOR||2003||Jim Haslett||8-8||8-8-0 (0-0)|
|SEA||2002||Mike Holmgren||7-9||10-6-0 (0-1)|
|ATL||2001||Dan Reeves||7-9||9-6-1 (1-1)|
|PIT||2000||Bill Cowher||9-7||13-3-0 (1-1)|
|CIN||1999||Bruce Coslet||4-12||0-3-0 (0-0)|
|TEN||1998||Jeff Fisher||8-8||13-3-0 (3-1)|
|WAS||1998||Norv Turner||6-10||10-6-0 (1-1)|
|TEN||1997||Jeff Fisher||8-8||8-8-0 (0-0)|
|SEA||1997||Dennis Erickson||8-8||8-8-0 (0-0)|
|WAS||1997||Norv Turner||8-7-1||6-10-0 (0-0)|
|CHI||1997||Dave Wannstedt||4-12||4-12-0 (0-0)|
|WAS||1996||Norv Turner||9-7||8-7-1 (0-0)|
|NOR||1995||Jim Mora||7-9||2-6-0 (0-0)|
|CIN||1995||David Shula||7-9||1-6-0 (0-0)|
|IND||1994||Ted Marchibroda||8-8||9-7-0 (2-1)|
|CIN||1994||David Shula||3-13||7-9-0 (0-0)|
|TAM||1994||Sam Wyche||6-10||7-9-0 (0-0)|
|CLE||1993||Bill Belichick||7-9||11-5-0 (1-1)|
|PHO||1992||Joe Bugel||4-12||7-9-0 (0-0)|
|GNB||1990||Lindy Infante||6-10||4-12-0 (0-0)|
|IND||1990||Ron Meyer||7-9||0-5-0 (0-0)|
I’m a bit surprised that so many head coaches were retained after failing to make the playoffs for three straight years, but I think the recent trend shows that the NFL is more of a “win now” league than ever before.
More to the point for Ryan, 2013 marks the third straight season the Jets have failed to post a winning record. From 2000 to 2012, only 18 head coaches posted three straight years with a non-winning record for the same team. Eleven of them were fired after year three, and two more (Dick Jauron and Mike Nolan) were fired in midseason in year four. Four other coaches were in the AFC South during the Peyton Manning era, and as I’ve noted before, owners appeared to give those coaches long leashes for failing to push ahead of those Colts teams.
Woody Johnson, of course, is not content with mediocrity… or being out of the spotlight. After the Jets failed to make the playoffs in 2007, the team released Chad Pennington and acquired Brett Favre. After the Jets failed to make the playoffs in 2008, head coach Eric Mangini got the axe. After the Jets failed to make the playoffs in 2011, Brian Schottenheimer was the scape goat. After the Jets failed to make the playoffs in 2012, Woody went up the corporate ladder and canned Mike Tannenbaum. With a first-year quarterback, a first-year offensive coordinator and a first-year general manager, there’s only one move left for Johnson to make.