Head On The Block

As we start to draw near the end of the NFL regular season, attention turns to those coaches who have underperformed this year, and find themselves very much in the firing line, on what is sure to be another Black Monday in the NFL.

Fans betting NFL know that there are plenty of candidates for the axe this year. Let us start with the more obvious candidates for the firing squad, at teams where expectations have clearly not been met:

Minnesota have had a desperate season and currently stand at 4-9-1. All season long, they have been plagued by doubts and differences about who starts at QB, a problem that could bring down Leslie Frazier, as the Vikings have transformed from a 10-6 playoff team to one that is way out of contention.

Frazier may have been stuck with a collection of QB cast-offs but, ultimately, the buck stops with him. The problems for Redskins head coach, Mie Shanahan, started at the end of last season with the Robert Griffin III controversy, and that has continued this year with the team unsettled and Shanahan seemingly constantly undermining RG3.

Along with that duo, the most likely to face the firing squad are Mike Munchak at the Titans, Dennis Allen (Raiders), and Greg Schiano at the Buccaneers; although, he might just scrape another year after the Bucs recent improvement.

We move onto those whose past record might just save them – Tom Coughlin at the Giants and Mike Smith in Atlanta. Coughlin has presided over a disappointing Giants season but he is a two-time Super Bowl winning coach who is cherished by the organisation.

However, they don't tolerate losing seasons often and it may be that Coughlin only gets a year to turn things around. Smith is a similar matter – the Falcons made the playoff last year but have collapsed to 4-10; like Coughlin, our guess is that he gets one more year to get the house in order.

Rex Ryan and Jason Garrett would be two more likely candidates to be gone at the end of the season; Ryan, it could be argued, has been living on borrowed time, while others might take the opposite stance and say that he has had minimal talent to work with and has actually done a good job.

Does Garrett really deserve to survive after that epic loss to the Packers? Cowboys' owner, Jerry Jones, appears to have been more patient than usual but, after that loss, we feel his patience may have run out with Garrett, who has been given every assistance to get the job done.

If there is to be a surprise firing at the end of the season it could well happen in the Motor City as the Lions appear determined to throw away what would be their best ever chance to win the NFC North.

Football fans who bet on NFL will recall that Detroit head coach, Jim Schwartz, has failed regularly this season to get the best out of what is a talented squad and his record on decision-making, play-calling, and discipline is questionable.

With both the Packers and Bears having problems this year, many will that Schwartz is in real trouble if the Lions don't make the playoffs; at the moment, that destiny does not lie in their own hands.

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