In the wake of the firing of Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress, I thought of what the odds must have been after the Vikings were as limp as a wet dishrag against the rival Packers, 31-3, last Sunday. I thought it was even money, if not worse, that Childress would get the heave-ho. Childress was easy, but who will be next?
I would like to present this new monthly column, which will look at the odds that a coach in any of the three sports we cover on "Sports With The StatMan" will be canned in the next month.
COACHES ALREADY FIRED THIS SEASON
Wade Phillips – Dallas Cowboys (NFL) – Fired November 8th
Scott Gordon – New York Islanders (NHL) – Fired November 15th
Brad Childress – Minnesota Vikings (NFL) – Fired November 22nd
THE FIRING LINE – NOVEMBER
We saw the Cowboys give up after getting crunched by the Packers. We saw the Vikings exhale against the Packers. The Packers play Atlanta next and Mike Smith is not going anywhere. But, what other teams are giving up? The Bengals are at the top of the list. They are 2-8 after standing still while the Buffalo Bills scored 35 unanswered second-half points against the Bengals last Sunday. Terrell Owens called the team "terrible". If the Jets make Marvin Lewis's Bengals look bad on Thursday night, the move might be made before those doorbusters on Friday morning.
The Devils shut out Washington at home on Monday night, 5-0, to win only their second game at home this season. This is considered an upswing for the Devils, a franchise that has symbolized stability and winning over the last decade-and-a-half. MacLean may get a little bit of a pass because he is a first-year head coach that paid his dues for the organization in Lowell, foregoing head coaching opportunities elsewhere to be a good company man. But, the patience with the fan base is wearing thin because bad patterns in the Devils play are evolving and coaching is supposed to stop that in its tracks. If the Devils fall backward again, MacLean could get the boot.
Watching the Texans trail the Jets, 23-7, heading into the fourth quarter last Sunday, one would think Kubiak's job was on brittle footing. The Texans had a great finish, even pulling ahead 27-23 with less than a minute left, but a loss is a loss. The Texans are 2-6 after a 2-0 start where they surprised the AFC defending Champion Colts and came from behind to score the last 20 points in a 30-27 overtime thriller at Washington. Houston has not won since their bye week (0-4) and the Texans defense has been atrocious, bleeding 30 points a game to the opposition. Kubiak saved his job with a 9-7 year in 2009, but I don't see that happening this time around.
The excuse for Carolina's awful 1-9 record has been injuries. The Panthers were down to their fourth-string quarterback in Brian St. Pierre against Baltimore. Matt Moore and Jimmy Claussen are out with injuries and rookie Tony Pike was not ready to start against the Ravens punishing defense. But, it is not just the passing game. The running game is in shambles, too. DeAngelo Williams is done for the year with a foot injury and the Jonathan Stewart is recovering from a concussion. With Steve Smith withering away, things are not finer in the state of Carolina. Fox will most likely last the season, but his days are definitely numbered.
The Oilers were the worst team in hockey last year and garnered the first pick in this season's Entry Draft. But, Taylor Hall and Magnus Paajarvi has not started out well, while Jordan Eberle has put up some points and highlight-reel goals. It is one thing to say the personnel that Renney has had to work with is young and inexperienced. But, the Oilers have been hemorrhaging goals. Nikolai Khabibulin has been brutal (4-10-1, 4.07 GAA, .879 Save%). Edmonton has allowed the most goals in the NHL (77) and scored the second-fewest goals in the Western Conference (49), giving the Oilers have the worst goal differential in the NHL (minus-28). Due to the low expectations for the team, Renney will probably survive, but look at the Islanders, who canned Scott Gordon after 17 games despite finishing in 26th place last season.