The end of the NFL regular season is upon us and with it comes the annual tradition of the slew of Black Monday firings and the start of the coaching carousel rumors. Some of the news was not only expected but anticipated. Others had us taken off guard. So here’s a quick recap:
No Surprises Here
The NFC North has officially been thrown into chaos mode now that the Bears and Vikings announced that they have parted ways with head coaches Matt Nagy and Mike Zimmer, as well as GM’s Ryan Pace and Rick Spielman. The coach firings are no real shock, given the fact that Nagy has now failed 2 young quarterback prospects that he was supposed to have been the QB whisperer for and Zimmer couldn’t turn the corner with a slightly above average Kirk Cousins that was coupled with elite skill position players like Jefferson, Cook, and Diggs over the last 8 years. Spielman had a slightly better track record than Pace given the skill players he drafted in his tenure, but Pace was able to secure the likes of David Montgomery and Darnell Mooney, and even made the move to go get Justin Fields in last year’s draft, which could still prove fruitful depending on who George McCaskey chooses to bring in.
Other than the replacements in Minnesota and Chicago, the only other big news waiting to drop in the division is whether Aaron Rodgers returns to the Packers next year. As a fan of the best 3-13-1 Lions team I’ve ever watched, I am certainly biased. And I live for the chaos in the division. It’s a weird phenomenon to have the Lions, of all teams, be the most stable one in the division. But if Rodgers doesn’t leave Lambeau, it’s still the rest of the average to below-average division against him.
Well, Color Me Surprised
One of these partings is news because it was so completely unexpected, and the other because it really should have been.
Around 9am Monday morning, the news broke that Joe Judge was meeting with Giants ownership, and it would have seemed that the writing was on the wall, even though they had previously claimed that his job wasn’t in danger. Spoiler alert: He is still somehow the Giants head coach. Even in a season where the Giants were the opposite of everything Judge has preached in terms of a team identity and culture. Not to mention a season that saw big free agent signing Kenny Golladay score ZERO touchdowns. Yup. ZERO.
It was also later announced that Giants GM Dave Gettleman will be stepping down. It’s a dark phase for the NY Football teams. Unless of course you are a fan of the only team that actually plays in New York State.
Speaking of the AFC East – the most unexpected Schefter bomb of the day came when it was announced that Miami would be parting ways with head coach Brian Flores. I was completely caught off guard when I heard this, as was my Dolphins loving cousin when I broke the news to her.
As news spilled out throughout the day, however, it seems clear that there was quite a division between what the head office and the head coach were thinking about the direction of the team. Given the resurgence of the Patriots this year, the Dolphins look poised to keep languishing towards the bottom of the AFC East for years to come. Much like the Lions made a mistake by letting Jim Caldwell go too soon, the Dolphins may soon come to realize the error of their ways.
There may be still several shocking Schefter bombs coming in the off-season, but for now we’ll have to settle for these.
Oh yeah, Vic Fangio got fired too over the weekend. Take that news as you will.
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