We're closing in on December, which means the 2018 season is in the home stretch, and the NFL's firing-and-hiring season is here. One head coach already has been let go -- and picked up by another team -- and there are still a few more to come.
Let's take an analytical look at the head coaches sitting on the hottest seats. Just as we have the past two seasons -- here's the preseason Hot Seat Index -- we trained our model using Pro-Football- Reference's data on every NFL head-coaching tenure since 1979. Unsurprisingly, the most important factor in our model is the team's win-loss record from the current season, but there are a number of other factors that the model takes into effect, such as previous playoff success, whether the current general manager hired the coach, and more. Read the full methodology here.
Using ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI) to project season outcomes, we estimated the chance that each head coach would be fired by this offseason. Here are the coaches who are the most vulnerable, in order of highest chances of being fired and going in descending order.
Where's Hue Jackson?
OK, yes, the Cleveland Browns already fired him. But the model would have placed him No. 1 on this list with a 73 percent chance of being fired. I'm including his result here to give everyone confidence in the model -- and, besides, you'd be curious anyway. The Browns underperformed in the first half of the season, going 2-5-1 before Jackson was ousted. Although the team's talent level has turned the corner -- Cleveland has an improving offensive line, strong defense and competent quarterback room -- Jackson was never able to put it all together. He finished his tenure 3-36-1.
Now, on to the rest of the list ...
1. Todd Bowles, New York Jets
Chances of being fired: 69 percent
Before the season began, we ran a "what if?" scenario with our model to see which coaches could least afford to have a 4-12 record in 2018. Bowles was the second-most vulnerable on the list at 71 percent, and it's possible that the Jets finish the season with that exact record. That would make three straight losing seasons for Bowles, who has lost 17 of the last 22 games, and things are trending in the wrong direction.