NFL Hot Seat Update: Gauging Every Head Coach After Week 12

Ryan RiddleCorrespondent INovember 26, 2012

NFL Hot Seat Update: Gauging Every Head Coach After Week 12

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    When you consider the average tenure of the NFL's 32 head coaches is only about 3.25 years, it's clear that things change fast in this league. That is why this "Hot Seat" slideshow needs to be updated every week.

    Here's a temperature reading—now bottoming out with On Fire and progressing to Hot, Warm, Room Temperature, Cool, Cozy and, finally, Get This Man an Extension.

    Every coach will fall somewhere on this spectrum unless, of course, they happen to be terminated.

    Following Week 12's action, most coaches seem to have found consistency in their status updates for the season. But with that said, there's still plenty of room for increased hot-seat severity for some coaches, while others have gotten a bit more cozy thanks to some impressive performances over Thanksgiving weekend. 

Chan Gailey

1 of 32

    Last Week: Hot

    After Week 12: On Fire

    The Bills remain one of the league's most underachieving teams in the league, which never bodes well for the head coach.

    Sadly, Chan Gailey's bunch has proved incapable of progressing the way ownership and Buffalo's fans need them to after a late-season collapse and 6-10 finish a year ago. Losing to the Colts on Sunday is a strong indication that other teams in rebuilding mode have passed them by.

    Fans and ownership likely won't tolerate many more losses, considering the higher-than-normal expectations heading into the 2012 season.

    It doesn’t appear likely that Gailey will escape the hot seat from here on out, but miracles do happen. In this case, that would have to be a magical run all the way into a wild-card spot.

Jason Garrett

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    Last Week: On Fire

    After Week 12: On Fire

    A Thanksgiving Day game at home on prime-time television apparently wasn't enough motivation for the Cowboys to overcome the exploits of perhaps the most exciting young star in the NFL. You know who I'm referring to; just some rookie QB in Washington.

    How can a team with so much talent struggle so consistently? Well, a simple answer seems to have eluded head coach Jason Garrett. But some blame must also be attributed to a banged-up offensive line and backfield.

    Jason Garrett's seat is so hot at the moment that Jerry Jones can't even hide his lack of optimism.

    Garrett seems to be lacking certain leadership qualities, and he doesn’t appear suited to either manage or control his highly paid and temperamental athletes.

    Jones has made it clear what the expectations are for the Cowboys this season. At the moment, Garrett is the skipper of a sinking ship, and Jones will need to find someone to blame. Considering he won't fire himself, that leaves Garrett as the most likely scapegoat.

    Garrett does shoulder a great deal of responsibility for the poor play in Big D, and he may not make it to the end of the season. Perhaps it's time to leave the head-coaching duties to a guy who can stand up to Jones.

Joe Philbin

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    Last Week: Room Temperature

    After Week 12: Room Temperature

    The Dolphins were able to end a three-game skid by edging out the Seattle Seahawks, 24-21, over the weekend. At 5-6, Miami is still very much alive in the playoff hunt and has already exceeded most people's expectations for the 2012 season. For these reasons, it's hard not to admire the job Philbin has done to revive a doormat franchise long in search of a spark.

    Well, Philbin has provided that spark, along with new hope for Dolphins fans. They're clearly on the right track, as coach Philbin continues to create a locker room of players he can believe in.

    Green Bay fans may want Philbin back by the end of the season. Unfortunately for them, Joe may be staying put for a while.

Tom Coughlin

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    Last Week: Cool

    After Week 12: Cool

    What better way to end a two-game losing streak than to demolish the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football? Now, the big-city Giant fans can enhance their calm at least until the next regular-season loss.

    The Giants have a history of surviving regular-season slumps. This should still be a dangerous group in the postseason. After all, the Giants are the defending Super Bowl champions.

    With that said, back-to-back losses do speak to the reasons for Coughlin's relatively humble job status, which I know many of you might be wondering about.

    How can Coughlin win two Super Bowls in the last five years and not be cozy by now? Well, given his age (66) and questionable history with player relations, he will need another deep march into the playoffs for that status to be warranted.

    If the losses begin to mount, not having the team's higher-profile players backing you up to the media or the front office can lead to a quick departure.

    The recent trend seems to favor younger head coaches. Coughlin also has the added pressure of the New York media spotlight. When that glaring light is shining on a 58.3 winning percentage as the Giants' head coach, that could be a cause for concern.

    To put things in perspective, Andy Reid has won 59.4 percent of his games as the head coach of the Eagles, yet he is on the verge of being sent packing.

Bill Belichick

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    Last Week: Get This Man an Extension

    After Week 12: Get This Man an Extension

    Bill Belichick and his high-powered offense are leading the league in scoring yet again. Only this year, the Patriots actually have a defense capable of getting some stops here and there.

    As of right now, no coach in the NFL is safer than Belichick.

    He likely will coach the Patriots for as long as he wishes. The man we often see tucked away in his hoodie on the sidelines has complete control over the football operations in New England, and he sets the bar for all other active coaches in the NFL.

    Belichick is one of the most successful and influential football minds in the history of the league and likely is the league's most coveted individual—player or coach.

Andy Reid

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    Last Week: On Fire

    After Week 12: On Fire

    At 3-8, the Eagles' season is more or less done. This self-proclaimed "dream team" has looked more like a nightmare, making Michael Vick's dynasty comments look more ridiculous than ever.

    If the Eagles somehow miraculously win-out for the rest of the season they still will only finish with the same disappointing record they had last year, which was clearly stated by ownership before the season, to be unacceptable.

    There are obvious changes on the way in Philly. Expect Vick and Reid both to be handed their pink slip and shown the door.

    As ESPN's Adam Schefter stated last week, the question has shifted from whether Reid will be fired to whether he will survive until the end of the season.

    Reid has been the mastermind behind just about all of the key decisions, including a pass-happy offense that puts Vick at risk for both injury and turnovers.

    He also made the odd decision to make Juan Castillo, once his offensive line coach, the defensive coordinator, even though he had no previous NFL experience on the defensive side of the ball. That errant decision has since been rectified, but such poor choices have taken their toll in Philly.

Rex Ryan

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    Last Week: On Fire

    After Week 12: On Fire

    Rex Ryan and his Jets have lost four of their last five games. The most recent of these losses came on Thanksgiving against the New England Patriots, who demoralized Rex's boys, 49-19.

    By no means is a 4-7 record acceptable in New York. This squad will have to remain competitive, and Mark Sanchez will have to prove that Ryan's faith in him is justified.

    It appears that the media and fans have begun to turn on Ryan and his outlandish ways. Those personality traits don't seem to have much value when you can't win football games.

    At this point, the Jets are going to have to fight hard the rest of the season if they want coach Ryan to return in 2013.

Mike Shanahan

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    Last Week: Room Temperature

    After Week 12: Room Temperature

    Washington may be only 5-6 on the season, but it's now won its last two games by a combined score of 69-37.

    Mike Shanahan and the 'Skins may be a few players away from taking over the NFC East. Perhaps a week of rest can help them in their quest to reclaim the NFL dominance once synonymous with Redskin football.

    With that said, this isn’t the year for that sort of dominance. But don’t expect owner Dan Snyder to ruin a good thing in Washington by starting over with a new coach.

    Given the competitive nature of the team, Shanahan is almost guaranteed to return as head coach next year.

    Most of the Redskins' success this season can be directly linked to the chemistry between Shanahan and rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. The former has done a fantastic job creating an offense tailored specifically to the unique abilities of RG3.

    It would take a pretty poor season to get Shanahan on the hot seat. If the Redskins are scraping the bottom of the division with some ugly losses by Week 14, though, expect him to be there.

John Harbaugh

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    Last Week: Cozy

    After Week 12: Cozy

    How do you stop these Ravens?

    Despite key injuries and a declining defense, Baltimore continues to win games and separate itself from the rest of the AFC North. The Ravens pulled off a miraculous come-from-behind victory against the Chargers by converting on a 4th-and-29 on the game-winning drive.

    If John Harbaugh can continue to find a way to win games and get into the playoffs, he should at least be considered for Coach of the Year.

    He has done a great job winning the games he's supposed to win. The most encouraging thing about the Ravens' early wins was that they came without reigning Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs, who has since returned, only to replace other injured defensive stars.

    After winning nearly 71 percent of his regular-season games over five seasons, Harbaugh’s job status is stable and will be unaffected by the outcome of any one game this season.

Lovie Smith

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    Last Week: Cool

    After Week 12: Cool

    The Bears and Lovie Smith were somehow able to put their embarrassing prime-time performance behind them, as they looked focused and much more efficient with the return of Jay Cutler against the Vikings on Sunday. Clearly, Cutler's value to the team has been understated in the past, with his unique ability to withstand poor pass protection and endure punishment, yet still deliver balls exactly where they need to be.

    Lovie Smith has done a nice job with the Bears, winning 57 percent of his games (79-60) in eight-plus seasons as head coach.

    But considering there's a new general manager in Chicago with a green light to clean house, there's some hesitation to advance Lovie to "cozy" status.

    For the time being, Smith has done everything right and put the brakes on the panic talk after some sideline drama involving quarterback Jay Cutler was caught on prime-time television. Smith has managed to field a consistently competitive team and is not in any immediate danger.

    However, should signs emerge that his locker room is out of control, that could quickly change.

Marvin Lewis

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    Last Week: Warm

    After Week 12: Warm

    Some speculate that Lewis' job will be in jeopardy if the Bengals take too big of a step backward from last year's playoff run. At 6-5, Lewis and Co. have a nice shot at a playoff spot and may indeed need to secure one in order to guarantee coach Lewis' return for the 2013 season.

    When you consider that only Andy Reid and Bill Belichick have coached their teams longer than Lewis has coached his 75-79-1 Bengals, it may be reasonable to think that his time in Cincy is running out.

    After all, Lewis has been given a lot of time to create a champion, and owner Mike Brown has given him a lot of control over personnel decisions.

Jim Schwartz

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    Last Week: Hot

    After Week: Hot

    It seems the Lions' playoff hopes are all but over. A 4-7 record doesn't eliminate them mathematically, but it does make a postseason appearance a long shot. Detroit has now lost three straight games, with the latest coming versus the Houston Texans in a 34-31 barnburner on Thanksgiving.

    In 59 regular-season games as the Lions' head coach, Jim Schwartz has gone 22-37. Before this season, Schwartz's saving grace had been his team's ability to improve each year.

    Despite making the playoffs last year, has he done enough to survive a setback season? I expect him to return in 2013, but he will return in a similar fashion to Norv Turner in San Diego—Week 1 on the hot seat.

Pat Shurmur

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    Last Week: Hot

    After Week 12: Hot

    The Browns have won only three contests all year, but there are positive signs, specifically on defense, indicating these guys are better than their record. The team has shown observable growth throughout the season with a rookie quarterback, running back and wide receiver.

    One thing that must pan out for Pat Shurmur's regime to continue is the development of Brandon Weeden. Twenty-nine-year-old rookie quarterbacks are not afforded the same patience as the more common 22-year-old variety.

    New ownership may not permit much time for this group to mesh if it exercises its right to clean house and bring in its own guys. Shurmur must see this season as an audition.

    Fans and media have primarily criticized Shurmur for his pattern of poor play-calling and decision making. If this continues to be the case, the only thing that can save his job will be victories, like the much-needed victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mike McCarthy

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    Last Week: Cozy

    After Week 12: Cool

    Prime time proved to be unkind to the red-hot Green Bay Packers when they suffered a blowout loss to the New York Giants. Not only did the Packers look lost, unfocused and uninspired, but they also showed just how valuable an offensive line can be.

    Most expected the 2012 version of the Packers to be even more dangerous and complete, but the team has had disappointing results for much of the season.

    Mike McCarthy is still a fantastic coach, and Aaron Rodgers is still the best quarterback in the NFL, so expect the Packers to be major players once again in the postseason. Don't expect McCarthy's seat to get hot this year.

Mike Tomlin

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    Last Week: Cozy

    After Week 12: Cool

    The loss of Ben Roethlisberger two weeks ago was critical in the game's outcome on Sunday. Pittsburgh has now dropped its last two games without Big Ben. In fact, the Steelers' offense was only able to amass 24 points in the last two games, which proved to be its downfall.

    The path to the playoffs looks to be much more challenging than in years past for the Steelers. This could be the year they find themselves without a playoff spot, but Mike Tomlin appears to be doing everything right and putting his team in the best position to win.

    Either way, Tomlin is almost guaranteed to return as head coach despite making a slight drop from cozy to cool in his status update.

Leslie Frazier

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    Last Week: Cool

    After Week 12: Cool

    Minnesota returned from a week of rest only to play perhaps its worst game of the entire season. The Vikings have been proving doubters wrong all year, but Sunday was a disappointment on numerous levels.

    Leslie Frazier has been all over the map in terms of his job security this year, but this week, he remains cool despite such a poor outing last week. 6-5 is still impressive considering such low expectations heading into the season.

    Frazier may end up proving he can be the Vikings' coach for the long haul. The question still remains, though: Is this team for real?

Gary Kubiak

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    Last Week: Get This Man an Extension

    After Week 12: Get This Man an Extension

    Thursday's victory over the Lions was a great win for the franchise, further elevating the Texans into the realm of NFL dominance. Gary Kubiak has clearly established an elite offensive scheme and has done a fantastic job building a powerhouse.

    Standing atop the AFC at 10-1, Kubiak can take pride in seeing years of hard work finally paying off over the last two seasons. Kubiak has slowly built a Super Bowl-caliber team in Houston.

    Gary's system and coaching style have been integral to the Texans' success, so don't expect a change on the Houston sidelines in the foreseeable future.

    Given the team’s consistent improvement through the years, Kubiak has bought himself a lot of leeway. His seat is extremely safe and should remain that way for quite some time.

Mike Smith

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    Last Week: Cozy

    After Week 12: Cozy

    The Falcons took on a red-hot Buccaneers team Sunday and, frankly, were lucky to escape that one with a win. Tampa Bay gave Atlanta all that it could handle, as the game wasn't decided until the final seconds ticked off the clock.

    "Cozy" is still a very stable status for a guy who has done nothing in the postseason, but the fact that he's never had a losing season in Atlanta certainly helps Mike Smith.

    In five years of calling the shots, he has won nearly 71 percent of his games and brought a new level of consistency to the Falcons organization. Smith's job security is stable and should remain that way for the foreseeable future.

Chuck Pagano

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    Last Week: Room Temperature

    After Week 12: Room Temperature

    Chuck Pagano made a postgame locker-room appearance after Week 9's victory over the Miami Dolphins. This video has since gone viral and captures the emotional edge Indy has had throughout this season.

    Teams that have something or someone to play for are known to be dangerous in this league. Plus, any head coach who inspires his players the way Pagano has should be afforded some job security. But Bruce Arians deserves a lot of credit as well, and he may be providing the league a glimpse of just how good a head coach he can be. There's even talk of Coach of the Year honors for this interim head coach.

    Pagano has been dealing with life-threatening issues far more serious than the outcome of any football game. He was diagnosed with leukemia and has been forced to take a leave of absence.

    Pagano, who was/is just getting started in Indy, should remain in the room-temperature range for the duration of his first season as head coach.

Ron Rivera

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    Last Week: On Fire

    After Week 12: On Fire

    Well Ron Rivera and the Panthers got a nice win on Monday night which should help team morale. Unfortunately for Rivera, he may not be around to benefit from any momentum carried into the offseason as the Panthers advance to an unimpressive 3-8 record, one that likely spells the end a short regime for Coach Ron Rivera.

    The Panthers had high expectations, hoping to glide to victory on the wings of their young star quarterback. Unfortunately, the team that won six games last year is likely to do no better in year two of the Rivera era.

    Ron Rivera's biggest disappointment has been the team's performance on defense. Considering he's a defensive-minded coach, the confusion on that side of the ball is becoming disturbing.

Mike Mularkey

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    Last Week: On Fire

    After Week 12: On Fire

    Jacksonville won Sunday in a 24-19 upset over the Titans, and if the Jaguars can continue to fight and scratch for four quarters like they have the last two weeks, expect Mike Mularkey's status to be upgraded after Week 13. The fact that Mularkey has his team fighting at this stage of the season is quite impressive. It may even be enough to buy him one more season if he can finish this one with some W's and positive momentum.

    But looking at the season as a whole, the Jaguars have ranged from poor to terrible in every team category worth mentioning, which has led me to label them as the worst team in the NFL. Consequently, the head coach must assume the bulk of the responsibility.

    To say the least, the Jags don't appear to be fielding a legitimate contender at any point moving forward in 2012. But if Mularkey fails to field a competitive team, he's almost guaranteed to be out of a job before season's end.

Sean Payton

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    Last Week: Get This Man an Extension (Literally)

    After Week 12: Get This Man an Extension (Literally)

    Sean Payton appears to be keeping his options open as he waits to sign a contract extension with the Saints.

    The one job he may covet is the Cowboys' head-coaching position. Considering his history with the franchise and that his kids go to school in Dallas, there may be enough to lure him away from the Saints.

    Payton's job status now seems completely disconnected from the Saints' on-field performance. It now may lie solely in his hands as he weighs his options, taking both financial and personal concerns into consideration.

Mike Munchak

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    Last Week: Warm

    After Week 12: Hot

    A loss to one of the league's worst teams is not exactly how the Titans expected to return to action after their bye week. The defeat at the hands of the Jaguars was disappointing enough to drop Mike Munchak into the hot seat.

    However, Munchak does have some ability as a head coach, considering that he has fielded a competitive team almost every week despite minimal talent. But as the season has progressed, the Titans' defense has been exposed.

    With a  4-7 record, Tennessee is not out of the playoff race. But unfortunately, this season could spell the end of the Munchak regime.

Greg Schiano

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    Last Week: Cool

    After Week 12: Cool

    Greg Schiano is perhaps the most secure first-year coach, having led his Bucs on a four-game winning streak that ended Sunday as they lost a close, hard-fought battle against the division-leading Atlanta Falcons. The game went down to the final play. Tampa's players should hold their heads high despite the obvious disappointment.

    The 6-5 Buccaneers have remained highly competitive even in losses, and with 310 points, they quietly have scored more than any other team in the NFC.

    The Buccaneers may be one of the younger squads in the league, but they also are extremely talented, with three promising rookies in Mark Barron, Doug Martin and Lavonte David. Furthermore, they brought in high-profile free-agent wideout Vincent Jackson to be the go-to receiver.

    Schiano has made his mark on this once-undisciplined team; it has one of the best turnover margins in the NFL. This improvement is one of the reasons his status has stabilized at "cool" for four weeks now.

    In order for him to achieve a "cozy" status in year one, he'll likely have to win at least one playoff game.

John Fox

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    Last Week: Cool

    After Week 12: Cool

    Denver has continued to improve. John Fox and the Broncos have won seven of their last eight games, with their latest victory coming against the Kansas City Chiefs.

    With the addition of Peyton Manning, the Broncos should be one of the most dangerous AFC teams as we near the postseason. That's why expectations are extremely high in Denver.

    Fox’s squad would have to implode for him to be in trouble. As of right now, his Broncos have won six straight to improve to 8-3.

    Fox has the team headed in the right direction, and he could end up sitting cozy if he finds himself division champion and in the playoffs for the second straight season.

Ken Whisenhunt

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    Last Week: Warm

    After Week 12: Warm

    The Cardinals are in the midst of a seven-game losing streak after dropping yet another game, this time to the St. Louis Rams.

    Ken Whisenhunt will have to find a way to compensate for the glaring weakness on the offensive line. He has done his best with what's available.

    However, let's not forget the role he played in creating this lackluster quarterback situation. He now has declared an open competition at quarterback, benching John Skelton in favor of rookie Ryan Lindley.

    The Cardinals may have a solid defense, but they have one of the worst offenses in the NFL. Still, they started the season by beating four teams in a row with superior personnel, and that is a sign of solid coaching. But something must be done on offense if Arizona's to have any chance at the playoffs.

Jeff Fisher

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    Last Week: Warm

    After Week 12: Room Temperature

    Jeff Fisher and his Rams followed up a promising performance against the 49ers by taking a couple of steps back in their embarrassing loss to the New York Jets. Then, they regained some of that positive momentum with a convincing divisional win over the Arizona Cardinals.

    The Rams are 4-6-1 on the season, which puts them near the bottom of the NFC. This was not the growth and improvement Fisher had in mind when he took over this franchise.

    Luckily, the Rams have their franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford and can build around him for the next 10 years.

    All indications seem to point toward Fisher being a big part of that process, so he will be given some time to turn things around. It would take a terrible finish for Fisher to fall any lower than a "warm"  hot-seat status.

Romeo Crennel

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    Last Week: On Fire

    After Week 12: On Fire

    Another week goes by, and the Chiefs suffer yet another disappointing loss. The Chiefs are looking more like the owners of the first overall draft pick every week.

    Romeo Crennel is almost certainly facing his last few games as an NFL head coach. He is not likely to ever get another opportunity to lead an NFL team again.

    The Chiefs have appeared to give up on the season after scoring just nine points in their latest loss to the Broncos.

    Kansas City lacks discipline and guidance. We can clearly see the talent (minus the quarterback) when it decides to play with heart and passion, as it did a couple of weeks ago on Monday night against the Steelers. But that also led to careless penalties, ultimately costing the Chiefs the game in Pittsburgh.

    As of right now, Crennel's seat is on fire, and he's in immediate danger of not finishing the season. As for GM Scott Pioli, this is likely the last head coach he will hire in Kansas City.

Jim Harbaugh

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    Last Week: Get This Man an Extension

    After Week 12: Get This Man an Extension

    Jim Harbaugh's decisions regarding this burgeoning QB controversy could define his future for better or worse as the head coach of the the San Francisco 49ers. This has been a team of togetherness and unwavering trust in their head coach, but should he mishandle his delicate quarterback situation, all that he has built could come crashing down.

    So far, it appears he made the right decision to name Colin Kaepernick the starter against the New Orleans Saints, as they played well under the guidance of the young quarterback. The 31-21 win on the road in a loud, hostile environment is impressive.

    But in terms of the QB controversy for the long haul, only time will tell which decision will be the correct one. No matter what Harbaugh decides to do, though, the 49ers have let the cat out of the bag, and there is no going back to the way things used to be.

    Harbaugh’s turnaround of team culture and general leadership are hard to ignore. It's safe to say 49er fans should expect to have him around for a while.

Dennis Allen

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    Last Week: Warm

    After Week 12: Hot

    The Raiders have now fallen to 3-8 after a tough loss on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Regardless of their record, Dennis Allen will be judged on his team's ability to remain competitive and show improvement as the season progresses. At the moment, he's falling short on both counts.

    So far this season, it's been hit or miss for Oakland.

    Allen deserves credit for taking over a team with a recent history of low expectations, and he may be the right guy to change the decaying culture of Raider Nation.

    Ultimately, though, the proof will be in their performance, and lately, they've looked rather shameful. If Allen's team continues to get blown out like it did Sunday, expect to see his seat get even warmer.

Pete Carroll

31 of 32

    Last Week: Cool

    After Week 12: Room Temperature 

    Pete Carroll has had some success in Seattle, but his recent loss has dropped his status from "cool" to "room temperature."

    The Seahawks are 6-5 and still very much alive in the playoff hunt despite a close loss to the Dolphins Thanksgiving weekend.

    Carroll is trying to prove he's more than willing to do what it takes to get them to the promised land. So far, he has shown a knack for acquiring talent (not to say he is without some misses).

    But what's important is that his mistakes are quickly rectified, and his hits in personnel are starting to add up. Third-round steal Russell Wilson now appears to be the long-term solution at quarterback.

    Carroll has also built perhaps the league's most feared secondary, which now may be depleted dramatically if the recent suspensions of cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner are upheld.

Norv Turner

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    Last Week: On Fire

    After Week 12: On Fire 

    Norv Turner's job is all but lost, which is why he has the most severe of all available job situations. He would have had this status in Week 1, but it wasn't available until Week 8.

    There is really no way he can keep his job at this point.

    As of right now, the seat doesn’t get hotter for a head coach sitting at 4-7. The Chargers failed to turn things around against the Ravens in a game they had in the bag until they let Ray Rice convert on a 4th-and-29 on a game-tying drive.

    Turner has officially worn out his welcome in San Diego, and he was only retained after last season because of desperate pleas by Philip Rivers, who lobbied heavily to give the coach one last chance.

    The organization has completely lost its patience and is set for a complete overhaul from the top down.