We have hit the first-quarter pole. Week Four is when the coaches can really jump into new categories. Jeff Fisher had the largest decline due to his team’s embarrassing effort against the Jaguars. Lovie Smith and Marvin Lewis keep rising while Tom Cable and Dick Jauron fall directly to the bottom.
Remember, just because a coach has one or two good weeks, it does not mean that he gets catapulted to the top. This is a marathon not a sprint.
ALREADY OWN KEYS TO THE CITY
1. Tom Coughlin – GIANTS (Last Week: 1)
The Giants did a nice job of repeating their Week Three effort by beating up a lesser team on the road. My girlfriend has been suffering with plantar fasciitis for almost two years; it is not a fun injury. If the Giants go up big on the Raiders on Sunday, Coughlin should have David Carr in there as soon as it is safe.
2. Bill Belichick – PATRIOTS (Last Week: 2)
The Patriots seemed to have an answer for most of what of the Ravens defense presented. A dropped ball saved the defense, and there was a little bit of help from the zebras. At the end of the day, the Pats are 3-1 and meet up with an old friend in Josh McDaniels in Denver, whose defense is playing better than Baltimore’s at this juncture.
3. Mike Tomlin – STEELERS (Last Week: 3)
The Steelers wanted no business of being 1-3. The Steelers held the ball for 40 minutes and while they let the Chargers back into the game, they still had enough in the tank to get the win. Now, that was the Rashard Mendhenhall we thought the Steelers had drafted two years ago. The Steelers should be 4-2 in two weeks as they play at Detroit on Sunday and then host Cleveland.
OWNERS, NOT RENTERS
4. John Harbaugh – RAVENS (Last Week: 5)
The Ravens were hosed on the roughing the passer penalty on Suggs, but they still had chances to win the game and just fell short. The opening kickoff fumble and Flacco’s interception cost them at least six points. Six points was the margin of victory for the Patriots. The Ravens host a battle for first place in the AFC North against the Steelers, whoops, I mean the Bengals.
5. Andy Reid – EAGLES (Last Week: 6)
BYE WEEK - Home to Tampa Bay on Sunday. No real bye week controversies.
6. Mike Smith – FALCONS (Last Week: 7)
BYE WEEK - Home to Chicago on Sunday.
7. Ken Whisenhunt – CARDINALS (Last Week: 8)
BYE WEEK – Home to Houston on Sunday.
8. Sean Payton – SAINTS (Last Week: 9)
Wait a second, you mean, they have a good defense, too? The Saints defense gave rookie Mark Sanchez a game he won’t soon forget, Darren Sharper has been rejuvenated and already has five interceptions, which equals the total of picks he had in his last two seasons with the Vikings. The Saints have a bye this week, but they will need the extra time to prepare for the Giants at home in a game that could mean a lot in terms of home-field advantage.
9. Brad Childress – VIKINGS (Last Week: 10)
I really did not like that late bomb that the Vikings threw with under three minutes to go and a 10-point lead. But, there is no denying that this team has serious playmakers in Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Antoine Winfield, oh, and some Brett Favre guy. There is not much of a reason why this team cannot be 5-0 as the travel to St. Louis to take on the winless Rams.
THAT NEW COACH SMELL IS MIGHTY FINE
10. Jim Caldwell – COLTS (Last Week: 14)
One day this team’s defense may get a little bit of credit as well. If you take away the Seahawks two late garbage-time touchdowns, this team has only given up 48 points this season. Peyton Manning has been nothing short of a Metropolitan Opera maestro so far this year.
11. Rex Ryan – JETS (Last Week: 11)
Mark Sanchez is going to make mistakes. He just cannot make them of that magnitude again. It is one thing to give the defense one touchdown, but two touchdowns just put his team into a hole that it could not escape. The Jets defense continued to play very good and on Monday they get a chance to take on the Wildcat.
I AM REALLY WARMING UP TO THAT GUY
12. Mike Singletary – 49ERS (Last Week: 15)
The 49ers defense has looked like one of the NFL’s best over the first four weeks. They are 3-0 in the NFC West, and have a big NFC clash at home against the Falcons on Sunday. The Falcons are not a great road team and the 49ers need to continue to show that strong defense to move their way up into the conversion of the elite NFC teams.
13. Josh McDaniels – BRONCOS (Last Week: 16)
His version of “Reunited” with Brandon Marshall has been just as good as the one Peaches & Herb did back in the 1970s. I cannot remember the Broncos having a defense that has won them games like this one is turning out to do. In the first hoodie bowl, McDaniels reunites with his former mentor Bill Belichick on Sunday. I would not expect to see any wardrobe malfunctions.
JUST LIKE ALICIA KEYS HE KEEPS ON FALLIN'
14. Jeff Fisher – TITANS (Last Week: 4)
In a must-win game, this team could not have played any worse. Jacksonville scored on five possessions in the first half and put the game out of reach and the Titans out of their misery. I like Jeff Fisher a lot and think he is one of the best coaches, but that effort on Sunday was worthless. With an 0-4 start in the AFC, the Titans role may be reduced to spoiler. It may be time to see what Vince Young can still do for this team, as it really needs to start preparing for the future.
SOMEONE JUST HIT DOWN ON THE ELEVATOR
15. Mike McCarthy – PACKERS (Last Week: 13)
Oh no, the loss to Favre. The Packers played well in spurts, but the time that their old quarterback got to throw compared to the time their current quarterback got to throw was far from even. It is good for Aaron Rodgers that the Packers are on a bye. He could use the rest and the offensive line could use more instruction on how to protect their current quarterback.
THIS DOG/FISH/MAMMAL STILL HAS PLENTY OF FIGHT
16. Tony Sparano – DOLPHINS (Last Week: 14)
A really impressive victory for the Dolphins came last Sunday. Sshh, the Wildcat still works well and the Dolphins still have Ronnie Brown who runs it better than anyone in the NFL. Can it work against the Jets mean green defense? If it does, there is a chance the Dolphins can still make things interesting.
HE TOOK DOWN THE FOR SALE SIGN
17. Lovie Smith – BEARS (Last Week: 20)
Lovie should thank his special teams the most for keeping him off the hot seat. Johnny Knox is making some forget that Devin Hester used to return kickoffs. Robbie Gould has been as good as gold when it comes to kicking. The Bears have hit their bye at 3-1.
18. Marvin Lewis – BENGALS (Last Week: 19)
The coaching decision of the week goes to Carson Palmer. Maybe, Marvin was playing for double overtime? Please tell your kicker, Shayne Graham that he needs to get under the ball better on his extra points and short field goals. Those should never be blocked. If not, maybe Chad Ochocinco is available to kick. The Bengals snuck out of Cleveland alive, and more importantly with a game they could not afford to lose.
HOLD OFF ON THE PARADE
19. Jim Schwartz – LIONS (Last Week: 17)
Well, that was fun wasn’t it? The Lions offense can certainly move the ball, but the poor tackling on this team is why this team is not going to win many games. The Titans defense misses Schwartz as their coordinator and Schwartz misses having the players on the Titan defense.
BARELY HANGING ON TO THE NEW COACH SMELL
20. Jim Mora, Jr. – SEAHAWKS (Last Week: 18)
I hope the Seahawks enjoyed their bye week. Oh wait, they actually played last Sunday. Wow, did they look lost against the Colts! While Mora is not fighting for his job, his team is in a must-win situation on Sunday at home against the Jaguars. A loss and there is no way the Seahawks have a chance at the playoffs with a 1-4 record.
I STILL HAVE AS MANY NFL WINS AS THIS GUY
21. Steve Spagnuolo – RAMS (Last Week: 21)
Sunday against the 49ers marked the second shutout of the year for Rams. They are averaging six points per game and are actually on pace to score under a hundred points for the season. On a positive note, the defense did not let up a score until midway through the third quarter. Unfortunately, special teams and the offense were responsible for giving up 21 points. Do not expect the Rams to break into the win column on Sunday as they host the Vikings.
22. Todd Haley – CHIEFS (Last Week: 22)
This offense has to find ways to move the ball. These four-yards-per-pass attempt, two-yards-per carry games from Matt Cassel and Larry Johnson will not come close to getting a win in this league. Todd Haley was brought to Kansas City for his offensive game planning. I think the fans need to see something more.
23. Raheem Morris – BUCCANEERS (Last Week: 23)
Your team is 0-3, you are down six and have the ball on the Redskins four-yard line with just over four minutes to play. How do you not take a chance and try to win the game? The Bucs kicked a field goal and never got any closer than their own 28-yard line. I still think Josh Freeman should start, not Josh Johnson who did not play very well as once again the Bucs struggled on third down going 2-for-13.
DO YOU HAVE THAT REAL ESTATE AGENT'S NUMBER HANDY?
24. Norv Turner – CHARGERS (Last Week: 26)
Dear Norv, the Sunday Night games start at 8:20 p.m. Eastern Time. The Chargers showed up to the game, they just picked the wrong time to arrive. The team did not quit, but the last thing you want to be is down 28-0, especially to the defending champions on the road. The Charger offense figured out way too late that Troy Polamalu was not playing for the Steelers and Antonio Gates could have a field day on that defense.
25. John Fox – PANTHERS (Last Week: 25)
BYE WEEK - The Panthers could not lose this week. The have a must-win game at home against the Redskins this Sunday.
26. Wade Phillips – COWBOYS (Last Week: 25)
This team has struggled in the clutch on both offense and defense and is the big reason why the Cowboys are 2-2. If Dallas is to win on Sunday against the Chiefs, they should go up early and not have to worry about having to tackle a receiver or having Tony Romo try to lead the team for the game-winning score. Allegedly, Wade Phillips is on Twitter where you can follow his tweets and twitter.com/sonofbum. There are some great typos on there.
27. Gary Kubiak – TEXANS (Last Week: 30)
It was a very good win for the Texans. They did not let the Raiders hang around and make it close. Steve Slaton had his first big game for the Texans this season. At 2-2, the next four games will really determine what happens to Kubiak. They start the next four-game stretch starts at Arizona.
IT IS STILL GOING TO TAKE MORE THAN THAT TO GET YOU OFF OF THE HOT SEAT
28. Jack Del Rio – JAGUARS (Last week: 31)
That was a definitive win for the Jags. The team came out with a purpose and did just about everything right. The offense bullied the Titans and the defense suffocated them. Del Rio is pulling himself off seat but he needs to have the Jags continue their strong efforts at Qwest Field Seattle on Sunday, which unlike Jacksonville Municipal Stadium will have more than 20,000 in the seats.
MR. SNYDER STILL HAS YOU ON SPEED DIAL
29. Jim Zorn – REDSKINS (Last Week: 32)
Safe for this week, not much else to say other than the ‘Skins won a game they could not afford to lose. The defense played better, but the offense should have been able to do more. Jason Campbell added three interceptions to almost give this one away. The Redskins could be 4-2 if they are able to win at the winless Panthers and at home against the winless Chiefs. Those are big ifs.
YEP, THAT COACH STILL SMELLS LIKE LAKE ERIE
30. Eric Mangini – BROWNS (Last Week: 27)
It was a better performance this week than in any other Browns game this season, but the win column is still bare. Give the Browns credit for not falling apart when down 20-0 and for blocking an extra point that forced the game into overtime. But, this team did not do enough to win. Allowing Carson Palmer to run for a first down on 4th-and-11 in the last minute of overtime was typical of a Mangini-style defense. Jet fans should thank LeBron for getting Edwards out of Cleveland and thank Mangini for providing them with another gift.
WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU
31. Tom Cable – RAIDERS (Last Week: 24)
Yahoo listed Oakland’s top performer as Darrius Heyward-Bey with one reception for 18 yards. What a waste of a pretty good defensive unit. If the offensive could only muster six points against the Texans, how many will it have at Giants Stadium on Sunday?
32. Dick Jauron – BILLS (Last Week: 29)
Flat out embarrassing. It was tough to tell who was starting their first NFL game Chad Henne or Trent Edwards. Edwards threw three interceptions and had a rating of 51. While Henne, did not have a turnover and a rating of 92. The Bills got run over and lost by 28 to a team that was 0-3. The Bills had 10 first downs, none of them via the run. They were 1-for-11 on third down. A loss to Mangni and the Browns on Sunday would certainly seal his fate, despite his contract extension.