I’ve always found the typical hot seat ratings for NFL coaches a little strange.
For a game that’s predicated on inches, an encyclopedia of statistics and complex gameplay analysis, rating a coach's job security with temperature adjectives seems a bit out of sorts. When one coach’s seat is “hot” and another is “red hot," what am I watching for?
Seems like they should get their act together, either way.
So we’re going to make the same analysis, but we’re going to use actual numbers: needed wins. Weird idea, right?
We’ll look at two groupings of wins:
1. Needed wins at the 10-game mark
2. Needed wins at the end of the season
Think about it like, "If [coach] doesn't hit [x number of needed wins], he's on the first train out of town."
Obviously not hitting the first means the second is moot.
The bottom line is, the higher the number, the hotter the seat.
Lastly, though no one likes excuses, they will buy a head coach an extra game or two. Coaches may qualify for one of the following excuses. For each one that qualifies, add a win to their total:
1. Injuries. Only qualifies if the quarterback goes down or at least four other starters go down.
2. Game-deciding blown call. Getting a bum pass interference call in the first quarter doesn’t count, but getting one with two minutes left in the fourth that ultimately costs the game does.
3. Off-field drama. This has to be Mike Vick or Plaxico Burress level drama, not Albert Haynesworth (“I’m just a lazy jerk”) level drama.
Any of those will get you an extra win in the leniency department. I purposefully left out strength of schedule (i.e. “We’ve just been playing really good teams!”). The notion is far too subjective, and often we get to the end of the season and say, “Wow, that team that rolled over us actually wasn’t that good. Our coach was that bad!”
To the Hot Statistics…