Several head coaches will enter the 2022 NFL season already in the hot seat. They have failed to meet their team's expectations over the last couple of years and will need solid performances this season to secure their job moving forward. Here are three head coaches who could potentially be fired during or after the 2022 NFL season if they struggle to meet or exceed expectations.
3 head coaches entering the 2021 NFL season in the hot seat
#1 - Matt Rhule, Carolina Panthers
No seat is hotter than Matt Rhule's with the Carolina Panthers entering the 2022 NFL season. He ultimately failed in his first two seasons with the team, leading them to a disappointing 10-23 combined record, despite having a relatively talented roster around him.
The Panthers have been aggressive in adding talent to their roster since Rhule took over as head coach, but it hasn't yet shown up in the win column. The Panthers coach hasn't been able to properly utilize the abilities of talent like Christian McCaffrey and Robby Anderson. Season three is often a judgment year for many coaches trying to turn the program around, and that is exactly the case for Rhule. If the Panthers get off to another slow start, he could be out of a job my midseason.
#2 - Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys
Prior to Mike McCarthy's arrival at the Dallas Cowboys, they were already an annual playoff contender under head coach Jason Garrett. McCarthy was signed to take the Cowboys to the next step, transforming them from playoff contenders to Super Bowl contenders. However, it hasn't quite worked out that way through two seasons with McCarthy at the reins.
Despite the Cowboys finishing the 2021 NFL season with a division title, they lost their first playoff game. Jerry Jones admitted he was extremely frustrated with the early exit, believing the Cowboys were good enough to make a much deeper run. If they don't make significant progress during the 2022 NFL season, an impatient Jerry Jones could pull the plug on McCarthy.
#3 - Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders
Ron Rivera is another head coach that fits the same theme of failing to meet two-year expectations while entering a potential final judgment period in year three. Despite winning the division during his first season with the team, the Washington Commanders finished with a mere 7-9 record.
The Commanders then finished the 2021 season with a 7-10 record, missing the playoffs and failing to show any progress. This appears to be a make-or-break type of season for Rivera, especially since the team traded for Carson Wentz during the 2022 NFL offseason to give them an upgrade at quarterback over Taylor Heinicke this year. Rivera's hopes rest heavily on Wentz's performance and leadership heading into next season.