Connect with us
Home » news » ranking the playoff odds for the new nfl head coaches


Ranking The Playoff Odds For The New NFL Head Coaches

Find out what first year head coach has the best shot at making the playoffs.

Mark Gunnels



When you look at today’s NFL, there’s no denying the cutthroat mentality that exist with not only players, but head coaches as well. Heading into the 2015 campaign, there will be seven new coaches attempting to lead their respective team to the playoffs and beyond.

Having said that, let’s take a look at which teams have the best chance of making the playoffs with their new sideline general.

1. Denver Broncos (Gary Kubiak) – In order for a team to fully come together, having the right coach is a major part of the process. However, it doesn’t hurt having Peyton Manning and a team that’s won the AFC West four consecutive seasons.

Another thing that doesn’t hurt is Kubiak’s familiarity with the Broncos organization. Kubiak spent his entire playing career in Denver and he was apart of Denver’s coaching staff for 11 years.

“I was part of this organization for many years. I know where they expect to go, that they expect to win Super Bowls,” Kubiak said. “It’s something you want to be part of. Does it make it tougher? I don’t know. People can say what they want to say, but this is why I do what I do. That’s why I love to go to work every day.”

While talking heads love to rag on Peyton’s decline, Denver still managed to put up 30.1 points a game last year, which was tops in the AFC.

On the flip side, Denver’s defense finished in the top three and whenever you have a cornerback duo of Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr., it’ll make a coach happy.

Kansas City and San Diego will compete, but Denver still has to be the favorite in the division.

2. Atlanta Falcons (Dan Quinn) – Former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is in an ideal situation for a first year head coach. Now, you may look at Atlanta’s defense from a year ago and wonder why this situation is ideal?

The Falcons defense ranked dead last in the league last year, but with Quinn’s expertise on this side of the ball, you have to be optimistic he can turn things around.

“I like the effort that we are going with. I feel the energy we’re bringing,” Quinn said. “We got a long way to go in terms of our attitude to keep going after the football. I like the drilling that we have done for tackling. (When) we get a chance to evaluate it over the next few preseason games, we will have a better sense of where we are at.”

No one should expect Atlanta’s defense to reach Seattle’s level, but they can’t get much worse.

Offensively, as long as you have Matt Ryan and Julio Jones together, points will naturally come. With that being said, Atlanta is fortunate to be in the NFC South because this division is literally wide open.

3. Buffalo Bills (Rex Ryan) – There probably isn’t a coach in the league that imposes his personality on his team like Rex Ryan.

Don’t believe me?

Well, just look at linebacker Nigel Bradham’s goal for the defense.

We want to be the best in history — one of the greatest,” the former Florida State Seminole proclaimed. “That’s what we’re striving for … the greatest of all time, not just this year or last year.”

Prior to Ryan’s arrival, Buffalo’s defense was already looked at as one of the best in the league. The unit finished in the top five last year and with Ryan in charge now, you can only expect for them to get even better.

The main question for Buffalo is at the most important position in the game.

It’s never a good sign when it’s August and your team still doesn’t know who the starting quarterback should be. At this juncture, it seems to be a three-player race.

After Buffalo’s first preseason game, Ryan had this to say.

“Why don’t we wait and we will figure it out,” Ryan said. “So we will see. [Manuel] did start the first preseason game I think, I mean our blue and white scrimmage. So every guy gets opportunities and we’ll see. But I am not going to back myself into a corner and saying I am absolutely going to start this guy. I did say Taylor would start Week Two, but I never said anything about Week Three.”

If Buffalo is able to get decent play from the quarterback position, this is a team that could sneak in the playoffs.

When Ryan was asked about the playoffs, he didn’t hesitate on his thoughts.

“I think we’ll be in it this year,” said Ryan. “So we’ll see.”

4. Chicago Bears (John Fox) – After failing to deliver in Denver, John Fox is experiencing lesser expectations in the windy city. The franchise hasn’t seen postseason play since 2010.

In other words, if Fox is able to just lead Chicago to the playoffs, he’ll be in good shape and we’re talking about a coach who’s led two different teams to the Super Bowl.

The main obstacles in Chicago’s way is quarterback Jay Cutler and their defense.

For years now, we’ve raved about Cutler’s arm, potential and whatnot, but time after time Cutler tends to disappoint by making ill-advised decisions. With Brandon Marshall no longer in the fold, it makes you wonder how much Cutler will be affected.

“He’s an incredible player,” Cutler said. “He did a lot for us here. It just didn’t work out. I could’ve been the guy that got shipped out of here as well.”

To make matters worse, rookie receiver Kevin White is going to miss significant time after getting shin surgery.

With so much uncertainty offensively, Chicago needs their defense to keep them in games and as of right now, there’s more questions than answers on this side of the ball.

Who will get consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks?

If Chicago can’t answer this question soon, then it’ll be another long year for Bears fans.

5. New York Jets (Todd Bowles) – Things may not be as bad as people assume following the Geno Smith incident. Fortunately, the Jets have the luxury of having a veteran quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick.

New York hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2010 and if Fitzpatrick has the team rolling by the time Smith is ready to return, many are wondering what first year head coach Todd Bowles will do.

“If the other guy’s playing well and the boat’s going right and there are no waves and everything’s going and we’re 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-0, you’re not coming back to start,” Bowles said. “Anybody’s playing great, you lose your spot for injury, you lose your spot for a bunch of things. If he’s playing great and the ship is going the right way, you don’t make a move.”

The other side of the ball is a lot more clearer.

Pro Bowler Sheldon Richardson leads a defensive line that figures to be one of the best in the league. Also, New York possesses a cornerback duo of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie.

Nonetheless, with Bowles being a new head coach, he has a lot of egos to deal with and the quarterback situation may end up being more difficult to monitor than expected.

6. Oakland Raiders (Jack Del Rio) – For the past 15 years, Oakland has been the laughing stock of the league. This proud franchise hasn’t made the playoffs since they reached the Super Bowl back in 2002.

How do the Raiders snap the drought?

First and foremost, it’s highly unlikely for Oakland to snap the streak this year. Derek Carr is still a young quarterback, although he should grow tremendously in year two and it’s uncertain if Latavius Murray or Trent Richardson can carry the load on the ground.

However, don’t tell Jack Del Rio that Oakland won’t make the playoffs.

“Goal No. 1 is to win our division, and I don’t see why not,” Del Rio said.

Not only is Oakland young offensively, but they are on the defensive side of the ball as well, led by Khalil Mack.

In two to three years this is a team that could be a force to be reckoned with, but to expect them to make major noise right away is premature when you consider they have to beat out Denver, Kansas City and San Diego in the AFC West.

7. San Francisco 49ers (Jim Tomsula) – Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, Chris Borland and Anthony Davis all retired this off-season.

Jim Harbaugh is in Ann Arbor, Frank Gore is a Colt, Michael Crabtree is a Raider and Aldon Smith can’t stay out of trouble.

Welcome in Jim Tomsula.

Tomsula understands he’s fighting a major uphill battle, but your pity isn’t called for.

“I don’t want any more sad stories,” Tomsula said. “We’re not going to stand paralyzed. We’re doing something. We might not be doing the right thing, but we’re doing something, and we’re going to figure out that’s wrong and make a turn and do something else. But we’ve got to keep going.”

As depleted as this team is, their only hope appears to be Colin Kaepernick moving forward.

“Once again, it’s just trying to be the best quarterback I can for this team,” Kaepernick said. “Whatever work I need to do, I’m trying to do.”

Truth be told, Kaepernick could have a MVP type of year and this team still wouldn’t be good enough to surpass Seattle or Arizona in the NFC West.

With the regular season just weeks away, make sure you keep these seven teams in mind when looking at who’ll make noise in Year One with their new coach.

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Buccaneers admit mistake, boot Aguayo




In the NFL, it’s always better to admit a mistake than to compound it. For the Buccaneers, the decision to burn a 2016 second-round pick on kicker Robert Aguayo has proven to be a mistake. The Buccaneers made the definitive admission of their error on Saturday, cutting Aguayo. He exits with $428,000 in fully-guaranteed salary [more]

Source: Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk

Powered by WPeMatico

Continue Reading


Did Bucs put too much pressure on Aguayo?




After the Buccaneers surprised everyone by taking a kicker with the 59th overall pick in the draft, G.M. Jason Licht explained the move by heaping superlatives on the player. “I was very excited along with my staff and coaches about Roberto for a very long time,” Licht told PFT Live in May 2016. “It’s not [more]

Source: Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk

Powered by WPeMatico

Continue Reading


Broncos holding their breath on Derek Wolfe




Only two days after losing Billy Winn for the year with a torn ACL, the Broncos are now sweating out another potentially serious injury along the defensive line. Via multiple reports, Broncos defensive lineman Derek Wolfe was carted off the field during practice on Saturday. It’s being described as a right ankle injury by coach [more]

Source: Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk

Powered by WPeMatico

Continue Reading

The NFL On Twitter

Insiders On Facebook

Trending Now

Copyright © 2021 Insider Sports, Inc