On Saturday, the Miami Dolphins became the first NFL team to fill their head coaching vacancy this offseason. The team officially named Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase as the 12th head coach in franchise history.
The Saturday prime time AFC Wild Card playoff game features the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, presumably for television to take advantage of the Steelers’ national following. But you’ll excuse these teams if they’d prefer to play on Sunday.
How in the world did two teams that started their seasons 2-5 and 1-5 make it to the AFC Wild Card Round of the NFL playoffs? I’ll tell you how in two words: coaching and defense. The coaching jobs that the Texans’ Bill O’Brien and Chiefs’ Andy Reid have done this season are nothing short of minor football miracles.
In late April, the Tennessee Titans drafted quarterback Marcus Mariota with the second pick in the NFL Draft. Ken Whisenhunt got to coach Mariota for less than half of a season, as he was shown the door after the team started 1-6.
Now that the 2015 NFL regular season is officially over for the Miami Dolphins, the real fun begins. While interim head coach Dan Campbell will interview to be the permanent head coach according to owner Stephen Ross, he isn’t expected to return after finishing with a 5-8 record after Joe Philbin was fired.
The Kansas City Chiefs' 2015 season has been a tale of two different stretches. After a 1-5 start, the Chiefs appeared to be a shoe-in for a top-five pick in the 2016 NFL Draft but things have changed drastically since then.
This time last season, the writing was on the wall for Rex Ryan: he wouldn't be returning as the head coach of the New York Jets in 2015. His replacement, former Arizona Cardinals’ defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, had been working his way up the coaching ladder for nearly two decades before signing on to lead the Jets last January.
The Cincinnati Bengals suffered a tough defeat against the Broncos in overtime on Monday night, knocking them from the coveted second seed in the AFC for the time being. The Bengals could still get the second seed back, but it will take a win against the Baltimore Ravens and a loss by the Broncos to the Chargers.