Guru of the Diagonals: Analysis of the decisions and the vacancies of coaches after another Black Monday

MIAMI — There are beautiful traditions and others not so much. “Black Monday” is an unavoidable day on the NFL calendar and sadly, year after year head coaches are fired.

In this space it has already become a custom to analyze decisions, vacancies and potential successors in each particular franchise.

So, let’s go by parts, as “Jack The Ripper” would say.


Since they played on Saturday, the decision to fire Vic Fangio was made official on Sunday, although, in reality, it was something that had been predicted for quite some time.

I can’t blame the Broncos for firing Fangio, who was desperately conservative at times throughout the season. The decision to go for a field goal, already eliminated and when facing a staunch rival like the Kansas City Chiefs with Patrick Mahomes behind center encapsulates Denver’s offensive anemia and his stay with the Broncos.

There are great defensive coordinators who just don’t measure up as head coaches. Wade Phillips was a great example and Fangio is another. He will have multiple offers to fill that role next season.

There is no doubt that Fangio is not the only culprit and since the departure of Peyton Manning, the Broncos franchise has made questionable decisions at quarterback and yet, it seemed that the offense had more potential and that the roster overall was poised to finish with a better record than 7-10.

Potential Successor: Eric Bienemy


Speaking of struggling to find their franchise quarterback, Chicago fired Matt Nagy to go in another direction with a decision that was expected weeks ago, but true to history, the Bears don’t hire coaches in the middle of the season.

The roster is not well balanced, there is too much money invested on the defensive end and that is why they also fired general manager Ryan Pace and while he did Nagy no favors, the reality is that his own mistakes sealed his sentence.

I still think Nagy is an excellent offensive mind who will find work as a coordinator, but his season was going to be evaluated by how he handled rookie Justin Fields and he failed miserably on that front. They signed Andy Dalton despite already having Nick Foles and were stubborn about making him the starter and then overextending his stay behind center.

When Fields, who may end up being the franchise quarterback Chicago has longed for, was finally given the chance, Nagy was no help at all with his calls.

It is normal that Fields was a little green and Chicago decided not to give him extra protection and not help him with the running game; the result was one of the worst starts in recent memory.

Nagy guided the Bears to the playoffs with Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback, but the evolution just wasn’t there and Fields’ management was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Potential successor: Brian Flores


Another decision with which I agree after the firing of Zimmer. His record was positive (71-56-1), but he missed the playoffs in five of his eight years with the Vikings, including the last two, and the reality is that the team has too much talent to continue to disappoint. I understand they’ve had a negative history with kickers, but Zimmer’s handling of games in crucial moments has been poor overall.

I also understand that Kirk Cousins ​​is not the problem, but he is not the solution either, but the defense, his specialty, has taken a couple of steps back from what he did a couple of years ago and his conservatism and the direction that the league takes do not go hand in hand.

It’s not that his work was bad, but it seems that the Vikings had reached their ceiling with him and that the cycle was complete.

Potential successor: Doug pederson


Due to the scandal surrounding Urban Meyer, the Jaguars are early in the hiring process for their next coach.

I’m not going to go into depth with the Meyer issue, because I already made it clear what I think of him a few weeks ago, but I am going to say that it is an attractive job. Trevor Lawrence did not develop as many expected and it was going to be difficult to do so in such a dysfunctional environment and he played his best game of the season last week against the Indianapolis Colts.

Shad Khan, despite the fact that Meyer didn’t leave him much choice, is a patient owner and the franchise has had so much ineffectiveness in the last decade that surely the next coach will have time to work.

Consider that in the last 10 years, the Jaguars have had at least 10 losses in 9 seasons and only one first-round pick in that time signed his second contract with Jacksonville.

In other words, everything that is achieved, no matter how small, will be a step forward.

Potential successor: Todd Bowles


Without a doubt, the most surprising move on “Black Monday” was the firing of Brian Flores in Miami.

I understand the expectations may have been higher, but the Dolphins have won eight of the last nine games and had consecutive winning seasons for the first time in 18 years.

Personally, I think Flores is a great coach, but I can understand that his assertive and authoritative style is not for everyone. While there are players who had jumped on his ship, there are others with whom he collided internally.

I wasn’t a fan of the offensive personnel he surrounded himself with, though, in the end, it’s hard to blame him for Tua Tagovailoa’s lack of development.

It’s an amazing layoff and the first thing that came to mind when I heard the news was that owner Stephen Ross needs to have a succession plan in place.

Ross went to the University of Michigan, has a close relationship with Jim Harbaugh and has gone looking for him in the past.

Potential successor: Jim Caldwell


All signs pointed to Joe Judge surviving at least one more season in charge of the New York team, however, the Giants were such a mess in recent weeks that one day after general manager Dave Gettleman retired, Judge was fired.

With Daniel Jones injured, the Giants have scored more than 10 points just once in the last six games. Offensive anemia was historically bad, but still, it looked like Judge was going to stay in the job, however, some questionable press conferences, coupled with illogical decisions on the field of play, like the QB sneak on a third down and nine yards to go inside his 10-yard line and with the team already eliminated were the drops that broke the camel’s back.

In this way, Judge became the third head coach fired after just two seasons in charge of the team, a clear sign that the Giants’ problems are deeper than their coach.

Potential successor: Kellen moore


If Las Vegas hadn’t qualified for the playoffs, Jim Harbaugh would surely be the Raiders’ next head coach, however, after the unlikely qualification in a turbulent season that included drama with Jon Gruden and tragedy with Henry Ruggs III, it’s impossible. remove Rich Bisaccia from office.

We can sit down and discuss at length whether he has the experience to be a head coach, but words are gone and actions tell us that his players love him and have been at their best with him in charge.

Will continue in office: Rich Bisaccia

Speaking of coaches, it’s never a bad time to REMEMBER THE LEGEND JOHN MADDEN.

*Local teams are in second place


Come the postseason, we’ve chosen our two favorite bets for each weekend between now and the Super Bowl on February 13 in the city of Los Angeles.



teaser 3

I’ve always said that I’m not a fan of teasers, since they come from the word tempt and are called “sucker bets”, but, at the request of several readers, we added this section. Here, as there are three teams, the line is modified by 6 points, but you must hit all three to collect. Below, I name the three teams with the altered lines in parentheses.

1-TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-1 and a half)

2-KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-5 and a half)

3-SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (+9 and a half)


At the request of several of our readers, we include a game of ups and downs for each week.

1-PATRIOTS-BILLS HIGHS (43 and a half)

2-LOWS OF 49ERS-COWBOYS (51 and a half)

Total Statistics (With+Without+Teaser+Ups and Downs): 376-219

With Bet Line: 169-103 (12-4)

No Bet Line: 181-91 (12-4)

Surprise of the Week (no line): 11-6 (1-0)

Fix of the Week (no line): 15-2 (1-0)

Fixed of the Week (with line): 10-7 (0-1)

Power 6 (with line): 65-37 (5-1)

Teasers 3: 9-8 (1-0)

Ups and downs: 17-17 (0-2)

Suicide Pool (no line): 13-4 (SF, CLE, DEN, BUF, NWE, LAR, ARI, cin, MIA, IND, TB, dal, PHI, GB, MIN, lac, SEA, bal)

Opinions or comments: Via Twitter/Instagram/Facebook @SebastianMCESPN Please read this legal notice before submitting your comment.