What is it with the tenuous status of coaches in the AFC through Week 6 of the NFL season? Bovada has released a Week 6 specials prop on the first head coach to be fired this season, and the Top 5 favorites are all from the AFC.
The coach most likely to get his pink slip first is Buffalo's Chan Gailey at 2-3 odds. The Bills haven't made the postseason since 1999, the longest drought in the NFL, and that isn't likely to end this season, with Buffalo at 2-3.
The defense is clearly to blame for the disappointing start. Buffalo spent some $100 million on former Texans star end/linebacker Mario Williams and another $20 million or so on former Patriots defensive end Mark Anderson to boost that unit. Yet the defense has allowed 176 points, second-worst to Tennessee. Two weeks ago at New England, the Bills allowed 45 second-half points in a 52-28 loss. The Pats piled up 580 total yards of offense.
Things got worse for Gailey's Bills last Sunday when they were destroyed 45-3 at San Francisco. The Bills allowed 621 yards to a team not exactly known for a high-powered offense, and the Niners became the first team in NFL history to have 300 yards passing and 300 yards rushing in the same game. Buffalo is the first team in 62 years to allow more than 550 yards of offense in back-to-back games.
Gailey is the person who hired current Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt, and, in his third season, Gailey is just 12-25 as the Bills’ coach. Buffalo is at Arizona this week and then hosts Tennessee before its bye week. Losses in both could seal Gailey's fate in that week off.
The second-favorite to say goodbye is Cleveland's Pat Shurmur at 7-4. Should Cleveland lose this week at home to Cincinnati, it will mark the Browns' 12th straight defeat, a record for a franchise that began play in 1946. For what it's worth, Cleveland does have the smallest margin of defeat (7.3 points) during an 11-game losing streak in NFL history, according to ESPN.
The Browns have a new owner in Jimmy Haslam, and he may be ready to turn the page on Shurmur, who is now 4-17 as Cleveland's head coach. Haslam could try to convince Mike Holmgren to leave the front office and return to coaching.
The Jets' Rex Ryan is next at 7-1. New York (2-3) is only a game behind New England in the AFC East and should win this week at home vs. Indianapolis. But the Ryan act may be getting tired in the Big Apple. Ryan's fate may be tied to that of struggling quarterback Mark Sanchez. Bovada also offers a prop on whether Ryan is New York's coach come Week 17: yes at even money and no as the -140 favorite.
The other two AFC coaches on the first-to-be-fired list are Kansas City's Romeo Crennel at 15-2 and Tennessee's Mike Munchak at 10-1.
Crennel took over the Chiefs late last season as the interim head coach for the fired Todd Haley and led Kansas City to a 2-1 record to close the year, including an upset of then-unbeaten Green Bay. That got Crennel the full-time job. But Kansas City is floundering at 1-4 this season, although perhaps backup QB Brady Quinn will spark the team in place of the concussed Matt Cassel this week at Tampa Bay. Crennel was the head coach in Cleveland from 2005-08 and had a 24-40 mark. Perhaps he's better suited as a defensive coordinator.
Munchak has been with the Oilers/Titans franchise for his football life, first as a Hall of Fame offensive lineman and later as an assistant under Jeff Fisher, whom he replaced as head coach before last season. This is Munchak's first head-coaching gig, and Tennessee was a solid 9-7 last season and almost made the playoffs. But this season, the Titans are 2-4 and have the worst points differential in the NFL.
The only NFC coach on the list is Philadelphia's Andy Reid at 15-1. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said before this season that he would evaluate Reid's contract after the season, with Reid only signed through 2013. But Lurie made it clear he expected nothing short of the playoffs. Reid is the longest-tenured coach in the NFL, in his 14th season. He is 129-83-1, and Philly (3-2) has had just two losing seasons under Reid, the last being in 2005.