5 NFL coaches under the most pressure in 2020
5. Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears
This could be a make-or-break campaign for the Bears’ head coach. Nagy is entering his third season and while he build up credibility and currency with the fan base after a 12-4 mark and an NFC North title in 2018, Chicago slid to third place amid an 8-8 finish last year. If Chicago goes with Nick Foles under center and still looks lifeless offensively, there will be loud groans coming from the Windy City looking for a house-cleaning.
4. Adam Gase, New York Jets
Gase is only entering his second year with the Jets, but his situation is tenuous. New York is in the weak AFC East. If the Jets falter badly and don’t make any noise — or if quarterback Sam Darnold fails to make progress — the ire will be significant. Additionally, Gase wasn’t a popular hire in New York when the Jets made it. Ownership will be under immense pressure to move on if Gase flames out once again in 2020.
3. Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers
This isn’t a win-or-fired situation, obviously. Shanahan finally had a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo on a talented team, and the result was a trip to the Super Bowl. However, in the Super Bowl, Shanahan’s team melted down once again, as it did in 2016 when the Atlanta Falcons fell apart with Shanahan as their offensive coordinator. If Garoppolo regresses and the 49ers are lackluster, some will begin saying Shanahan has great schemes but can’t get his team over the proverbial hump.
2. Anthony Lynn, Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are very talented and have been throughout Lynn’s tenure. Under Lynn, Los Angeles has gone 26-22, twice missing the playoffs and once reaching the postseason before losing in the AFC Divisional round. If Lynn’s team falters this year despite an extra seed now in the NFL playoff structure, it could be the end of his line with the team. Los Angeles isn’t expected to win the AFC West or even seriously contend for a Super Bowl given the quarterback situation, but the Chargers have to be solid.
1. John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens
Like Shanahan, this obviously isn’t about saving his job. Heck, Harbaugh already has a Super Bowl to his name. This is about realizing the potential of both his team and MVP quarterback. Lamar Jackson has twice won the AFC North. Last year, Baltimore had the league’s best record at 14-2. Over those seasons? 0-2 in the playoffs. Harbaugh and his Ravens won’t be judged until January. Should they lose there, though, it will be a brutal offseason.