Brandon Staley has long been one of the NFL’s most polarizing head coaches.
Known for his penchant for taking risks on fourth down, it’s his team’s ongoing habit of turning wins into losses that could land Staley in the unemployment line.
The Los Angeles Chargers decided to keep Staley despite blowing a 27-point lead at Jacksonville in last season’s playoffs — with the Jaguars staging the third-largest postseason comeback in NFL history.
The Chargers have also held fourth-quarter leads in both games to open the 2023 season, only to walk away with losses to Miami and Tennessee. They’re only a game out in the AFC West, where Kansas City and Las Vegas are 1-1, but Staley is now the +200 favorite by SportsBetting.ag to be the first coach fired this season.
He opened the season at +1600, tied for the ninth-shortest odds. That was slightly behind Chicago’s Matt Eberflus, whose odds have shifted from +1400 to +400 following the Bears’ own 0-2 start. While Staley is in Year 3 in L.A., Eberflus is in just his second season in the Windy City, but has just three wins through his first 16 games.
Their stories differ significantly from that of Washington’s Ron Rivera. Despite the Commanders’ 2-0 start, Rivera’s odds at the book of being the first coach fired this season have actually shortened from +700 to +400.
The Commanders have opened with victories against Arizona and Denver, a pair of 0-2 teams that held leads against Washington. Rivera is also playing under a new ownership group that didn’t hire him, and the Commanders face a daunting schedule ahead that begins with Sunday’s home game against Buffalo followed by a trip to Philadelphia.
The next-shortest odds belong to Las Vegas’ Josh McDaniels. He was one of the co-favorites preseason, and is being offered at +500 despite the Raiders’ 1-1 start.
FIRST NFL COACH FIRED ODDS
Brandon Staley (+200)
Matt Eberflus (+400)
Ron Rivera (+400)
Josh McDaniels (+500)
Kevin O’Connell (+1200)
Robert Saleh (+1400)
Dennis Allen (+2500)
Mike Vrabel (+2500)
Todd Bowles (+2500)
Jonathan Gannon (+3300)
Kevin Stefanski (+3300)
Mike Tomlin (+3300)
Sean Payton (+3300)
Zac Taylor (+3300)
Bill Belichick (+4000)
Pete Carroll (+5000)
Frank Reich (+6600)
Matt Lafleur (+6600)
Mike McCarthy (+6600)
Sean McDermott (+6600)
Shane Steichen (+6600)
Arthur Smith (+10000)
Brian Daboll (+10000)
Dan Campbell (+10000)
DeMeco Ryans (+10000)
Doug Pederson (+10000)
John Harbaugh (+10000)
Sean McVay (+10000)
Mike McDaniel (+20000)
Nick Sirianni (+25000)
Andy Reid (+50000)
Kyle Shanahan (+50000)
Staley said following Sunday’s loss against the Titans that last season’s loss to the Jaguars “hasn’t carried onto the season whatsoever.”
The fact remains the Chargers are 0-2 and it won’t take much for their season to spiral out of control.
They travel to Minnesota for a Week 3 game against an equally desperate 0-2 Vikings team. Following a home game against McDaniels’ Raiders, the Chargers play host to Dallas and return home to face Kansas City.
Whether Staley survives to see the conclusion of his third season in L.A. could well ride on where the Chargers are sitting after Week 6.
“It’s a convenient storyline for you and for everybody else, but it’s not the truth,” Staley said of any potential carryover from the Jacksonville loss. “We’ve lost two tough games but the guys in that locker room, the men in that locker room they are finishers and they have what it takes and we’re excited to prove ourselves.”
Meanwhile, the two men McDaniels shared the shortest odds with ahead of the season have seemingly worked their way to cooler chairs thanks to 2-0 starts.
Dallas has begun the season with a pair of impressive blowout victories, leading coach Mike McCarthy’s odds to go from +600 to +6600. And Tampa Bay’s Todd Bowles is now +2500 following the Buccaneers’ opening two wins against Minnesota and Chicago.
–Field Level Media
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