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Top stats to know: NFL coach firings

12/30/2013

This wasn’t quite the firing outburst that followed a year ago at this time, but five NFL coaches were let go in the last 24 hours.

Mike Shanahan, Washington Redskins

Shanahan’s firing concluded a tenure that looked like it was going to be pretty good just a year ago.

But the struggles of Robert Griffin III in returning from injury as well as a porous defense combined to do Shanahan in.

Redskins Under Owner Dan Snyder

Griffin went from a season in which he had 20 touchdown passes, seven touchdown runs, and only seven turnovers, to one in which he had as many turnovers (16) as touchdown passes, with no touchdown runs. His Total QBR dropped from 73.2 in 2012 to 40.1 in 2013.

Even with the slower, less mobile version of Griffin, Shanahan tried to make his quarterback a running quarterback.

Griffin had 86 designed rushes through Week 14 this season, which was second most among quarterbacks at the time.

Griffin was on pace to take more hits this season than last. He was sacked, hit while throwing or contacted on rushes 104 times this season, only two fewer than in 2012, in two fewer games than last season.

The Redskins defense allowed 29.9 points per game, the third-highest total in franchise history, surpassed only by 1954 (36.0) and 1947 (30.6).

According to salaries compiled by Forbes, Shanahan was one of six coaches paid at least $7 million in 2013. He had the fewest wins among that group, one that featured four coaches who took their team to the postseason.

Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions

A 6-3 start, followed by a 1-6 finish crushed the Lions playoff hopes and ended Schwartz’s tenure with the team.

Worst Win Pct With One Team
NFL History (Min. 5 seasons)

He had the second-worst coaching record among those who had coached in the last four seasons, better than only Shanahan.

The Lions had the NFL’s second-highest payroll this season and were the only team among the four with the highest payrolls not to make the playoffs.

The Lions were hurt by an inability to protect the football. They had a plus-1 turnover margin in the first nine games of the season, but that plummeted to -13 in the final seven games (in which they committed 21 turnovers).

The Lions failed to capitalize on what was an easy schedule, relatively speaking. Their .457 opponents’ winning percentage was the lowest opponents winning percentage for any non-playoff team.

Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers failed to capitalize on missed opportunities throughout 2013, and that may have cost Greg Schiano lost his job after two seasons as an NFL head coach.

Best TO Margin This Season

They finished with a +10 turnover margin, but managed only four wins. Each of the six other teams that were +10 in the turnover department won at least 10 games.

Schiano’s work on the defensive side also came up lacking. The Buccaneers allowed the most passing yards (8,564) and the fourth-highest Total QBR (64.2) in his two seasons as head coach.

Schiano was never able to maintain what he started. He earned six wins in his first 10 games as head coach, but only five in his next 22.

Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings went from 10-6 in 2012 to 5-10-1 in 2013 and management decided it was time to let Leslie Frazier go.

Most Starting Quarterbacks
Since 2010 Week 12

The Vikings went from allowing 21.8 points per game last season to 30.0 in 2013, with their turnover margin dropping from -1 to -12.

The Vikings haven't had strong quarterback play under Frazier (note the chart on the right), but they also haven't done much to stop opposing quarterbacks.

Their 67.4 opponents’ Total QBR over the last three seasons, which ranked highest in the NFL in that span. The defense allowed the most points in the NFL this season and forced the sixth-fewest turenovers.

Rob Chudzinski, Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns acted quickly on Rob Chudzinski, letting him know that he was let go late Sunday night.

Browns Since Returning to NFL
Last 15 Seasons

It continued a run of three straight seasons in which an NFL head coach was let go after coaching for only one season (the other two were Hue Jackson with the 2011 Oakland Raiders and Mike Mularkey with the 2012 Jacksonville Jaguars).

The Browns couldn’t figure out a way to win when someone other than Brian Hoyer was their quarterback this season. The Browns went 3-0 in his starts, but were 1-12 in games started by Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden.