Stats & Info: Ken Whisenhunt

Seven NFL head coaches, five GMs fired

December, 31, 2012
Seven NFL head coaches were fired on Monday, more than the amount of head coaches fired on the Monday after the regular season in the last three seasons combined.

The barrage of coaching changes comes after no coaches were fired during the season. It was the first season without an in-season coaching change since 2006.

Done in by bad defense

Andy Reid had his share of struggles at the end of his tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles, and it was mostly on the defensive side of the ball. He was never able to replace the late Jim Johnson -- his only defensive coordinator from 1999-2008 -- going through three defensive coordinators in his last four seasons.

Chan Gailey is no longer the Buffalo Bills coach in part because his defense allowed 45 points in a game four times this season. The 1986 Jets are the only other team to do that since the merger.

Done in by lack of offense

Lovie Smith is the fourth coach since 1990 to be fired despite winning 10 or more games in his final season. He's the only one whose team did not reach the playoffs that year.

Ken Whisenhunt’s Cardinals quarterbacks compiled a 21.4 Total QBR this season, worst in the NFL. For context, the Baltimore Ravens, the worst playoff team in terms of QBR this season, had a QBR more than double that of the Cardinals (46.3).

Pat Shurmur was unable to fix the Cleveland Browns’ offensive woes enough despite a successful rookie season from Trent Richardson. After four seasons ranking no better than 29th in points per game, the Browns ranked 24th this season.

The Kansas City Chiefs were last in the NFL in points per game, turnovers and passing touchdowns, and that spelled doom for Romeo Crennel.

Norv Turner lacked a consistent all-around offense in San Diego. Over the last four seasons, the Chargers ranked second in yards per pass attempt but last in the NFL in yards per rush.

Generally speaking

Five NFL general managers were fired Monday. Only four GMs were fired on the Monday after the regular season from 2007-11 combined
There's a common theme when looking at the general managers who were fired.

Of the five who lost their jobs, four of them had very few draft picks to work with during their tenure as GM (whether that was ultimately their own fault or not). Cleveland's Tom Heckert was the only one of the five who ranked better than 28th in total players chosen in the draft while they were on the job.

Mike Tannenbaum was hired by the New York Jets in 2006 and immediately made an impact, drafting two players in the first round who have started 222 of a possible 224 games for the team since entering the league. The next year he picked All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis.

But he made six first-round picks after that, none of which have made a Pro Bowl, including Vernon Gholston, who was taken sixth overall in 2008. He made five starts in three seasons for the Jets before being released. He never recorded a sack and hasn't played in an NFL game since.

Aaron Rodgers lights up Vikings as usual

November, 23, 2010
Aaron Rodgers
• While the end may be near for Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers would be happy to play the Minnesota Vikings every week. In evening his career record to 3-3 vs Minnesota, Rodgers has thrown for 1,587 yards, 12 scores and just three interceptions in a half-dozen games against the Vikings in three seasons.

• Sometimes so much about the Chicago Bears is QB Jay Cutler but this season you have to start noticing an improved defense. Chicago has allowed 17 or fewer points in seven of 10 games this season, a trick they managed just four times during all of 2009.

• This is not a prediction on who will win the AFC South but rather who will decide it down the stretch. The 5-5 Tennessee Titans (riding a three-game losing streak) will close the season by playing five divisional games in the final six weeks, including four straight starting this Sunday at Houston.

• Another lesson on why football is a game of matchups. Last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost 39-26 to the New England Patriots, recording zero sacks and zero takeaways for the first time all season. Pittsburgh forced three turnovers and totaled six sacks in Sunday’s 35-3 win over the Oakland Raiders. Also worth noting is that for the first time all season, Oakland failed to run the ball at least 25 times (16) for at least 100 yards (61).

• The Arizona Cardinals dropped their fifth straight game and fell to 3-7 this season. For the first time in his four-year head coaching career, Ken Whisenhunt will not win more games than he did the previous season (8-8 in 2007, 9-7 in 2008, 10-6 in 2009).

• A quickie on the Colts: At 6-4, Jim Caldwell's team will now have to run the table in order to record an eighth straight season of 12-plus wins, extending their own NFL record. And in case you don't think that's possible, Tony Dungy's 2008 Colts opened their season at 3-4, and then ran the table for a 12-4 record.

• Emulating one of your siblings can sometimes be a bad thing. It's worth noting that both the Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants lost Sunday. Peyton Manning and Eli Manning each threw three interceptions and each threw an interception on their final pass attempt of the game. Indianapolis is now 6-4 and the Giants fell to (you guessed it) 6-4.

• While it's much too early to say that they're in the midst of another second-half swoon, the Giants have now dropped two straight following their 6-2 start. Dating to 2003, Big Blue is 45-19 in their first eight games of the season, compared to a dismal 20-38 in the final eight games of the season. Stay tuned.