Two weeks into the season, the hottest hot seats in the NFL belong to Buffalo's Rex Ryan, Jacksonville's Gus Bradley, Indianapolis' Chuck Pagano and Washington's Jay Gruden.
Their teams have started 0-2 and, while that in itself does not rule out the possibility of a rally to a playoff run, it does assure a steep uphill climb over the remaining 14 games. Historically, only about one in 10 teams that start 0-2 make it to the playoffs.
What makes the 0-2 records noteworthy for this quartet of teams, is the little matter of expectations. All four were alleged playoff contenders. And because of that, those four coaches suddenly bear the most scrutiny in the league.
Taking them one at a time:
1. Rex Ryan
Buffalo was 8-8 a year ago, Ryan's first as the Bills' coach, and led the league in rushing yardage. This season, only the Bears and Rams gained fewer yards than the Bills in the first two weeks. Of course, Ryan is supposed to be a defensive wizard, and Buffalo gave up 37 points in its first home game.
Terry Pegula, the Buffalo owner, is relatively new to the NFL, so his patience level is not known. But with Arizona and New England on the schedule the next two weeks, we may get to find out.
2. Gus Bradley
The Jaguars have an early bye week coming up after the next two games, against Baltimore and Indianapolis (in London), and if they lose two more to drop to 0-4, that could be time for a change.
One especially troubling aspect of the San Diego carnage - the Jaguars trailed, 35-0, after three quarters - was that only eight running plays were called the entire game and even though the offense was pass-heavy, the best receiver, Allen Robinson, was hardly targeted. Both the slow start and the strategy falls on the coaches.
3. Chuck Pagano
Last week, the Colts were in the game against the Broncos until the end, so that one can be excused. But the season-opening defeat against Detroit really had to sting. Luck played well but the defense was awful, and even after he rallied the Colts to a lead in the final minute of the game, Indy allowed Matthew Stafford to complete three straight passes for 50 yards to set up a winning field goal.
Owner Jim Irsay has no real track record for firing coaches ever since the Colts reached respectability. Pagano is only the team's third full-time coach since 2002. And the Colts have a chance to get healthy with their next three games against the Chargers, Jaguars and Bears.
4. Jay Gruden
Washington wanted to see more from quarterback Kirk Cousins, which is why the Redskins did not give him a long-term contract. He's on a prove-it deal for this year and the results after two games are not encouraging. Cousins' teammates are grumbling about his play, with reason; he's the league's 30th-ranked passer, leads the NFL in endzone interceptions, has missed open receivers and struggled even while not under pressure from the defense. Meanwhile, the Redskins rank 27th in the NFL on defense after two games.
It's worth noting that no Redskins' coach since Joe Gibbs retired after the 1992 season has had a cumulative winning record - Gruden did go 9-7 last season -- and that includes Gibbs himself the second time around. The one constant in that time has been Dan Snyder, the owner.
The NFL, as its wont, loves to put out statistics designed to encourage fans. This week the league pointed out that, since 1990, there were 26 teams that started 0-2 and made the playoffs, an average of one a year. Left unsaid was that there have been a lot more teams starting 0-2 and not making the playoffs.
--Ira Miller is an award-winning sportswriter who has covered the National Football League for more than five decades and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee. He is a national columnist for The Sports Xchange.