The Jacksonville Jaguars found out the hard way that hiring a head coach can make or break your team. Coming off a 1-15 season, they hired Urban Meyer in 2021 to oversee a rebuild but instead of righting the ship, he left it in worse shape than it was before he took over. Fortunately, owner Shad Khan realized he made a mistake, and instead of doubling down on his decision to bring Meyer aboard, he kicked him to the curb.
Having gotten rid of Meyer and his stench, Jacksonville hired Doug Pederson to clean the mess his predecessor left. Expectations were rightfully tempered in Year 1 of the Pederson era but he managed to take the Jags to the playoffs and win the team's first division title since 2017.
Pederson didn't rest on his laurels and instead built on last year's success. Heading into Week 13, Jacksonville is 8-3 and in first place in the AFC South with a two-game lead over their closest opponents, the Houston Texans. But where does Doug P stand compared to his peers in the division? This ranking tries to answer that question.
4. Mike Vrabel
You have probably heard that players would run through a brick wall for Mike Vrabel and that may very well be true in his sixth year coaching the Tennessee Titans. However, that doesn't mean much when your team is losing. Players would stand Bill Belichick and his draconian ways only because the New England Patriots were winning, not because they liked being treated poorly.
Whether he's still held in high regard by his players, Vrabel is at risk of posting his second losing season in a row. At 4-7, and with a struggling Will Levis behind center, it's hard to see the Titans getting hot and becoming a threat to the Jaguars the rest of the way.
If the Titans do choose to keep Vrabel around after this season, his seat will most likely be among the hottest ones in the league heading next year, so he may be just putting off the inevitable barring a drastic turnaround.