A single victory by the Cleveland Browns in the final three games of the season could cost an opposing head coach his job.
The Cleveland Browns will be trying to play the role of spoiler during the final three weeks of the season. But opposed to the normal role of spoiler played by teams out of playoff contention, a win by the Browns could do more than hurt a team’s playoff chances.
Losing to the Browns at this point in the season could be enough to cost an opposing coach his job.
First up is Rex Ryan, who is already on the hot seat after a 6-7 start to the season. Players may like him, but falling to 6-8 with a loss against the Browns would be enough to fire him next Monday.
Next up is Mike McCoy, another coach who could be gone after the season. His San Diego Chargers are 5-8 in a season when the team could easily be fighting for a playoff spot. The roster is filled with talent, but another losing or .500 season may see McCoy without a job at the start of 2017.
The game against the Browns falls on Christmas Eve, so a loss to the Browns may not be enough to get him fired on Christmas Day, but it would seal his fate. Nine losses are bad enough, but being the team to lose to the winless Browns would be something he could never let go.
The final coach to face the Browns this season is Mike Tomlin. His job could have been called into question if his Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Browns last month, and the same could be true if the Browns do the impossible and beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh to end the season.
The difference is the Steelers could already have the division clinched at that point. So if the Steelers were to lose and still make the playoffs, his team could make up for it with a few wins in the postseason.
But the chances of the Browns beating the Steelers on New Year’s Day are astronomical. One can be optimistic, but there is about a zero percent chance it happens. The Browns could catch the Bills or Chargers off-guard with the postseason being nearly out of reach for both teams, but the playoff-bound Steelers are not going to slip up.
So not only do the Browns have the disadvantage in the talent department, but the final three opponents will play extra hard to avoid embarrassment and save some jobs.