Finally, the Lions joined the Texans and Falcons by firing their putrid head coach, Matt Patricia.
We ranked the current openings before the Jets make their move (if they ever do):
3. Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta is closer to rebuild mode than Super Bowl contender. The defense isn’t close and a new coach isn’t fixing it in a season. At 35, Matt Ryan probably prefers to play elsewhere in 2021.
If the front office provides patience, though, an up-and-coming coach could find their way in Atlanta.
The NFC South is going to be very winnable over the next two seasons. Tom Brady is getting older and worse by the week. Drew Brees broke a ton of ribs and might retire. Carolina isn’t blowing anyone away, either.
Right now, Atlanta has the 7th pick in the draft. The Falcons should draft a young QB for their next head coach.
2. Detroit Lions
The talent is there; see the late-game leads. The franchise has also been haunted since birth; see the blown leads.
Matt Stafford, Jeff Okudah, D’Andre Swift, and Kenny Golladay are appealing. At 4-7, Detroit should again draft in the top 10 to bolster an area of need. With Aaron Rodgers’ future in Green Bay unknown, in two seasons, Detroit may have the best QB in the NFC North.
The Lions owe it to Stafford to find him a competent coach. If they can’t — trade him.
1. Houston Texans
Bill O’Brien left Houston a mess, trading away all valuable draft capital and getting a bag of cookies back for DeAndre Hopkins. So why are they No. 1?
Easy, Deshaun Watson.
When the QB is right, the rest of the team just has to be okay. Matt Ryan and Matt Stafford are quality QBs; Watson is special. Looking ahead, perhaps only Kansas City is better off at the position.
Pair Watson with Eric Bieniemy, a presumed top candidate, and Houston is again a threat. Once the Colts gave Andrew Luck Frank Reich, to the playoffs they went. Expect Houston to do the same if the hire isn’t botched.