No. 1: Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons
Head coach Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons has arguably been on the NFL hot seat for well over a season now, and one could argue his squad hasn’t been anywhere near the same since Kyle Shanahan departed for the 49ers opening early in 2017.
True, the Falcons made the playoffs that year. But Quinn’s offense was in shambles. Last year, Quinn could blame injuries for a good chunk of the team’s struggles. Yet that argument can only go so far.
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Especially when a relatively healthy Falcons squad, still equipped with notable offensive weapons such as quarterback Matt Ryan, running back Devonta Freeman, wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, is looking squarely in the face of a three-win season and a last-place finish in the NFC South.
Quinn relinquished defensive play-calling duties already, but that only seemed to pay off in two of the Falcons’ three wins this season — Weeks 10 and 11, when Atlanta surrendered just 12 combined points against.
The Falcons still boast the league’s 27th-best scoring defense entering Week 14.
Understanding how Quinn somehow survived Ron Rivera is interesting. But with Atlanta bringing up the rear of the division, it’s possible and likely Quinn won’t have his chance to face off against his old understudy, Shanahan, when the 49ers host Atlanta in Week 15.
An ugly loss against a Rivera-less Panthers squad this weekend could put a halt to that possibility.