Black Monday lived up to its name once again, as eight teams around the NFL fired their head coach, and will begin searching for new candidates to fill the position.
Among them? The Denver Broncos.
The team decided to pull the plug on the Vance Joseph project, after finishing third, and fourth, in the AFC West the last two seasons. While the Broncos have failed to win more than six games since 2016, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers have ascended, and are both playoff bound.
With the 2018 regular season over, and the postseason just beginning, let’s take a look around the division and discuss what’s happening.
As previously stated, Vance Joseph is out.
The former head coach was only in Denver for two years, and during his tenure with the team he went 11-21. Prior to taking the helm of the Broncos, Joseph spent one season as the Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator, and served as a defensive backs coach for 11 years where he coached for the San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans, and Cincinnati Bengals.
Since firing Joseph, several coaches have been linked to the Broncos: Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak, New England Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores, Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor, former Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, and former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.
The Broncos announced Wednesday they had completed the interview process with Chuck Pagano, and were still exploring other options.
Kansas City Chiefs
What a year for Patrick Mahomes.
The kid from Texas Tech put on an offensive clinic in 2018, totaling 5,097 passing yards, 50 passing touchdowns – he joins Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as the only quarterbacks to throw for 50 touchdowns – rushed for 272 yards, and two rushing touchdowns. With numbers like that it’s hard to dispute his MVP candidacy, and chances are he’ll bring home the hardware.
While his individual accomplishments are noteworthy, all eyes are on how he’ll perform in the playoffs. It’s no secret the Chiefs have struggled to win in the postseason, but they’ll have an extra week to prepare after locking up the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
The Chiefs will face the winner of the Colts-Texans matchup on January 12.
Los Angeles Chargers
For the first time since 2013, the Chargers are back in the playoffs.
Since taking over as the head coach of the Chargers, Anthony Lynn has led the Bolts to back-to-back winning seasons, notching nine and 12-win seasons. At 37 years of age, Philip Rivers is desperately searching for his first Super Bowl appearance, and he’s doing all he can to prepare his teammates for their postseason moment.
“Everybody is excited,” Rivers said, per Chargers.com. “It's important for the guys that have been in it not to make it sound frightening or anything crazy. I mean, it's what you dream about — playing in offseason — in spring and during training camp. You're excited about this time. The thing about playoff football…you never expect it to be over. You're always preparing to keep going and going and going. The reality is, it's one week at a time. Somebody will be done on Sunday afternoon at 4:30.”
The Chargers will face off against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday at 10:05 a.m. We’ll see if Rivers and Co., are still standing after the first round.