Two are out, and only two remain.
The 2016 regular season is in the books, but the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs are postseason bound. Unfortunately for the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers they'll be at home watching their AFC West rivals continue their quest for a Super Bowl. Not only are the Broncos and Bolts missing out on the playoffs, but they're both currently without a head coach.
It's no secret that being the head coach of an NFL team is a challenging job, and it appears as though the league's coaching carousel is back in motion. It'll be interesting to see who lands with the Broncos and Chargers, but in the meantime let's break down the departure of their former leaders.
From 1983 to 1991, Gary Kubiak served as the Denver Broncos primary backup to Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway. Kubiak's knowledge of the game propelled him to become a coach, and he slowly moved up from a quarterbacks coach to head coach, finally getting an opportunity to coach the team that drafted him heading into 2015.
In his first season with the Broncos, Kubiak took a dominant defense and solid offense to Super Bowl 50 to duke it out against the Carolina Panthers. Denver put on a defensive clinic that game, and showed the league why they deserved to be the league champion in their 24-10 victory. The former Broncos signal-caller joined an illustrious group of former players who went on to coach and win a Super Bowl.
Sadly, Kubiak has decided that he will no longer attempt to lead the Broncos to another Super Bowl, and announced Monday morning he would be stepping down from the head coaching position. Prior to his press conference, the team was made aware that Kubiak would be retiring.
"I was obviously saddened and disappointed," said Broncos General Manager John Elway. "But, I understand and respect Gary for doing what's right for him as well as his family."
The Broncos will have plenty of coaches to choose from throughout the offseason as they search for a head coach to lead their team in the future.
Kansas City Chiefs
After the Raiders fell to the Broncos last week, all the Chiefs needed to do was defeat the Chargers in order to win the division, and they did just that. Kansas City clinched the AFC West for the first time since 2010, and earned itself a first round bye in the playoffs.
Kansas City made it to the divisional round last year, but were stopped dead in their tracks when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots defeated them 27-20. Head Coach Andy Reid has his team in stellar form, and with dynamic weapons like rookie wide receiver Tyreek Hill, this group could go far.
San Diego Chargers
Head Coach Mike McCoy was dismissed from the organization Sunday after four seasons with the team, in which he went 28-38 with 1-1 record in the postseason. In his tenure with the team, the Chargers were only able to secure a playoff berth once, and struggled mightily against division opponents with a record of 7-17.
The Chargers released a statement Sunday thanking McCoy for his approach to the game of football, and assisting in the growth of many of their players.
"Mike McCoy is a man of high character, and we thank him for his dedication to the Chargers," said Chargers President – Football Operations John Spanos.
Unfortunately for McCoy, the franchise determined that his production wasn't meeting their standards and was dismissed. At the moment, it's a mystery who the team will bring in to replace him, but for quarterback Philip Rivers it doesn't matter who as long as they win.
"As long as we win, it doesn't matter the style," Rivers said.