The NFL's clustered standings — 22 of the league's 32 teams have between three and five victories — could mean a temporary reprieve for embattled coaches given almost all of them have an opportunity to claw their teams back to relevance. Still, it's fairly obvious who's got some margin for error and who doesn't.
Here's the latest installment of our weekly hot seat rankings:
1. Hue Jackson, Cleveland Browns: His team still doesn't have a win, while everyone else in the AFC has at least two. Jackson's supposed to be a quarterback whisperer, but his youngsters have combined for a league-worst 56.7 passer rating. And after losing their first three games by an average of 6.7 points, the Browns have dropped the last three by an average margin of 14.3. Little to suggest that the factory of sadness is changing its manufacturing line. Last week: 1
2. Ben McAdoo, New York Giants: Even when he finally makes a decision that works, it doesn't exactly bolster his image. McAdoo decided, so he said, to relinquish his play-calling duties, and the short-handed Giants responded with their first win of the season Sunday night in Denver with OC Mike Sullivan calling the shots. A generally positive development, to be sure, but it only served to salvage a week where McAdoo was also faced with insubordination from veteran CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. And we hate to think what the Seattle Seahawks will have in store for this listing group. Last week: 2
3. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals: On the plus side, it was a quiet bye week in Cincy. However the Pittsburgh Steelers also posted a huge win over the Kansas City Chiefs, creating further separation from the Bengals in a division that seems destined to have one playoff entry. Not a welcome development in a year when lame duck Lewis may need to reach January in order to survive. Last week: 4
4. John Fox, Chicago Bears: Though his team needed overtime to upset the Ravens in Baltimore, Fox has to be feeling better. Chicago's defense has really come on strong lately — only some special teams heroics allowed the Ravens to stick around — and the NFL so far doesn't look too big for rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky. Maybe Fox survives this season after all. Last week: 3
5. Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts: Much like their loss in Seattle two weeks ago, the Colts' 36-22 defeat in Nashville on Monday night was not representative of the battle they gave a Tennessee Titans squad boasting superior talent. As the possibility that QB Andrew Luck won't return this season seems to grow, so might the likelihood that Pagano gets a pass in a year he's operating a young squad — one that remains just a game off the AFC South lead — without its most vital player. Last week: 5
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