NFL Black Monday: Two Bad Years and You're Fired

December 30, 2013 / Written By Wall Street Journal

As Black Monday arrives in the NFL—the day immediately after the season that failed teams clean house—here's a sobering thought for coaches everywhere: Two years of failure in this league is too much.
Recent history shows that missing the playoffs two straight years is now cause for dismissal. Since 2004, the 70 coaches who were replaced for any reason have averaged just 1.88 straight non-playoff seasons at the time of the change, according to Stats, LLC. After the 2011 and 2012 seasons, the 17 replaced coaches averaged exactly two.
Each season, about six new teams make the playoffs. And every season since 2003—including this one—at least one last-place team from the season before has qualified. This volatility is exciting, but it also breeds impatience.
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