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NFL hot seat rankings: Could Broncos' Vance Joseph be one and done in Denver?

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 11/21/2017 Nate Davis, USA TODAY Sports
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Thanksgiving is here, and NFL head coaches can be thankful that their 32-man fraternity remains intact this deep into the season. Meanwhile, sincerest Holiday wishes to Mike McCoy, the offensive coordinator who unfairly took the fall Monday for Denver's dreadful season. (Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton's dismissal Tuesday was frankly less surprising.) We'd wager McCoy — and probably Norton — will land upright soon enough and will surely have plenty of company looking for work in a few weeks.

Here's the latest installment of our weekly hot seat rankings:

1. Hue Jackson, Cleveland Browns: You really have to feel for him, especially at this time of year. Monday, Jackson openly acknowledged the frustration of his 1-25 tenure as his team is again threatening to go 0-16 after barely avoiding that fate in 2016. However he also seems to be divorcing himself from the front office's analytical philosophy, perhaps a strategy to survive a housecleaning by ownership. “I really don’t want to get into that. I think you guys are the best judges on that," Jackson said of the current regime's master plan. "Obviously, with a 1-25 record or whatever it is, it has not been pretty good." Nope. Last week: 2

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2. Ben McAdoo, New York Giants: Beating a reeling Chiefs team on a windswept afternoon is hardly an indicator his team is on the right track, even after McAdoo belatedly decided to emphasize accountability on 53-man scale last week. Credit his team for a winning effort Sunday — a decided improvement from Week 10's loss to the 49ers — but it will probably take far more evidence to suggest this largely capable team can compete under the current organizational structure. Last week: 1

3. John Fox, Chicago Bears: After getting a brief bump from rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky, the Bears are now mired in a three-game slide and next head to Philadelphia to face the team with the NFL's best record. Fox's fate will likely hinge on his relationship with GM Ryan Pace and the progress (or lack thereof) Trubisky makes the rest of the way. Last week: 5

4. Vance Joseph, Denver Broncos: Uh, welcome to the list? It's rare to see a rookie coach wading into hot water. It's also rare to see a team with this many quality players lose six in a row. And it's exceedingly rare for a general manager with a Hall of Fame resume as a player call his club soft. Joseph, who admitted taking offense to John Elway's assessment, is now pushing all kinds of buttons — firing McCoy, inserting QB Paxton Lynch into the lineup — in a bid to salvage a highly disappointing season. Last week: Unranked

5. Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts: There are plenty of mitigating factors for this team's demise. What isn't known is whether rookie GM Chris Ballard has his own guy in mind to spark a franchise that hasn't had a winning record since it launched the Deflategate controversy after the 2014 playoffs. Last week: 4

6. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals: He has no contract beyond this year, but Cincy's season is entering a fascinating phase. The Bengals aren't playing particularly well, even even after beating Joseph's Broncos in Denver, but they're only a game out of the AFC's second wild-card spot. It wouldn't take much to make a playoff push, though it's also hard to believe Cincinnati could do any significant postseason damage in such a top-heavy conference. Last week: 3  

Week 10 rankings (Ben McAdoo)

Week 9 rankings (Ben McAdoo)

Week 8 rankings (Hue Jackson)

Week 7 rankings (Chuck Pagano)

Week 6 rankings (Hue Jackson)

Week 5 rankings (Hue Jackson)

Week 4 rankings (Hue Jackson)

Week 3 rankings (Marvin Lewis)

Week 2 rankings (Marvin Lewis)

Week 1 rankings (Chuck Pagano)

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Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis

Related slideshow: 2017-18 NFL season (Provided by photo services) 

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) is tackled between Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis (27) and middle linebacker Anthony Hitchens during the second half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) 2017-18 NFL season

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