Who's the next coach to go?

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:55 PM ET

TORONTO - Following the firing of Brad Childress in Minnesota, how tight do you think the collars are around the necks of Gary Kubiak in Houston, Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati, Josh McDaniels in Denver and Mike Singletary in San Francisco?

I’d throw Carolina’s John Fox into that group too, except he has already checked out as witnessed by his decision to start the unheralded Brian St. Pierre at quarterback in Sunday’s loss to Baltimore.

That Fox could have located and signed St. Pierre is a feat more daunting than that of the U.S. Special Forces attempting to find and flush Osama Bin Laden from his cave on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

But Fox found him, signed him, played him and for the Panthers franchise there is seemingly no end to the embarrassment of their humiliating 1-9 season.

It all added up to another chapter in a season that is already crammed with twists and turns and surprises galore.

But as the season plods on, a few trends are slowly emerging.

In one of the big showdowns last Sunday, New England prevailed over Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.

Having lost two of its past three and with a home game next up against the San Diego Chargers, the Colts could find themselves 6-5 and staring up at the belly of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC South.

Dimming the probability of a victory over San Diego comes the news that the Colts will be without wide receiver Austin Collie due to symptoms related to a concussion.

One thing that seems a certainty is that if the Colts prevail, win their division and move on to the playoffs they will do so without their biggest weapon, their MVP, which is home field advantage.

The Colts play inside a dome which significantly diminishes the fact that they can’t run the ball. Inside, with no rain or snow or foul weather, Manning’s passing game usually prevails.

But this season — and they’ve gone 2-4 on the road — the Colts will not finish as one of the top two seeds, which means that ultimately they will have to slog it out outside and that doesn’t stack up in their favour.

“We have not been good enough on the road this year,’’ Manning said after the loss to the Pats. “All four of our losses are on the road. That’s disappointing. We’ve been a good road team in the past. Usually, to be the kind of team that you really want to be, you have to be able to win on the road.’’

So far they haven’t and when the weather turns nasty in January, teams that can’t run don’t go far.

That fact alone will doom the Colts.

GO WEST YOUNG MAN

Now that the Argonauts have been knocked out of the CFL playoffs, maybe with their free time they should jump into the NFC West.

Talk about a turtle race to the top or what.

All in all it was a sad afternoon last Sunday for NFC West fans everywhere as the four teams — Seattle, St. Louis, San Francisco and Arizona all lost by the combined score of 120-49.

When the dust settled, the Seahawks, who were drubbed 34-19 by the New Orleans Saints, still sit atop the division with a 5-5 record, one game ahead of the 4-6 Rams and two games up on both the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals.

How bad is this division? Well, consider that on the road this season both the Rams (0-4) and 49ers (0-4) don’t have a win and collectively the four teams have gone 3-17 away from home.

Yet someone will be crowned the division champ. Someone has to.

With a 3-1 divisional record it looks more and more likely the team to beat will be the Seahawks, even though they sport a minus-48 points differential.

The question then becomes will the Seahawks finish with a winning record, at 8-8 or with a losing record.

We’ll bet on the latter.

With six games remaining, Seattle has non-divisional games left against Kansas City, Atlanta and Tampa Bay and Carolina. The lone win in those four is against Carolina.

It has two divisional games remaining, at San Francisco and home to St. Louis. We’re calling for a split, a 7-9 record and a division championship.

Ain’t life grand?


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