On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings will finish the 2013 season the same way they started it, lining up across from the Detroit Lions. We know that Leslie Frazier is on the hot seat in Minnesota after what can generously be termed a disappointing Vikings season, but the man on the other sideline will, apparently, be cleaning out his desk on Monday morning as well.
Jim Schwartz appeared to have the Lions on the way to a bounce-back season after a disappointing 4-12 season in 2012. However, after getting off to a 6-3 start in a 2013 season that started with a victory over the Vikings at Ford Field, the Lions have fallen apart. They've gone 1-5 in their past six games, and were officially eliminated from post-season contention with their overtime loss to the New York Giants this past Sunday.
In terms of sideline demeanor, Schwartz and Frazier are about as opposite as two coaches can possibly be. While Frazier has been criticized by some for a lack of emotion on the sideline, Schwartz has no such issues in that department. However, neither of them have experienced a lot of success in their current situation. Heading into this season finale, Frazier has amassed a record of 20-32-1, while Schwartz has gone 29-50 since becoming Detroit's coach in 2009. Both men have taken their teams to the post-season once, Schwartz in 2011 and Frazier in 2012, with each of their teams losing in the first round.
The New York Times has put both Frazier and Schwartz in the "likely to be fired" category for the so-called "Black Monday," the day after the regular season ends. Who would have thought that a season that started out with a lot of promise for both of these teams would end with both of their coaches getting pink slips before the New Year?
It looks like Sunday's game will be the final hurrah for not just the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, but for Leslie Frazier and Jim Schwartz as well. That means half the coaching spots in the NFC North will be open this year. I don't think Jim Schwartz is going to be a candidate in Minnesota. . .at least, I hope not. . .but if and when word comes down that Leslie Frazier has been fired, we will be looking at candidates and coaches that the Vikings have brought in for interviews. Do you have any favorites at this point?