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Should Bills head coach Sean McDermott be on the hot seat after MNF loss to Broncos?

Buffalo fell in overtime to Denver on the road in Week 10 and have been a massive disappointment at 5-5 on the season. Is McDermott’s job safe?

Head coach Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills reacts during the fourth quarter of the game against the Denver Broncos at Highmark Stadium on November 13, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills entered the 2023 NFL season with a bunch of aspirations. From winning the AFC East division to advancing to the playoffs and perhaps even competing to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl. Through Week 10, this does not look like the same team we all expected to compete for the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season.

The Bills had another slow start, which eventually led to a 24-22 loss in OT to the Denver Broncos on the road on Monday Night Football in Week 10. Buffalo had entered as heavy favorites over Denver and played down to its competition again, a trend this season. Say what you want about injuries but the head coaching job from Sean McDermott so far has been underwhelming. At 5-5, the Bills could be struggling just to get into the postseason in a competitive AFC.

It feels like we need to start talking about McDermott’s job security during this 2-4 stretch in which the Bills have lost close game after close game.

If we were talking about a coach who hadn’t made the playoffs in five of six seasons with double-digit wins in four straight campaigns, this would be a much different take. If not for all his past success, you’d think the Bills would strongly consider firing McDermott, either during this season or after if the team misses the playoffs. What’s concerning is the clear lack of preparation and the fact the Bills continue to lose close games to teams worse than them. You can’t even blame injuries on defense at this point, and after Monday night.

You can blame QB Josh Allen to an extent. Allen keeps turning the ball over. He’s on pace to set a career high in INTs this season, already at 11 through 10 weeks. There are also broader issues on offense that has to do more with coaching. The Bills have plenty of talent between Allen, WRs Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis, RB James Cook and TE Dalton Kincaid. Buffalo somehow rushed for 192 yards and two TDs and lost. Turnover after turnover just killed the Bills and after a while you have to point to coaching.

So should McDermott’s status as head coach be in question? This feels more like the talk before the talk, you know? We’re pre-heating the hot seat right now. If Buffalo misses the playoffs and continues on this path, it may mean the franchise goes in another direction at coach. McDermott has been great. He’s also had plenty of chances to win and has fallen short. This could just be a blip caused by offensive play-calling and the defense being depleted. It also could be the start of a spiral where Buffalo reverts back to non-contender status.

Update — We mention Dorsey in the below paragraph but it appears the Bills acted quickly. Dorsey was let go and Joe Brady is taking over offensive coordinator duties for the rest of the season. Sure, the Bills’ offense struggled last night and much of the past 4-5 games. Buffalo was also top-10 in a handful of offensive categories, including yardage and scoring.

Either way, you’d think changes will be made after this season unless the Bills make it to the Super Bowl. That could in the form of firing OC Ken Dorsey, who has had a very rough time running the offense since Brian Daboll left for the Giants in 2022. There could be a scenario where the Bills can bring back Daboll if he’s let go in New York after 2023. Perhaps that could get Buffalo and McDermott back on track. If not, the Bills could be in the market for a new head coach soon. Will it be now? No. Will it be after this season? Still to be seen.