The NFL always has a grand finale on Week 17, followed by an even greater bloodbath a day later. While several playoff contenders had their fates decided on Dec. 29, Dec. 30 was all about bottom feeders starting over. The annual "Black Monday" tradition brought an end to a lot of coaching tenures, although by recent standards, the house cleaning on Dec. 30 wasn't so bloody.
Five coaches were officially let go on Dec. 30, as the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now looking for new leaders. The Houston Texans already got a head start by firing Gary Kubiak on Dec. 6, but can now officially hire a full time replacement, whether it is Penn State's Bill O'Brian or not.
Black Monday 2012 was more destructive, as seven head coaches and five general managers were fired. It ultimately paid off for some of these teams, as the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers are back in the playoffs with their first-year coaches -- and Andy Reid is in the postseason with the Chiefs a year after the Eagles fired him. In addition, the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals fell just short of the playoffs a year after firing their coaches.
Still, the Browns are right back where they started after firing Pat Shurmur 12 months ago. Getting rid of Rob Chudzinski following one 4-12 season was perhaps the rashest decision from this year's Black Monday class. On the other hand, the Redskins, Buccaneers and Vikings were expected to make their moves weeks ago after their seasons collapsed, while the Lions were destined for change after they fell out of the playoff race last week.
There may still be more firings to come, although they won't be part of the Black Monday crowd. At the least, these future victims had extra time to stave off their fates -- whereas these five coaches flamed out so spectacularly, they had to be let go as soon as possible.
The accompanying slideshows list the five Black Monday victims and how they came to this point.