NFL history tells us that those teams with losing records at the half mark of the season have trouble making the playoffs. Only 29 teams have made it since 2009 with a .500 or below record at the halfway point. Of the 29 organizations, 5 have developed as a contending team late in order to make it to their conference championship, including the 2001 New England Patriots, who won Super Bowl XXXVI.

Here are the five teams since 2000 to start .500 or below with eight games remaining and advance to the Conference Championship:

SEASON

TEAM

RECORD

RESULTS

2001

New England

4-4

Won Super Bowl XXXVI

2002

Tennessee

4-4

Championship Game

2002

Oakland

4-4

Lost Super Bowl XXXVII

2007

San Diego

4-4

Championship Game

2009

New York Jets

4-4

Championship Game

At the half way mark of the season, many focus on team records, divisional standings, team injuries and coaches’ jobs. Who is on the hot seat and of those, who will be standing in front of the firing squad of NFL billionaire owners? The NFL acronym stands for National Football League and when coaches fail to win there conference, let alone their division it quickly switches to “not for long.”

It’s not about what you have done in the past, it’s about what you’re doing currently. Owners look at leadership. Is the team following you, does the coach have the respect of the locker room and are the players listening to their message? All of that is very important but when it comes down to it, It’s all about winning. Below is a list of coaches that may not survive the firing squad.

Norv Turner – San Diego Chargers; The Spanos family has heard enough excuses from both Coach Turner and General Manager AJ Smith. These two men are playing on house money and really should have been fired at the end of last season. The release of Turner in the next few weeks will not be a surprise.

Andy Reid – Philadelphia Eagles; owner Randy Learner made a statement at the beginning of the season that an 8-8 season and or no play offs will not be acceptable. Despite the tragedy in the Reid family with the passing of their son due to a heroin overdose at a training camp dorm room, the fans in the city of brotherly love are not happy, the owner is listening, and the poor play of Michael Vick is not helping his cause.

Rex Ryan – New York Jets; even with two trips to the AFC Championship several years ago, the new look Coach Ryan (off season surgery) with huge weight loss, the addition of Tebow which was a total distraction, both Coach Ryan and General Manager Mike Tannenbaum are sitting on an extremely hot seat, and must make the playoffs in order to save their jobs.

Romeo Crennel – Kansas City Chiefs; This well respected coach did his best work as a defensive coordinator under Bill Belichick with the New England Patriots winning many Super Bowls. With the Chiefs current record of 1-7, ownership will most likely evaluate both the head coach and General Manager position as well, the outcome doesn’t look good for either.

Ron Rivera – Carolina Panthers; the writing is on the wall for this second year head coach. Starting the season 1-6 is not popular among the Panthers fan base or ownership. Rivera and his staff would have to go 8-0 in the second half of the season to even be considered a wildcard, and that is even a stretch, a possible house cleaning is coming in Carolina.

Pat Shurmur – Cleveland Browns; NFL Coaches generally get a three year window to get a team into the playoffs, but after new owner Jimmy Haslam III excused Mike Holmgren, who handpicked Coach Shurmur, from his duties as President, Shurmur’s job is in trouble. Joe Banner the new team Executive has a history with Shurmur from their days in Philadelphia, but don’t get it twisted it’s a new day in Cleveland and old relationships don’t matter, winning does. The rabid and thirsty Browns fans want a winner and they want it now.

Other Coaches in trouble; Marvin Lewis – Cincinnati Bengals, Mike Shanahan – Washington Redskins, Jason Garrett – Dallas Cowboys; Chan Gailey – Buffalo Bills