How hot is Dennis Allen's chair that he is sitting in? Without a doubt it is warm, but is it burning hot? That is a hard question to answer because it relies on two people that have been very hard to predict in Reggie McKenzie and Mark Davis.
That Dennis made it to year 3 was a surprise to some of us, however it signals a new age of Raiders football. Al Davis was not a man who tolerated failure, and had he not been called to the bigger leagues there is no doubt that Allen would have been fired by now. Mark has proven that he is a different owner than his father was though by allowing Coach Allen another year to prove himself.
Whether Dennis Allen deserved another year to prove himself is debateable to many considering some of his awful stats in the past two years. However, he has shown flashes of the type of coach he strives to be and the players have definitely rallied around him. The players on this team believe in Coach Allen and that alone is enough to give pause as to what quality of coach he appears to be.
Whether we want to accept his lack of roster talent as an understandable excuse or not, it was definitely a factor in the last two years. It isn't anymore as the Raiders have reloaded on talent through free agency and have the draft coming this weekend (FINALLY! YAY!) to add some serious young talent to the roster. Now is the time that Dennis can finally really prove himself right or wrong as head coach of the Silver and Black.
As far as how hot his seat is though, for some he has already out worn his welcome and for others he deserves this year of a level playing field. There can be little doubt that failure this year will result in his termination in Oakland, but what amount of wins and losses results in a failing grade is the true question.
There is the group of fans that believe that anything less than 8-8 should result in him being fired, after all that is what the two coaches before Allen did with the Raiders and both were fired. It is understandable to think that way, but there were specific circumstances around the firings of Tom Cable and Hue Jackson that were more of the reasons for their demise than their 8-8 records were.
Using 8-8 as the benchmark for failure and success in general though does make sense even while disregarding the firing of Cable and Jackson. It doesn't get more cut and dry than did you win more than you lose to calculate if you succeeded or failed. It is a fair mark to require of a 3rd year coach and one that is hard to argue against in Allen's favor if he doesn't reach that mark.
As easy as it would be to say 8-8 or your fired, it might not be the view taken by McKenzie and Davis. The Raiders have the hardest schedule in the league facing their own tough division twice and the powerhouse NFC West teams each once, that is 10 of their 16 games. That is not easy and it will be understandable to see the powers that be giving a little leeway if the Raiders don't manage to reach .500 this year because of that.
If this coaching staff is unable to put a more competitive team on the field than they have the past two years though then they will certainly be fired. It is one thing to lose, it is quite another to give up over 50 points while doing so. Blow out losses are unacceptable and need to be eliminated if Allen expects to keep his job. If he has more of those losses while finishing below .500 he will certainly be gone.
A 7-9 record this season, or even 6-10 without any blow out losses, would probably be enough to allow Allen to finish out his 4 year contract. Though that decision would definitely be to the disdain of many, it wouldn't be shocking to say the progress made on the field would show that Allen deserved to stay.
To answer the original quesiton of how hot Allen's seat is though, it is plenty hot. The pressure is on him to come through and show progress with the team and if he doesn't then he will be fired. The 2nd question of what record would be enough to save his job though I leave up to you readers to decide in the poll below.