With the Arizona Cardinals opening their 2018 season tomorrow against the Washington Redskins, the pressure is now real.
Steve Wilks walks into his first game of his professional head coaching career with long odds to get a win.
According to the gambling site OddsShark NFL first time head coaches in their first game have about a .400 winning percentage:
Rookie head coaches
Coaches in first NFL game
40 games under .500 is actually better than I expected. We know the history of the Cardinals coaches.
Bruce Arians lost his first game in St. Louis against the Rams.
Ken Whisenhunt lost his first game, at home, against the San Francisco 49ers.
Denny Green lost his first game, again in St. Louis.
Dave McGinnis lost his first game as a mid-season replacement for Vince Tobin at home versus New Orleans.
Tobin lost his first game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indy.
Buddy Ryan and Joe Bugel round out the contenders and guess what... They didn't win their first career games either.
In fact, in Cardinals history, you have to go back to 1979, when Larry Wilson was the interim replacement for Bud Wilkinson, the last time a new Cardinals head coach won his first game as Cardinals head coach.
The deck is stacked against Wilks, but he has never backed down from a challenge before.
Let's see if he can break a 39-year tradition.