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Notes: FiveThirtyEight explores the interim head coach bump

Does it really make a big difference?

Houston Texans v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

While former head coach Matt Patricia failed to beat the Chicago Bears in five tries, interim coach Darrell Bevell swooped in and beat them on the first try.

Now media outlets are alluding to a culture change in Detroit and some new energy. Ty Schalter of FiveThiryEight explains this is actually a pretty common trend.

“The NFL’s three active interim head coaches — Bevell, Morris and the Houston Texans’ Romeo Crennel — are 9-7 on the season with a plus-63 scoring differential. The Lions, Falcons and Texans went 4-16 under their original coaches, and they were outscored by 161 points in the process,” he writes.

Schalter explains in the financial world this is called the “dead cat bounce.” Couldn’t think of a better phrase to describe the team prior to the firings.

“First used in the mid-1980s to describe a temporary rally in oil prices during a long decline, the idea is that while the body of a dead cat might bounce if you drop it from a tall enough building, the bounce doesn’t mean the cat isn’t still dead,” he explains.

Pretty dark stuff. Anyway, Schalter goes on to take a look at 11 midseason coach firings over the past five seasons. He found there were improvements in a number of areas from winning percentage to per-game scoring. He goes on to explain that doesn’t necessarily mean a total turnaround, you can read the rest here.

And onto the rest of your notes.

  • Another look at the hot name in town, Robert Saleh, and whether his future lies in the Motor City from Dave Birkett of the Freep.

  • Some Jack Fox appreciation.