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Bills fire head coach Rex Ryan

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today, the Buffalo Bills announced that they have fired head coach Rex Ryan.

Ryan went 15-16 in just under two years with the Bills, but he failed to make the playoffs for the second straight year. In fact, Ryan has now missed the playoffs in his last six seasons as a head coach after making the AFC Championship game in each of his first two seasons with the Jets (he faced the Colts in both postseasons, losing the title game in 2009 and winning the wild card game in 2010). In his six seasons with the Jets and two seasons with the Bills, Ryan has gone 61-66.

He’s been a good defensive coach for a while, but not even his defense in Buffalo was meeting expectations. They were ranked 19th in the league last year and are 19th again this year, which coupled with the fact that they missed the playoffs again led to Ryan being fired. One other aspect of the move that shouldn’t be ignored is the fact that offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn will take over as interim head coach, and he could garner some interest from other teams this offseason. So the Bills may want to see what he can do, but it’s unclear what all they’d be able to learn from just one game with him as interim head coach. In other words, the timing of this move is strange, but it likely has at least something to do with wanting to give Lynn serious consideration for the head coach opening, which NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said they will do.

This is the third head coach opening already in the NFL this year and we haven’t even finished week 17. The Los Angeles Rams fired Jeff Fisher, the Jacksonville Jaguars fired Gus Bradley, and now the Buffalo Bills fired Rex Ryan. There will surely be others added to that list, but several teams are getting a head start on their coaching search this year.