Inside the Dome: Dennis Allen Hot Seat Meter

(Photo via Tony Ding/Icon Sportswire)

Every Thursday right here you can read Inside the Dome, where we’ll get into a different topic on the Saints/the NFL as a whole, break down the Black and Gold, and talk about where things stand in the shield. In this week’s edition, let’s discuss just how hot Dennis Allen’s seat is entering 2023:

It’s no secret that the first year in the post Sean Payton era was, well, a disaster. Perhaps the most disappointing thing about 2022, where the Black and Gold went 7-10, was going 2-4 in a division that was not strong by any measurable statistic. It also really should have been 1-5, with the Falcons doing Falcon things in week one and blowing it in the 4th quarter to lose 27-26.

Dennis Allen seemed overwhelmed at times. The defense was solid, but the offense was abysmal. In all fairness, Andy Dalton started 14 games at QB with an injured Jameis Winston starting the other three. The obvious big difference in 2023 from 2022 is that Allen now has his quarterback after the Saints gave Derek Carr a 4 year, $150 million deal to be their QB1.

With a new quarterback, however, comes a new set of expectations. The retirement of Tom Brady leaves a power vacuum in the NFC South, and Dennis Allen’s team must fill it. The Saints are the heavy division favorites entering the year, and for good reason. They have the best defense, and barring Bryce Young playing well right away, they have the best quarterback too.

So when gauging how warm Dennis Allen’s hot seat is, the answer really entirely depends on the performance of the team. New Orleans doesn’t need to make a Super Bowl run for ownership to feel comfortable with Allen’s leadership, but they absolutely must at the minimum win the division.

Sometimes things go off the rails and are out of your control, but expecting this team to be the best among the worst division in football is not unfair, nor is it unrealistic.

If New Orleans starts off poorly with the weakest schedule in the entire league and is slipping in the division race, I will not be surprised if Allen is canned. He seems to have a lot of respect in the building, but between both of his head coaching tenures, he simply has not won a lot of football games.

Let’s give him a fresh start entering 2023. But make no mistake, Allen should not be comfortable.