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Head coaches on the hot seat

We're at the point in the NFL season now where every team has at least played eight games. And you can certainly get a pretty clear picture at this juncture of where teams are trending -- up or down.

With that being the case, you also can get an idea of which coaches will likely have the arrow pointed at them, and who deserves praise and blame for the direction that each NFL team is headed.

Who needs to win this season in order to stay for another season?

I checked in again with various NFL executives in order to gather opinions of what we might see happening in early January.

Here are the coaches with the hottest seats in the NFL:

Hot

Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons

I had Smith on the hot seat to begin the season because the team took a step back last season after having a very nice run over four of the previous five. Yes, he's in some ways a victim of his own success. But some NFL execs said Smith could eventually take the fall if things didn't improve.

While injury issues were certainly part of last season's problems, and again this season, owner Arthur Blank has clearly made his feelings known publicly about this season's problems. And as one longtime NFL executive said to me this week, it's never a good thing when your owner makes negative comments after losses, which Blank has done lately.