Bengals News

Mediocre Marv

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Up front: I like Marvin Lewis. He is a smart head coach, a sound evaluator of talent and a pillar within the city of Cincinnati. Most importantly, Coach Lewis, for the most part, has fought the good fight against Owner Mike Brown’s narcissistic and lucrative managerial style, to the point where the great striped battleship seems to have finally wheeled in the water. However, because of the latter’s incredibly time-consuming nature, Coach Lewis has only marginally produced on the field. His overall record with the Cincinnati Bengals is 69-79-1 (.486) in his nine full seasons with the team. Only Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles have stayed as Head Coaches longer than Coach Lewis, with 12 and 13 full seasons and winning records of 139-53 (.724) and 126-81-1 (.609), respectively, for a combined total of eighteen play-off appearances, six ending in runs to the Super Bowl. Coach Lewis has been to the play-offs three times and never won. Perhaps a bit more alarming is that Coach Lewis’s record against play-off bound opponents is 14-44-1 (.246) during his tenure. Dissected further, fifty percent of those wins came against the Baltimore Ravens (5 wins) and NFC North teams (2 wins). Regardless of last year’s plucky success, the Bengals dubiously achieved despite not recording a single play-off opponent victory. The last time that happened was 2008, when the Bengals went 4-11-1, which was also Coach Lewis’s second worst season… by a tie game. So the question becomes, why are we talking about contract extensions with Coach Lewis at this juncture, less than three weeks before free agency?