Are The “Bungles” Years Behind The Bengals?


The Bengals were once as upside down as this helmet.  But are those, ‘Bungles’ days behind them? Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals from the 90’s are way behind us and players like Jeff Blake, Ki-Jana Carter, and Akili Smith are long out of the NFL. The Bengals have made the playoff’s four years in a row, and despite losing all four, have made some major strides as a team. This reality begs the question, can we finally say the “Bungles” days are over?

Myron Cope, a very well known Steelers broadcaster, called the Bengals “Bungles” to describe the team during the 1990’s. It stuck and it stuck good both in and outside of Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

Yet, the Bengals in recent years have drafted well. They brought in a top receiver, A.J. Green, two solid running backs in Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, and an inconsistent quarterback that displays flashes of great football skills and judgment in Andy Dalton.

On defense, the Bengals have brought in some equally talented and promising players.  They have a cornerback who took some major steps forward in 2014, Dre Kirkpatrick, and even managed to sign one of the top linebackers in the league as an undrafted free agent, Vontaze Burfict.

In the 1990’s, the “Bungles” posted a grand total of 52 wins.  Their best season was 1990 when they finished first in the central division at 9-7.  The Bengals also posted an astounding 108 losses over the 10-year span.

This exhausting stretch didn’t stop at the turn of the millennia either.  It was another three years before the Bengals offered fans hope as the “Bungles” posted a 12-36 record from 2000 to 2002.

Conversely, the Bengals have gone 54-41 in the last six years and have made the playoffs five times. The Bengals have drafted well and though they haven’t made any major trade or free agent moves, they haven’t made many mistakes either.

The coaching has been consistent under Marvin Lewis. Once Sam Wyche left Cincinnati after 1991, it was all downhill until Lewis. Dave Schula, Bruce Coslet, and Dick Lebeau found no success in the 12 years between Wyche and Lewis. Marvin Lewis has only had three seasons below .500 in his 12 seasons as head coach and has made the playoffs half of those years as well.

So I leave the question to you Bengals Nation. Are the “Bungles” days behind this organization?

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