Should The Bengals Give Marvin Lewis Another Chance?

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With a roster full of talent and potential, the Cincinnati Bengals are set to win. Will Marvin Lewis get another chance, if they don’t take it all?

The Cincinnati Bengals have become a perennial playoff machine. Head coach Marvin Lewis has changed the culture of a losing organization, giving it respect and pride. Yet, the glaring mar on his record is obvious. Since his hiring, Lewis has yet to produce a victory in the postseason. How many chances will the Bengals give him? 

This could be the tell-all season. Hopefully, he can retire with a Super Bowl ring.

When Lewis was hired by Mike Brown, the Bengals’ franchise was truly in dire straits. No. The Sultans Of Swing wasn’t blaring from Brown’s Discman. But, Lewis would eventually get the Bengals on track again. In just two years, the Men in Stripes were dominating the AFC North and in the playoffs.

The 2005 season was truly magical. The football gods looked down upon Lewis and the Bengals and delivered a year to remember. Carson Palmer (remember that guy?) came of age and helped lead the Bengals to their first postseason action in 25 years, per Pro-Football Reference. The city of Cincinnati and Bengals faithful were giddy with excitement. But, there would be no joy in Mudville. The joy was short-lived. 

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Lewis lost that playoff game. There’s no need to revisit the gory details. Yet the eerie similarities to the January 9 meltdown are similar. Both Wild Card games had to be played with the Bengals’ No. 2 signal-caller. Palmer started the game and went down with an injury. Andy Dalton was unavailable, after his Week 14 thumb fracture. It would be easy to claim dumb luck or “the curse.” But, the logic of those assumptions is…well…illogical.

Jon Kitna was a decent quarterback. He claimed Comeback Player of the Year honors, in 2003. Was he good enough to take the Bengals over the hump? Let’s just say he was a good guy with a great personality. When Lewis decided to bring in Palmer, the vibe changed. Yet, once again there were meltdowns. Who can forget the disgruntled looks of Lewis, during the 2009 Wild Card game? Chad Johnson and Palmer seemed to never be on the same page. Once again, the Lewis led Bengals bombed under the bright lights. 

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Whether it be a curse or football deities, Lewis has been at the helm. It always feels good to place the blame on something tangible. Lewis has been the head coach for 13 years. That’s unheard of, in today’s NFL. He has to be the one standing up and taking responsibility. Isn’t that proper etiquette? To a certain extent, it’s true. But injuries, lack of execution by players and attitudes (e.g., Corey Dillon, Chad Ochocinco) can cause problems too.

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Lewis came close, last season. The passionate tears of Bengals fans are still being wiped from the grounds of Paul Brown Stadium. Before you go there, yes. Lewis has always seemed to have a problem with clock management. That monster seemed to rear its head, during the loss on January 9. If Lewis kicks the field goal and lets his defense finish the Steelers, there’s a chance history could have been altered.

How many chances should Lewis get? The 2016 roster is full of talent and promise. This could be the tell-all season. Hopefully, he can retire with a Super Bowl ring.

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