A mediocre season saw a bright spot on Sunday afternoon. The Cincinnati Bengals dominated the Philadelphia Eagles, 34-12, and head coach Marvin Lewis moved into the top 30 in career wins by an NFL head coach.
With his head being called for, Marvin Lewis finally had his team prepared. On Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, Lewis’s Bengals dominated the visiting Philadelphia Eagles. Cincinnati opened up a 29-point lead and forced three turnovers to finally crack the win column after a 41-day hiatus.
It started about as well as it could for Lewis and his team. For the first time since their last win on October 23rd, the Bengals didn’t allow an opening-drive touchdown. Meanwhile, the offense scored on each of its first five possessions to open up a commanding advantage.
Andy Dalton threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns. Mike Nugent shook off yet another missed extra point to convert all four of his field goal attempts. And Vontaze Burfict proved why he’s one of the best in the NFL at the position. The controversial undrafted superstar churned out arguable the best game of his career, tallying 15 tackles and a pair of interceptions. His second pick of the game sealed it with four minutes left and the Bengals ended a three-game skid.
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The victory brought Lewis’s coaching record up to 116-101-3. His 116 total victories is now tied with legendary head coach George Allen for 30th on the all-time list. Allen was notorious for his 16-hour work days and orchestrating the Washington Redskins’ “Over the Hill Gang” that won a conference championship in 1972 but lost to the undefeated Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VII. He also made (and lost) two Western conference title games as coach of Los Angeles Rams from 1966-70.
If Lewis can win the Bengals’ four remaining games, he would tie another legendary head coach, Dick Vermeil, for the 29th spot.
However, if the Bengals do not finish the season on a four-game winning streak, it would be just the fourth losing campaign in Marvin’s 14-year tenure on Paul Brown Stadium’s sidelines. The first since 2010.
The Bengals head to Cleveland next Sunday to face the winless Browns. Lewis is 19-8 in his career against his team’s interstate rival.