Hopefully. last year was an anomaly for the Cincinnati Bengals. But, the tolerance is wearing thin. Fans want a playoff victory now.
Hopefully, a new beginning and a new set of weapons will make a difference. As fans watched the Cincinnati Bengals flounder along to a 6-9-1 record, they looked nothing like the 2015 version. The promises that kept diehard believers glued to televisions and full of hope ended with a meaningless win over the Baltimore Ravens. Well, at least the victory kept the Bengals from double-digit losses. But, the romantic phase has ended. The excuses won’t play this year. It’s put up or move on.
How many times can a lie be tolerated before it becomes toxic? Actually, the moment most people feel you’re lying to them they lose a fraction of trust. For a span of five years, Marvin Lewis delivered a line of excuses that has kept him in the good graces of Bengals’ owner Mike Brown. But, there’s a strong chance even Mikey Boy has gotten tired of the mediocrity. Lewis has been waiting on a contract extension. Usually, this is the time of year that he’s been inked to return. So far, his security after 2017 isn’t guaranteed.
To be totally honest, it’s not really about Brown being tired. He’s been able to stomach the mediocrity for 14 years. But, the people who bleed Orange and Black have gotten fed up. They are tired of waiting on a promise that always seems to take a wrong turn.
Indiana Jones And The Lost Playoff Victories
This is the year that fans will be a lot wiser. If not, then they’ll face the possibility of more sorrow and heartbreak. Short Round will be yelling at the top of his lungs, “Bengals fans, cover your hearts!” Once again, Cincinnati will be foraging around in the Temple of Doom. At least Jones was able to get the girl and a few relics. If you faithfully watch or cheer for the Bengals, the rewards are…meh. Regular season success has become the norm. It’s time to get past the giant goons that guard the door to playoff riches.
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According to CBS Sports, the Bengals should be able to maneuver their way back to the postseason. A favorable schedule should allow them to compensate for the year that got away. Experts agree that Andy Dalton should have a bounceback year and a healthy A.J. Green will definitely help.
Let’s not forget about the NFL Draft. Duke Tobin has done wonders with the numbers and young talent. The Bengals will do what they always do: have a great draft. Analysts and Who Dey Nation look towards the return of Andrew Billings and William Jackson III. Giovani Bernard will be ready to rumble when his rehab is done. Hopefully, a repeat of the Tyler Eifert situation won’t spring up.
All signs point to the Bengals having a stellar year. The coaching staff is returning intact. Part of last year’s collapse was due to the breakup of the coaches that led the 2015 team to success. Learning new techniques from a new face isn’t that easy. Remember that substitute teacher that just couldn’t get your attention?
At this point, the return of Rex Burkhead is a mystery. The kids in the Mystery Machine will probably know before most fans and analysts ( insert Scooby Doo laugh).
It all depends on him again. Yeah, it comes down to that man Bengals fans have a love-hate relationship with. Lewis has no wiggle room left. The 2015 team was one of the best assembled since the Super Bowl teams of 1981 and 1988. But, he has to lose the nice guy tag. Dalton said he was happy Marvin was returning because he’s a “player’s coach.” That could be the main problem. Eventually, some athletes will take advantage of the easy-going character and go renegade (fill in the blank with your preference).
Per Spotrac, the Bengals are looking at around $43 million in cap space. Yes, you guessed it. That won’t bring back a ton of the players set to ride off into free agency. But, it does provide room for some “reasonable” negotiations.
Trevor Roach was a talented linebacker that slid past most Bengals fans. But, he said it best. He toughed out his last year…because he thought he’d get a ring. Linebacker Karlos Dansby joined the Orange and Black for the same reason. But, once again, the ending didn’t match the promises.
This is definitely the year Lewis should listen to Short Round.
“I keep telling you, you listen to me more, you live longer!”
He speaks for every Bengals fan.