Bengals should be considered legitimate contenders in 2017

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CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 1: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball away from Matt Judon #91 of the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Baltimore 27-10. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 1: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball away from Matt Judon #91 of the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Baltimore 27-10. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Marvelous One

Yes, it’s true. There are times when Marvin Lewis will have you alternately calling for his head and rooting for his success. Again, the man has done wonders for the Bengals organization. He has turned a perennial basement dweller into a respectable franchise. When fans complain about the 6-9-1 record of the last campaign, it’s natural. Fans are inclined to want a winner. But, some of those same fans probably haven’t lived through the Lost Decade of the 1990s. One losing season in the past six years is a feat. Toss in the playoffs and it’s actually a really good deal.

Here’s the big problem. Cincinnati and fans abroad have grown tired of the same M.O. It’s time for Mr, Lewis to get things in gear and take this team to the next level. This version of the Bengals–to be quite honest–is stacked. In other words, there’s no room for excuses this year.

Lewis will be at the helm with no contract. Unless there’s a late-night session between now and the season opener, Marvin is in dire straits. What does that mean, kiddies? Quite simply, this has to be the best year of Lewis’ tenure. I’m sure owner Mike Brown isn’t looking for an immediate trip to Super Bowl LI. But, the talent is there and Lewis needs to tap into what will make the Bengals a lean and hungry menace to the AFC North.

Additionally, the man will be coaching for his football life. If the year ends on a seriously high note, there could be a chance Lewis gets bumped upstairs. The Bengals should hold on to his knack for  finding players. He and Duke Tobin make a knockout team.

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