Marvin Lewis could be in his final year as coach of the Bengals. To ward off any chance of leaving, things need to get better fast.
It was an embarrassment. This was supposed to be the start of something special for the Bengals. Celebrating their 50th season at home means everything. The crowd, home field advantage, and a chance to show the nation what was going down in 2017. Instead, it was downright pathetic. In essence, it was the same Marvin Lewis mind games from last season. But, this time it was soaked in a better tasting gravy
If not for a few shining moments on the defensive side of the ball, the day would have been a total loss. Actually, I’m being politically correct. The game was so lopsided, it seemed like the Bengals were sending signals to the Ravens before each play.
Outside of big-gainers from A.J. Green and Brandon LaFell, the Bengals’ passing game was stale and useless. Once again, Andy Dalton looked as if he had no clue and the offensive line was pushed around like a skinny Sumo wrestler. But, we were told to be ready for things to change. Lewis and company gave us the impression that this team would be different. Essentially, there would be some authority in how things got done. Looking back on the Week 1 opener, all I remember is a team that looked like it was poorly coached and still trying to tackle air.
What’s the saddest part of the Week 1 meltdown? This could be something that happens all year. Lewis continues to dodge questions and look as if he has all the right answers. Maybe someone needs to remind Mr. Lewis that this is a pivotal year.
It Has To Get Better
The success of the Bengals this season is paramount. In other words, Lewis has to be the little engine that pulls the team to the top of the playoff hill. However, there’s no room for “I think I can.” This train has to get up a head of steam and blast its way to the postseason.
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What will it take for Lewis to stay as coach? Will a mere winning record make things blow over in Cincy? Those days could be a thing of the past. Seeing that Lewis is working on a lame duck basis, Mike Brown may be at wit’s end with the mediocrity.
So, the offense sucked. Is that on Lewis? Actually, it is. He’s the head coach. His duty is to oversee the entire operation and make sure everything is running smoothly. Say what you will about duties being dispersed among the coaches. They all answer to Lewis.
Furthermore, the game plan put forth by offensive coordinator Ken Zampese was absolutely horrendous. Additionally, after a year of getting things in order, there should be no loose ends between Dalton and Zampese. On Sunday, it looked as if Andy had seen the playbook for the first time. Once again, this is something that Lewis has control over. Essentially, it gets to a point of purely demanding excellence and calling people out when things go wrong.
Marvin, It’s Okay
Given those facts, it’s a head coaches job to be a jerk and demand perfection from his staff. Sadly, if things don’t turn around in a hurry, it’ll be the same excuses following the Bengals throughout 2017. However, the end of the season could have a different ending…and coach.
Lewis recently mentioned how he’s always blamed for something not going right. Um, yeah, Mr. Lewis. That’s what happens when you wear the head coach hat.
"“You have to right the ship and get going. We keep fighting. I’m sitting there in the fourth quarter, and you all are probably wondering, ‘I can’t believe he’s punting the football (with 9:54 left in the fourth quarter).’ Right? You all said that, right? But we get the ball back three more times. It’s a tough call either way. I’m darned if I do, darned if I don’t.”"
It’s part of the responsibility. The other part is making sure the Bengals are prepared to win. And not just on paper.