Cincinnati Bengals franchise lacks direction and leadership

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PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 22: Head coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on from the sideline in the first half during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 22, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 22: Head coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on from the sideline in the first half during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 22, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Bengals have been in a dark place, for the past two seasons. After a Week 7 loss to Pittsburgh, better leadership is a must.

Instead of having an overflowing plate of great things to say about the Bengals, on a Monday after Steelers Week, there’s nothing. With all the fanfare and excitement leading up to the “big” game, the first day of the new week should be all about the way Cincinnati handled Pittsburgh and made the trip to Heinz Field exciting. Instead, Bengals fans have been handed the same disappointment wrapped in another year. This franchise has hit a wall. To paraphrase  the Joker, “This franchise needs an enema.”

How many years has it been since the Bengals have posted a W against the Steelers? Well, they haven’t beaten them since Week 8 of the 2015 season. So, in essence, we can call it two years.

But, would it be rude and appalling to assume that the Steelers will beat the Bengals on Monday Night Football? Maybe it would be a safer bet to say it’ll happen. It’s a primetime event and the Bengals seem to never be ready for those. Oh, wait. Better yet, it’s just another game on the schedule. That makes it an expendable matchup.

Lewis And The News 

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For some time now, it’s been interesting to watch Marvin Lewis dance around questions and chuckle into the camera. But, after a steady diet of answers that either make no sense or snide remarks that make him seem like a snarky brat, it’s time to call it what it really is. Lewis, obviously (there’s his word), doesn’t know what’s going on in the asylum. How can I say this? When asked about the lack of touches by Joe Mixon in the second-half, Lewis was either clueless or without a better answer.

"“He was in there in the third quarter. Whatever plays are called are called.”"

That’s it? No explanation for why he didn’t get used? Overall, Mixon had 48 yards on 7 carries, in the first-half. He was shredding the Steelers’ D. It doesn’t matter that the plays may have been broken. He bounced off the line and found daylight. Is that a hard adjustment to make? Give. Mixon. The. Ball.

And that “just a game” garbage that Lewis fed to the players for two weeks wasn’t a shared mentality with Mike Tomlin.

"“I have been focused on our weaknesses and just doing enough to win today,” Tomlin offered after the game. “Forget what’s going on with the present football teams, them and us. When we come together it’s a different set of variables because of the history and the intensity associated with the matchup.”"

That’s interesting. The history…and intensity…of the matchup. Meh. It’s just another game.

Rest In Power PB

Moreover, this franchise hasn’t had any direction or sound leadership since Paul Brown left the building. Sure, Lewis has led the Bengals to the postseason a handful of times and gave fans that tingly feeling. It was just enough to keep the faithful coming back. But, things are getting ridiculous at this point. This team should’ve reached an AFC Championship game by now or been in another Super Bowl. But, enough is enough. Lewis needs to step down or just be canned in the middle of the season. That way, Mike Brown can get his precious draft picks in order.

Maybe this shouldn’t be looked upon as a rivalry anymore. In fact, doesn’t that denote teams tend to trade-off wins? You, know. A tit-for-tat type of scenario.

Next: Another Lost Chance

By and large, it’s typical for a coach to be branded by the success of his team. But, the Bengals aren’t having much success. And what they do have is limited. Ultimately, what does that say about Lewis?

Again, the Bengals have the talent to be a dominant force in the league. They just need a coach who can discern a big game from the others on the schedule. Tomlin can.

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