The Cincinnati Bengals have coaches and players that should be on the hot seat in 2018. Unfortunately, they could only be there in the minds of fans.
The Cincinnati Bengals organization seems to be unaware of when to place a coach or player on the hot seat. Considering the team has stuck with head coach Marvin Lewis since 2003 while not receiving a single postseason win is beyond unsettling. The most interesting thing when it comes to Lewis is that fans are more than willing to shed him because of losing but when it comes to players like quarterback Andy Dalton, the excuse of “not his fault” comes up almost every time.
Since Dalton was drafted in 2011, he has taken the Bengals to the postseason five times, if you include 2015, and in his four games of playoffs, he has been awful. 0-4 in the playoffs with a single touchdown and six interceptions when combining those games shows that while it may not all be on Dalton, but he’s not helping the team get there either. While it is a team sport and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and fumbles late in the game can undoubtedly cause a loss, Dalton’s play has been part of why those games are so close at the very end.
In two of his four playoff appearances, Dalton has thrown for 155 yards or fewer. His 55.7 overall completion percentage speaks volumes of its own. The only playoff game that Dalton didn’t throw an interception was his 2014 playoff appearance where he also failed to throw a single touchdown pass.
We know that with the right weapons around him and a good offensive line he can play well in the regular season, but until we see some victory in the playoffs, none of that matters. Given the time that Dalton has had in the organization and the fact that we know exactly what he is, we should be seeing a hot seat for the veteran quarterback this season.
There’s no excuse to keep Dalton after this season if he cannot get to the playoffs especially. Cincinnati has started to bolster the offensive line this season, brought in plenty of playmakers over the last couple of drafts, and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is building this offense around Dalton to ensure success. After 2018, Dalton has no more guaranteed money left in his contract which is through 2020. The Bengals could trade him for significant value considering what average quarterbacks even go for, or drop with without any penalty.
The only way this would happen is if Marvin Lewis was fired considering Cincinnati shouldn’t give him enough time to go through a whole new quarterback if they have a losing season in 2018. Of course, owner Mike Brown has been ok with the mediocrity for the last 15 years as Lewis found himself coming back this season. Apparently, a 0-7 playoff record is not something that was thought about when making this deal.
Another player that is on the “hot seat” would be tight end, Tyler Eifert. Failing to stay healthy for one entire season during his five years with the Bengals makes it hard to believe this will be the year. Playing only ten games in the last two seasons, Eifert was brought back on a one-year incentive deal. If Eifert is unable to stay healthy yet again, it could be not only a goodbye from Cincinnati, but not many teams would want to pay him either.