John Fox

NFL preseason coaching heat check

NFL coaches on the hot seat is a topic that fans and media alike never seem to stop talking about. NFL preseason is a good time to take an inventory of coaches that could be in trouble if the upcoming season goes poorly.

The NFL never stops surprising us. Thus, the coaches mentioned here are by no means the only ones that might be relocating in 2018. These are just the situations that jump off the page immediately.

Dead men walking

John Fox

John Fox is a hugely underrated coach who has engineered massive turnarounds and deep playoffs runs everywhere he has been. Everywhere except Chicago, that is, as he is just 9-23 in two seasons with the Bears. These days, coaches rarely get more than three seasons to be awful in the same spot.

Unfortunately for Fox, the front office has given him his worst Bears roster yet. The already murky quarterback situation was only made messier by the surprise drafting of rookie Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick. Outside of running back Jordan Howard, there just is not much talent on this roster.

There are a lot of projects. Fox does not have time for projects. Despite going 3-13 last year, Chicago did not make much of an impact in free agency and only ended up with five draft picks.

NFL preseason coaching heat check

Photo: nydailynews

It is not entirely his fault, but this is not the recipe for the kind of turnaround Fox needs to keep his job. Right or wrong, the head coach is always the first to go.

Todd Bowles

Minus the established track record, Fox and Todd Bowles are in very similar spots. Bowles is 15-17 in two seasons with the Jets.

With a quarterback race that features Bryce Petty, Josh McCown and Christian Hackenberg and a receiving group in which no one has caught 60 career passes, a winless season is very realistic for the Jets. No coach survives that. Bowles will likely land on his feet as defensive coordinator somewhere in 2018.

Not likely, but not impossible

Mike Zimmer

Mike Zimmer is one of the most respected coaches in the game. He had the back story of assistant coach who paid his dues in the NFL for almost two decades before getting a shot to be a head coach.

However, the reality is that Zimmer is slowly becoming Rex Ryan without the brash and bold guarantees. The defense has always been elite during Zimmer’s time in Minnesota. It even carried them to a 6-0 start last year.

Much like Rex Ryan’s teams though, the offensive side of the ball just is not very good. They have never ranked inside the top 20 in total offense under Zimmer. Even in 2015 when Zimmer’s Vikings reached the playoffs, they were 31st in passing offense.

Rex Ryan has a 61-66 record with four playoff wins as an NFL head coach. He’s now a commentator for ESPN. Zimmer is 26-22 without a playoff win. If Zimmer does not figure out the offensive side of the ball this year, his record will creep closer to .500 and he could join Ryan at ESPN.

Adam Gase

Two weeks ago, Gase would not have been in any article like this. He did an outstanding job in leading the Dolphins to the playoffs last year in his first season.

NFL preseason coaching heat check

Photo: espn.com

However, bringing his favorite pupil Jay Cutler out of retirement to save the day after the injury to starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill is pretty bold. Yes, Cutler had his best statistical season when Gase was his offensive coordinator with the Bears in 2015, but that team still managed only six wins. Last year, Cutler only started five games due to injury and poor performance.

Cutler’s lack of passion for the game of football has always been painfully apparent. Despite a wealth of natural talent, he is only led a team the playoffs once and has losing record as a starter.

He will no doubt fill the stat sheet with touchdowns and interceptions in Miami. Even so, there is nothing to suggest that he will fare any better than original backup quarterback Matt Moore in terms of winning games.

Gaze really stuck his neck out for Cutler. It is only a one-year deal. Even so, if the experiment blows up in his face and muddies the future of the quarterback position in Miami, ownership having a quick hook would not be all that surprising.

Unique Situations:

In addition to the four coaches mentioned above, 2017 is also a big year for several coaches that have been with their current teams for many years. Marvin Lewis, Sean Payton, John Harbaugh, Bruce Arians and Chuck Pagano have all experienced significant success in their current coaching stops. However, they all missed the playoffs last year.

Some of them are on a streak of unsuccessful seasons. They have all done great things for their respective franchises over the years and have immense respect of ownership. Thus, I cannot see any of them getting fired. If the upcoming season goes poorly though, a mutual parting of ways is certainly possible.

 

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Dylan!

Hagan’s Haus NFL Picks (Week 13)

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week! Picking games didn’t go so smoothly, but eating Thanksgiving Dinner sure did. As cold weather starts to cool down the country, the NFL playoff races are heating up. Week 12 shook up some of the standings. There are a lot of top headlines from the week as well. The Cowboys are the best team in the NFL and show no signs of slowing down. The Titans have a legitimate shot at winning their division. Atlanta has developed a pass rush and might have finally figured out how to finish a game and a season. Cleveland is still winless, and the AFC West is the best division in football.

unknownPlenty happened last week and this week could be just as fun. This will finally be the last week with teams on a bye and those two teams are Cleveland and Tennessee. Starting next week everyone will have played the same amount of games and the playoff picture will become more clear. The regular season is nearing its end so it is time to get this win total up. Here are Hagan’s Haus NFL picks for week 13.

Last Week: 8-8

Season: 100-72-2

Thursday Night

(http://wallpapersdsc.net/sports/dez-bryant-776.html)

(http://wallpapersdsc.net/sports/dez-bryant-776.html)

Dallas (10-1) 23 @ Minnesota (6-5) 21: Dallas is clearly the best team in the NFL, which is why this is a trap game. The Vikings defense is not going to let the Cowboys run down their throat. Many times teams are upset on these Thursday night games, especially when going on the road. Minnesota is a desperate team and desperate teams are dangerous. Although this is a trap game, the Cowboys will just barely pull off the road win.

Sunday Morning

Kansas City (8-3) 26 @ Atlanta (7-4) 24: The Falcons better hope the Bucs lose because the Falcons are heading towards a loss with the Chiefs coming to town. The Chiefs are a good team with a great defense. The offense just needs to put up some points and take care of the football. Atlanta is a good team and they have finally found a pass rush, but the Chiefs are just better.

(US Presswire)

(US Presswire)

Detroit (7-4) 38 @ New Orleans (5-6) 41: The Saints defense has trouble stopping a nosebleed let alone a defense. Their offense can score on anyone. Last season the Lions went into New Orleans and won 35-27. The Saints can’t let the Lions win another one in the Superdome, especially when the Saints need to win out to make the playoffs. Drew Brees outplays Matthew Stafford in a shootout.

Los Angeles (4-7) 21 @ New England (9-2) 37: Since the Browns have the week off, NFL fans need someone to feel bad for this week. Everyone needs to feel bad for Jared Goff because Bill Belichick always gets the best of rookie quarterbacks. The Rams defense gets pressure, but Tom Brady will get the ball out too fast for the Rams defense. Tom Brady and the Patriots will continue to roll towards the playoffs.

Denver (7-4) 31 @ Jacksonville (2-9) 17: Denver is coming off a heartbreaking loss. They blew an eight-point lead and lost on a field goal in overtime that bounced off the post and somehow went in. The Jaguars are looking to solidify yet another top-five pick. This game will be competitive for a while, but eventually the Broncos pull away.

(Credit: Rick Wood)

(Credit: Rick Wood)

Houston (6-5) 14 @ Green Bay (5-6) 27: All season I’ve been saying the Packers would eventually find their mojo. Last week I conceded that this may be the year in which they don’t find that mojo. Then what do the Packers go out and do? Play one of their best games of the year and get right back into the thick of the playoff race. Houston is pathetic on the road and the Packers are about to get hot. Green Bay wins this one easily.

Philadelphia (5-6) 24 @ Cincinnati (3-7-1) 17: Cincinnati is bad and it is time for the Bengals to fire Marvin Lewis. A new voice is needed. Philly is still a decent football team that is young and still learning. The Eagles defense ranks fifth in points given up and the Bengals offense ranks 27th in points scored. The Bengals won’t score enough to win this game.

Miami (7-4) 24 @ Baltimore (6-5) 21: The Dolphins are the hottest team in the AFC and have a six-game win streak. Ryan Tannehill is getting no credit for how well he has played. He has seven touchdowns to just one interception during the win streak. All year I have been saying the Ravens are a .500 team and they won’t make the playoffs. They will lose this week to get to .500 and they will slowly fall behind the Steelers in the division. Miami needs a big win to stay in the wild card race and they will get it to win their seventh straight game.

San Fransisco (1-10) 32 @ Chicago (2-9) 31: There may be about 20 total people watching this game, but it is an important game. The loser of this game will be in prime position for the second overall pick in the draft. This is a game that neither team should want to win to solidify that draft pick. It is hard to pick a game in which two horrible teams are playing. Because of a flip of a coin, the 49ers end their 10-game losing streak and get a win in the Windy City.

Sunday Afternoon

(http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/_/id/12514/lesean-mccoy)

(http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/_/id/12514/lesean-mccoy)

Buffalo (6-5) 34 @ Oakland (9-2) 31: The Raiders look poised for a run at the Lombardi Trophy, but the injury to Derek Carr’s finger on his throwing hand will halt their progress a bit. The Bills are hard to figure out, but their offense is exciting. LeSean McCoy had a huge game last week. The Raiders have the seventh worst rush defense in the NFL and that will be their demise this week.

New York (G) (8-3) 34 @ Pittsburgh (6-5) 36: This is the best game of the week. Eli Manning and the Giants are playing great football at this point of the season and have a six game winning streak. Pittsburgh is fighting to win their division. This game could be an aerial display as the Steelers rank eighth in passing yards (263.9 yards per game) and the Giants rank 12th (256.5 yards per game). This game will be a dogfight and Big Ben will make one more big play to Antonio Brown than Eli will make to Odell Beckham.

Washington (6-4-1) 21 @ Arizona (4-6-1) 24: The Redskins have an impressive offense. Washington is second in passing yards (314.8), 11th in rushing yards (111.5), and ninth in points (25.5). The Cardinals are giving up the least amount of yards in the NFL (294). The Cardinals need Carson Palmer to take care of the football. This will be an upset and the Cardinals will get one game away from .500.

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay (6-5) 27 @ San Diego (5-6) 24: The Bucs still have a chance to win the division, but they seem to lose games they are expected to win and win games they are expected to lose. If the Bucs are serious about winning the division and making the playoffs, they have to beat the Chargers. The Bucs are going to do what they need to and put pressure on the Falcons.

 

Sunday Night

(http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nfl/carolina-panthers/article40474167.html)

(http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nfl/carolina-panthers/article40474167.html)

Carolina (4-7) 20 @ Seattle (7-3-1) 24: The Panthers are struggling this year and it is hard to figure out why.  Seattle took a shocking loss on the road to the Buccaneers. The Seahawks have a good record, but they will not get to the Super Bowl if they continue to struggle along the offensive line. The Seahawks are still playing the best defense in the NFL by leading the league in points given up per game(17 points per game). Their defense will get to Cam and hit him hard to send Carolina to a surprising 4-8.

 

Monday Night

Indianapolis (5-6) 24 @ New York (J) (3-8) 27: The Colts versus the Jets may be the worst Monday night game of the year. The Jets have nothing to play for but pride. Indianapolis is still fighting for a chance to win the division. The Colts have the fifth-worst scoring defense in the NFL and have trouble stopping anybody. It is hard to pick a team to win this game, but the Jets are at home which is why they will win.

 

You can ‘like’ the Game Haus on Facebook and ‘follow’ us on Twitter for more great sports and eSports articles. 

“From Our Haus to Yours”

Cubs Victory Should Give NFL Fans Everywhere Hope

We are over a week removed from the Cubs ending their 108 year drought and winning the World Series. The sports world is still buzzing. It is nice to see this country captivated by baseball again. If the Cubs drought can end, so will every other big-time drought in sports, including those of the NFL. Here is a look at a few of the longest suffering NFL fan bases and reasons for each to be hopeful. For the record, I do not believe in curses. I believe in being poorly run and poor executing.

Buffalo Bills

Very few fan bases in all of sports have experienced more heartbreak than that of the Bills. They have been so close so many times. While losing a playoff game on the “Music City Miracle” kick return had to hurt, it is the four straight Super Bowl losses in the early 90s that stand out. In fairness, only one was close. Bills kicker Scott Norwood missed a 47 yard field goal as time expired in Super Bowl XXV that would have given the heavily favored Bills their first Super Bowl. “Wide right” are forever cuss words in the city of Buffalo. Those of you who are not Bills fans can relive the kick below thanks to the NFL’s YouTube channel.

 

Reasons to hope – Most important, after a few years of chatter, it looks like the franchise is staying in Buffalo. Rex Ryan has this team competitive again on a week in, week out basis. They have a ton of playmakers on offense. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor continues to come in to his own. His performance in Seattle Monday night was mighty impressive, despite the loss. A trip back to the Super Bowl is likely a long way off, but the end of a 16 year playoff drought is not.

Minnesota Vikings

In terms of the “can’t win the big one” stigma, the NFC version of the Buffalo Bills resides in Minnesota. Behind the “Purple People Eaters” defense and legendary head coach Bud Grant, they reached the playoffs in all but two years from 1968-1980. They could never close the deal, including losing in two of the first 11 Super Bowl’s. As bad as that had to hurt, the most devastating blow came in 1998. Minnesota raced to a 15-1 regular season record. The offense, spearheaded by then rookie Randy Moss, set a record for points scored. Vikings kicker Gary Anderson did not miss a kick all year. However, in the NFC championship game he missed a relatively short field goal that would have extended the Minnesota lead to ten late in the fourth quarter. The upstart Falcons drove down and tied the game and ultimately won in overtime. The video below from the Mauer EssPee YouTube channel sums the whole situation up very nicely. As crushing as last year’s playoff loss to Seattle had to be, that team probably was not winning a Super Bowl anyway. The 1998 team had a chance to go down as one of the greatest ever.

Reasons to hope – In Vikings country, it is all about that young defense right now. The trick is finding the right quarterback. I am also in the minority that thinks Mike Zimmer is not the right coach to get this team where it wants to go. He was the right guy to get them turned around, but I think his expertise is too limited to one side of the ball to win a Super Bowl. Anthony Barr, Xavier Rhodes, and Everson Griffen could easily be the building blocks of a championship defense. Everything else is a question mark in Minnesota. Despite this season falling apart at the seams, the Vikings are not that far away. However, the jump from good to great is the hardest one to make.

 

Cincinnati Bengals

Quite frankly, it is difficult to pick a single moment that hurts the most for fans in my hometown. They have been around since 1968 and have been a shipwreck for the vast majority of the time. They did have a brief run of AFC dominance in the 1980s that resulted in a pair of narrow Super Bowl defeats to Joe Montana and the 49ers. The second of those defeats was a real heartbreaker. As you can see below thanks to the Charles Surette YouTube channel, Montana led a 92 yard drive in the game’s final minutes that culminated in a game-winning touchdown pass to the often overlooked John Taylor with under 30 seconds to go. Apart from that, this franchise has been almost comically bad. They have not won a playoff game since 1990 and have only played in seven. Keep in mind, the Bengals are currently on a streak of five consecutive playoff appearances.

 

Reasons to hope – The Bengals are currently enjoying their most successful run in franchise history. Until he does it or is let go, questions will continue to linger about whether Marvin Lewis is the right coach for this franchise to finally win a playoff game again, and ultimately a Super Bowl. Those questions are fair, but making the playoffs five straight years is no small accomplishment for what may have been the sorriest franchise in professional sports prior to the last five years.

 

Cleveland Browns

No fan base has suffered more than the Cleveland Browns. Believe it or not, they were the NFL’s gold standard at one point. They won four NFL titles in the pre-Super Bowl era. I highly encourage young people reading this to Google the name Otto Graham. After the 50s and 60s, the Browns fell off a cliff and have not been back. As painful as moments like “The Drive” and “The Fumble ” were, the toughest blow for fans started in 1995. The Browns moved to Baltimore following that season and became the Ravens. The scenes from their final home game that year are surreal. Check them out in the video below from the lock18 YouTube channel. The Ravens won a Super Bowl just five years after leaving Cleveland. The Browns reentered the NFL in 1999, but have only made one playoff appearance and have posted just two winning seasons in that time.

 

Reasons to hope – Candidly, there are not many right now. The Browns sit at 0-10 with a real shot at going winless this year, but it cannot get much worse… Can it?

 

The Eagles, Lions, Chiefs, and Jets have also put fans through their fair share of suffering. However, the fact still remains that if the Cubs can finally finish the job after 108 years, then every dog will have its day in the sporting sun… Someday. However, seeing the joy on the faces of those Cubs fans had to give other suffering fan bases everywhere plenty of incentive to hang in there.

photo from timesleader.com

photo from timesleader.com

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and eSports articles from other great TGH writers along with Dylan! “From our Haus to Yours”

 

 

 

 

 

The Five Best NFL Head Coaches Right Now

One of the most important and often overlooked aspects of NFL success is coaching. A great coach can elevate his players, an overmatched one can drag them down. Here are my top five NFL head coaches right now. This is based on their body of work along with their current situation.

5: Bruce Arians- Mike Zimmer of the Vikings gets “honorable mention” status in favor of this 64-year-old football lifer. Arians put Temple football on the map in the 80s. His NFL work went largely unnoticed until 2012. As interim coach while Chuck Pagano battled leukemia, he took the Colts and then rookie Andrew Luck from the cellar to the playoffs. However, as an assistant coach, he had a hand in the early careers of both Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. In his first full-time NFL head coaching gig, he has turned the vagabond franchise that was the Arizona Cardinals into perennial contenders. They are 36-17 in just a bit more than three seasons under Arians.

photo from foxsports.com

photo from foxsports.com

4: Pete Carroll- Yes, he was fired by the Jets and Patriots before catching on in Seattle, but every coach gets fired or moves on at some point. Also, while out of the NFL, his USC Trojans dominated college football. In history, there are four people to win a NCAA football title and an NFL championship/Super Bowl. Pete Carroll is one of them. That says it all. On a lighter note, I hope I look half as good and have half the energy Carroll does when I am 65.

photo from reignoftory.com

photo from reignoftory.com

3: Andy Reid- The common knock on Reid is he has not won a Super Bowl. While true, it is not entirely his fault. The guy can coach. He only missed the playoffs four times in 13 seasons in Philadelphia. Under Reid, they reached four NFC title games and the Super Bowl. The franchise still has not recovered from letting him go. Reid continues to work wonders in Kansas City. In three full seasons, he has not posted a losing record. Apart from the one year Terrell Owens ended up in Philadelphia, he has never had top-flight players to work with. He has gotten the most out of guys like Donovan McNabb, Alex Smith, Freddie Mitchell, and Jeremy Maclin. Also, his 11-11 postseason record is far from embarrassing.

photo from nypost.com

photo from nypost.com

2: Gary Kubiak- Yes, I am a Broncos fan, but if anyone thinks Kubiak is overrated at number two, someone please tell me one wrong button he has pushed since taking over in Denver. Last year, he knew exactly when to go to Brock Osweiler and when to go back to Peyton Manning. Under a lot of coaches, that quarterback situation would have disintegrated into a circus. Kubiak calmly named his starter each Monday and got down to business. Long before leading the Broncos to Super Bowl glory, he turned Matt Schaub into a Pro Bowler and led the Texans to the playoffs for the first time ever. He also has three additional Super Bowl rings as an assistant coach. Another sign of a great leader is knowing when to delegate. Kubiak knows his forte is offense. Thus, he hired Wade Phillips as his defensive coordinator in Denver. We all know how that has worked out. This year, he has molded Trevor Siemian into a competent NFL quarterback. Maybe the greatest indicator of Kubiak’s brilliance is how awful Brock Osweiler has looked in Houston this year as well as what a disorganized mess the Broncos were without him last week in San Diego. Rant over. Gary Kubiak is brilliant.

photo from bleacherreport.com

photo from bleacherreport.com

1: Bill Belichick- As good as these other guys are, calling Bill Belichick brilliant simply does not do him justice. Prior to being a model of consistency in New England, he led the Browns to the playoffs in the early 90s. They have only been back once since he left. He was also the defensive coordinator for two Super Bowl wins with the Giants in the 80s. He has tallied double-digit wins every year since 2003. Other than Tom Brady, the players have come and gone. Yet the Patriots are never unprepared for a game or lack direction. Whether it is running the ball 45 times or throwing it 50, the Pats are able to do it successfully to win a football game. It is amazing what Belichick has done over the years with players no one else wanted. Wes Welker, Mike Vrabel, and Rob Ninkovich are just a few examples of castoffs from other organizations that Belichick turned into pro bowlers, and in many cases Super Bowl champions.

Do you agree with my rankings? It is important to realize that no coach can be successful without good players, but the reverse is also true. No coach is perfect and every single one has been fired at some point. If you are a Bengals fan calling for the head of Marvin Lewis or a Bears fan itching to get John Fox out of town, remember how hard it is to win in the NFL. There is nothing wrong with taking a few years to build something. Also, making the playoffs every year is a hell of a lot better than going 4-12 every year like the Browns. There is only one happy coach at the end of the season.

photo from bosonherald.com

photo from bosonherald.com

Surprise NFL Teams in 2016-2017

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 29: Defensive players Mitch Unrein #96, outside linebacker Von Miller #58, defensive tackle Terrance Knighton #94, defensive end Robert Ayers #91 and defensive end Malik Jackson #97 of the Denver Broncos look on from the sidelines against the Arizona Cardinals during preseason action at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 29, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

DENVER, CO – AUGUST 29: Defensive players Mitch Unrein #96, outside linebacker Von Miller #58, defensive tackle Terrance Knighton #94, defensive end Robert Ayers #91 and defensive end Malik Jackson #97 of the Denver Broncos look on from the sidelines against the Arizona Cardinals during preseason action at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 29, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

A surprise is usually thought of as a good thing, but we all have had surprises that turned out to be bad as well. I know it is early but if you’re like me you are itching for football to start again. The first training camps will open up in approximately three weeks. Last year four teams made the playoffs after missing the playoffs in the previous year. It is never to early to start talking about which teams may surprise the NFL this year by making the playoffs. Some teams may even surprise us and miss the playoffs.  This list will have both good and bad surprises for how a few teams will perform this upcoming NFL season.

Minor Surprise:

San Fransisco 49ers: Better than expected

There are low expectations for the 49ers this season. They play in a tough division with the Seahawks and Cardinals. Also, it will be Chip Kelly’s first season as the head coach. They seem to be in a rebuilding phase but they will finish second in the NFC west, behind the Seahawks. This is a surprise because many expect the Cardinals to be a playoff team and it would be a shocker for the 49ers to surpass them. It will also mean they will possibly in the hunt for a wild card.

Chip Kelly has a bad reputation in the NFL but in his first season he took the previously 4-12 Eagles to a 10-6 record. That 10-6 record resulted in a division title. He finished with an identical record in his second season, although they missed the playoffs. In his first two season he was a combined 20-12. He was fired in his third year after going 6-9, but has proven he can win games in the NFL. It will be fun to see Colin Kaepernick in his offense and it should result in more wins in the bay than most expect.

Playoffs??

Jacksonville Jaguars: Make the playoffs

The Jaguars are young and hungry to make the playoffs.  They are in the midst of their longest playoff drought in franchise history which sits at eight years. The Jaguars only won three games last season so mentioning the playoffs seems kind of crazy. The reason the Jags will make the playoffs though is because they already have an above average defense and the offense is catching up. Blake Bortles will have a good year because he has been surrounded by a great receiving core with Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and tight end Julius Thomas. The AFC south is also a rather weak division and it is time for the Jaguars to take the next step and make the playoffs.

Buffalo Bills: Playoff drought over

Just like the Jaguars the Bills are in the midst of their longest playoff drought in franchise history. Their drought sits at 16 years and they haven’t won a playoff game in 20 years. Rob Ryan has been told he will be fired if he doesn’t make the playoffs. He will no doubt have one of the best defenses in the NFL but for the Bills to grow Tyrod Taylor must take the next step at quarterback. It will be his second season as an NFL starter and he will lead the Bills to the playoffs as a wild card team. Winning a playoff game is an entirely different story but making the playoffs would be a huge step.

New York Giants: Division champions

I truly believe Kirk Cousins is entirely overrated. Last season the Redskins were a one hit wonder.  That leaves the NFC East open for a new winner. Philadelphia is in rebuild mode and will be starting a rookie quarterback by week eight or nine. The Cowboys defense is below average and Tony Romo has broken his collarbone three times. It is safe to say he is injury prone. This leaves the Giants, who will have a very solid passing game, with a chance to win the division. Look for Sterling Shepard to have a huge rookie season alongside Odell Beckham Jr. who will command most of the attention from defensive coordinators. The Giants also made splashes defensively in free agency signing Oliver Vernon, Damon Harrison, and Janoris Jenkins. They will win 10 or 11 games and will win the division.

Oakland Raiders: Divison champions

Photo: Steven Senne, STF / Associated Press

Photo: Steven Senne, STF / Associated Press

People are going to call me absolutely crazy for this one. Yes, the Raiders are improving, but division champs? With the defending Super Bowl champions in their division? Yes, the Raiders have finally made the right moves over the past two and a half seasons.  They have suffered a playoff drought for long enough. Derek Carr will continue to blossom into a great NFL quarterback. Amari Cooper will help him to improve the offense. The Raiders defense is on its way to becoming nasty and is led by the first ever All-Pro at two positions, Khalil Mack. Mack is arguably the best defensive player in the NFL. The Raiders will surprise the league and win the AFC West this year thanks to being led by the young stars on both offense and defense.

Fishing Early

Denver Broncos: Miss the playoffs

The defending champs will be fishing early this year. Losing Peyton Manning, no matter his age or diminishing ability, is a huge loss. Being able to fix minor mistakes, or make adjustments mid game will prove to be a huge difference. Mark Sanchez is an accident waiting to happen. Paxton Lynch played in the American Athletic Conference. It will take him quite some time to adjust to the next level. The defense will still be a top five defense but it will only carry them so far. With the Raiders on the come up and the Chiefs staying competitive I just see the Broncos suffering from a Super Bowl hangover. Sorry Denver, last year was your year.

Cincinnati Bengals: Miss playoffs

The Bengals have made the playoffs for five straight season. In those five straight seasons they lost their first playoff game. The Bengals need a new voice at head coach but still have Marvin Lewis. He is the only coach who can stay with the same team 13 years without a single playoff victory. He sits at 0-7 in the playoffs. Any other coach would have been fired. They have had a great defense for a long time but it is starting to fade a bit since Mike Zimmer left for Minnesota.

To further hinder the Bengals, the Steelers will be the best team in the division barring injuries. The Ravens will be better than they were last year too. This is already a very tough division and I think the Browns will surprise some people this year and win somewhere around seven games. At the end of the season the Steelers will win the division and the Bengals will finish second or third. They won’t compile enough wins for a wild card birth. The Bengals had five straight years to win a playoff game, they won’t have a sixth.

A Surprise Champion?

Minnesota Vikings: Super Bowl contenders

I am sure a lot of people see the Vikings on this list and are asking themselves, how can they be a surprise team? They already surprised the NFL last year by winning the NFC North. Most people know they are a young, talented team on the rise.  The reason they will be a surprise  in the NFL this season is because they will be a dangerous Super Bowl contender. So dangerous in fact, they might just win the Lombardi Trophy.

Mike Zimmer will be entering his third year as the head coach of the Vikings and each year his defense has improved vastly. In 2014 the Vikings ranked 11th in scoring defense and last season ranked fifth. It is very possible that the Vikings will have the best defense in the NFL this year. Pair that with the best running back in the NFL with a vastly improved offensive line and the Vikings should be one of the best teams in the league.

Cincinnati’s Secret Weapon For 2016

We all remember the stunning way the Bengals’ season came to end. They were just seconds away from ending a 26-year playoff victory drought when 30 yards worth of controversial, but accurate unnecessary roughness penalties put the Steelers in range for a last second game-winning field goal.

The main character in the Bengals’ collapse was linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Burfict was a first round talent who went undrafted in 2012 due to character concerns while at Arizona State. Since catching on with the Bengals as undrafted free agent, he has been incredibly productive, but also incredibly frustrating to coaches, teammates, and fans.

Burfict is among the league leaders in personal foul penalties since entering the league. Things like his hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown that eventually led to the end of the Bengals 2015 season are not rare occurrences. In addition to other personal fouls in that same game, he had a personal foul for riding a player out of bounds that got a late drive going for the Broncos in pivotal December game this past season.

He just has not proven to be a very smart football player to this point in his career. Opponents are starting to pick up on that. The Steelers veteran defenders and coaches baited him into penalties throughout the playoff game. Some may see that as unethical, I am more of a by any means necessary kind of guy. Following the playoff game, Burfict was suspended for the first three games of the 2016 season.

photo from deadspin.com

photo from deadspin.com

Some blame coaching for Burfict’s reckless and over-the-top playing tactics. I do not know how much Marvin Lewis and his staff are at fault. There are countless videos on YouTube of Lewis and other Bengals coaches telling players, and especially Burfict to keep their poise during the playoff game.

What else can a coach do? At a certain point common sense must kick in for players in situations like this.

A few things are obvious to me when it comes to Cincinnati’s embattled defensive leader. First, he clearly has a problem. When you are costing your team playoff games and there is an entire YouTube video dedicated to your dirty plays dating back to your college career, you have a problem. One such video is below from J.R. Miller’s YouTube channel. It includes the hit on Antonio Brown from the playoffs.

The other thing that is clear is the Bengals organization knows opponents have caught on to Burfict’s act. Again, I am not sure how much a coach can do here. However, the Bengals quietly went out and hired one of the best as their linebackers coach.

Jim Haslett has coached football in some form or fashion every year since 1988, not many coaches can say that. The highlight of his career was as a head coach where he led the Saints franchise to its first playoff win following the 2000 season. However, most of his work in the NFL has come as a defensive coordinator and/or linebackers coach.

Haslett has had his hands on some great linebackers over the years. London Fletcher, Bryan Cox, and James Laurinaitis have all been coached by Haslett. They are/were all very smart well respected players. Like Burfict, Cox was also once a bit rough around the edges.

Haslett clearly knows what he is doing. You don’t coach football nonstop for 28 years unless that is the case. His number one job in Cincy will be to reel in and refine Burfict’s Hall of Fame level talent. I am not sure if it can be done, but if there is a way Haslett will find it

Five Coaches Who Must Win Now

I am a big believer in the importance of coaching in the NFL. Not all coaches are created equal. In fairness, neither are the circumstances they coach in. So, here are my top five coaches under the most pressure to win this season.

Jeff Fisher- Fisher has coached four seasons yet he has a 27-36-1 record. Most coaches would already be gone. However, the Rams have stuck with the man who put the Oilers/Titans franchise on the map. Given the Rams relocation to LA, it is understandable. Fisher has been here before. He led the Titans to within a yard of a Super Bowl title just three years after their move from Houston. With rookie quarterback Jared Goff now at the helm, a solid defense, and bruising running game led by impressive youngster Todd Gurley, Rams ownership may not be so patient in the team’s return season to LA goes poorly.

Photo from cover32.com

Photo from cover32.com

Chuck Pagano- This is a tough one. Pagano has been masterful in helping this franchise rise out of the ashes of the Peyton Manning era. In fact, he did not miss the playoffs until last year. Quarterback Andrew Luck has carried the franchise for the last several years along with Pagano. Last year though, the Colts could not keep Luck or any other quarterback upright. Due to injuries, they used four of them while stumbling to an 8-8 finish. When you consider that the Colts were a trendy preseason Super Bowl pick, it was a massive disappointment. To their credit, the Colts addressed their biggest issue, drafting four offensive lineman, including Alabama center Ryan Kelly who will be an immediate starter. Pagano was all but gone at the end of last season, but was given a four-year contract extension at the 11th hour. Contracts mean very little when it comes to coaching in the NFL, and considering it took ownership so long to decide that they were keeping him, I have to include him on this list. His future hinges on Luck staying healthy.

Photo from nesn.com

Photo from nesn.com

 

Jason Garrett- Given Jerry Jones’ meddlesome nature and the constant drama that surrounds the Cowboys franchise, I feel like their coach makes some kind of list like this every year. Jason Garrett gets a pass for last year’s 4-12 record as far as I am concerned. He lost Tony Romo and Dez Bryant for almost all of last season. When healthy though, this roster is good enough to go to the Super Bowl. Jerry Jones wants that, and he wants it now. Need I say more?

Photo from rantsports.com

Photo from rantsports.com

 

Bill O’Brien- This may surprise some, but hear me out. Someone had to benefit from Indy’s struggles last year. Houston rode J.J. Watt and their defense to a 9-7 record and won the division. At times though, the offense was dreadful. They switched between Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett throughout the early part of the season at quarterback. Then, they brought back a familiar face in T.J. Yates and also signed Brandon Weeden. Everyone was given a chance and failed miserably for one reason or another. Houston trailed two separate games by 30+ points at the half. Eventually, they were absolutely dismantled at home by Kansas City in one of the most lopsided playoff games I have ever seen, losing 30-0. They struggled to get first downs, forget about scoring. O’Brien has a reputation as an offensive guru. Last year, the offense got progressively worse. He has essentially bet his job on Brock Osweiler bringing stability to this offense. Osweiler kept the Broncos together last season while Peyton Manning was injured. He got a huge payday for it. Denver was more than content to let him walk. Only time will tell which organization was right. The roster in Houston is too good to be held down by pathetic quarterback play.

Photo from scoopnest.com

Photo from scoopnest.com

Marvin Lewis- No coach must win more this year than Marvin Lewis. He has been the head man since 2003. He has coached six playoff games and has an 0-6 record. His seat really started getting hot after their embarrassing playoff collapse against the Steelers, you can relieve it below thanks to the NFL’s YouTube channel. I was there. It was the most surreal thing I have ever experienced in sports. Lewis should not have to be a babysitter, but must take the blame for thing like that. To his credit, he did. However, for a roster loaded with talent and an organization that has not won playoff game in 26 years, it is now or never.

The Bengals Draft Guide

Laquon Treadwell is a top level talent, however he's free falling in some mocks. (Photo By: Michael Chang, Getty Images)

Laquon Treadwell is a top level talent, however, he’s free falling in some mocks. (Photo By: Michael Chang, Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Bengals are expected to be one of the teams in competition for the AFC North title in 2016. A year after watching the Bengals implode against arch-rival Pittsburgh Steelers, the team looks to follow-up and make greater strides this season.

We’ll know more about the future of the team after the first round of the draft is completed. Will they go “all-in” for 2016, meaning, do they select what would amount to an impact receiver? Or do they pick a long-term project player as they’ve been known to try?

With the losses of Mohamed Sanu (Atlanta Falcons) and Marvin Jones (Detroit Lions) in the offseason, the Bengals are a few receivers short of the depth they’ve grown accustomed to. With that being one of the glaring holes the team is at a small crossroads. Do they select a receiver early and expect him to put up incredible numbers in his rookie season? Or, do they favor a later round receiver (like Jones and Sanu) and expect him to slot in as the third or fourth option behind A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert?

These questions will be the first of many that the Bengals “War Room” has to debate heading into the draft. They’ll also have to battle the question of picking a receiver with the idea of drafting a project player. 

Last season we saw the Bengals select Cedric Ogbuehi, an offensive linemen that would’ve probably been a top five pick before a season-ending injury pushed him to the bottom of the first round. Ogbuehi has since regained strength and learned under the likes of Andrew Whitworth and company, and developed into a bright star moving forward. He’ll be a starter next season and should be a mainstay for the rest of his career. That project worked out well.

They’ve also selected guys like Darqueze Dennard, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Kevin Zeitler and allowed them to work their ways into the starting lineup, not pressuring them to be stars from day one. This method has worked well and has allowed the team to be called “the deepest team in the NFL” or “the most talented team 1-53, in the NFL” from NFL luminaries all over network TV.

With these things in mind, there seem to be a few options for Cincinnati in the first round.

  1. Draft a receiver that fits the bill as a top tier target on Andy Dalton’s offense.
  2. Draft a longer term project that has fell down the board due to injury.
  3. Draft a depth player that will eventually fill a pivotal role. However, this pick won’t make an immediate boom.

These are the essential choices the Bengals have laying at their feet ahead of the draft that is now, right at our doorstep.

If Marvin Lewis dives down the first rabbit hole, he’ll likely please the fan base that believes next season should end with a Super Bowl championship. The fan base is in outcry mode after losing beloved options Jones and Sanu. They want an immediate replacement that will play a fundamental role in the offense.

What options are out there?

  1. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
    Will Fuller may be considered the top receiver on the board with the fall of Treadwell. (Photo By: Walter Football)

    Will Fuller may be considered the top receiver on the board with the fall of Treadwell. (Photo By: Walter Football)

  2. Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
  3. Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
  4. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
  5. Michael Thomas, WR, OSU

These are really the five guys we’re going to talk about. Ideally, Laquon Treadwell falls to Cincinnati. You may wonder why that’s an ideal thing? If he’s falling, something has to be wrong, right? People don’t like the leg injury he suffered two years ago. It was a nasty play and leaves question marks everywhere. But for the most part, this point is overplayed. He isn’t the greatness route runner and likely won’t burn many corners with his 4.63 40-yard dash. That’s a lot slower than Green’s 4.5 he ran in 2011. These things do appear to dampen the expectations for Treadwell. But that’s why he isn’t going to be a top 10 pick. He’s falling into the 20’s; there’s a big difference between a can’t miss receiver and a mid-20’s pick. He’s not Green or Julio Jones; he’s Anquan Boldin. A receiver that wins jump balls and outmuscles most corners. He’s a possession guy that’s going to be a great second option opposite of Green.

Should Treadwell fall, he should be the pick.

Fuller and Coleman would both be great number two picks. I’m just a tick lower on them than Treadwell, so both would be home runs for different reasons. Fuller is a blazing fast (4.32) outside threat that looks like a burner that could take the top off of a defense. He could become Green’s best friend in week one. Coleman, much like Fuller, is a blazer. A 4.37 40-yard dash time at his pro day make him a viable option for Cincinnati. He’s a little less polished, and I worry about production inflation in the Big 12. Taken aside, he’s a great route-runner and can burn just as well as Fuller. I would grade Fuller slightly ahead of Coleman, and I assume the Bengals would do the same.

Doctson is the only other receiver I would consider. He ran a 4.5 40-yard dash and is a bit taller than both of the aforementioned receivers (6’2”). He is the least polished of the big four and wouldn’t turn as many heads. But he fits the bill as a number two beside Green. Thomas is off my board as a first round pick. Should the Bengals trade down (as if that would ever happen), he becomes a much better option in the second round.

Taking option two for the Bengals wouldn’t be as popular as the first choice, at least immediately. Ogbuehi wasn’t a popular pick on the first day, but fans are starting to see why the pick happened and seem to love it.

The main topic of discussion, Notre Dame linebacker, Jaylon Smith, suffered a devastating knee injury to end last season. How has this changed things? Well, he was a consensus top five pick last season, now? He’s in danger of falling into the latter part of the first round. A significant change that opens up a window of opportunity for the Bengals.

Jaylon Smith fell down draft boards after a Fiesta Bowl knee injury derailed his final college football game. (Photo By: Sporting News)

Jaylon Smith fell down draft boards after a Fiesta Bowl knee injury derailed his final college football game. (Photo By: Sporting News)

New information came out today that some doctors are saying his knee is a ticking time bomb with all of the nerve damage. This is a major concern. It could be career jeopardizing. Or, he could come back and be fine. That’s where the gamble comes in. You truly have no idea what you’re going to get from him. He could be the best player from this draft or he could be out of the NFL after two seasons.

The Bengals love their pass rush and you can never have enough solid linebackers. Would they consider this pick? Yes. For sure. Would they pull the trigger? Probably. Will they? Who knows?

The last option would be for the Bengals to select some interior line help on either side of the ball, or maybe some secondary help. The Bengals and Lewis himself, love having depth. They do have holes that could be addressed, but they also have possible fillers on their roster. They can also fill these holes later in the draft.

Some of the names to watch for. . .

  1. Noah Spence, DE, EKU
  2. Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

These two have floated around on the Bengals radar. Sure, there are several other options (most of which we haven’t even connected to the Bengals) but these two are the main options to think about.

Spence and Billings will both fill gaps on the Bengals D-Line. Spence could become a great pass rusher and Billings would fill in the gap that Domata Peko is starting to leave. He’s got age and will need a full-time replacement.

If I had to lay down a solid prediction, it would be at the wide receiver position. There have been grumblings that the Bengals aren’t sold on Lewis as a Super Bowl winning coach while also giving him a one-year extension, go figure. With that in mind, this year should be an all-in type of season for the Bengals. For Marvin Lewis to keep his job, 2016 must be a good season. That means they’ll likely try and find the most impactful player in the draft. That will probably come from a receiver.

Which one? That’s where the real debate comes in.

The Bengals Biggest Enemy

Andy Dalton, 14, and A.J. Green, 18, could be without Mohamed Sanu, 12, and Marvin Jones, 82, in 2016. (Photo by: Cincinnati Enquirer)

Andy Dalton, 14, and A.J. Green, 18, could be without Mohamed Sanu, 12, and Marvin Jones, 82, in 2016. (Photo by: Cincinnati Enquirer)

Coming off of a disastrous end to 2015, the 2016 Cincinnati Bengals need to brace for a rough offseason. This was to be expected, at least partially. The Bengals have known that 2016 would be a pivotal year for free agents. The Bengals have known that they’d have double-digit free agents and that they would likely lose a decent chunk of those free agents. However, they did a little bit of prep work. Last season was a draft that was weighted heavily towards depth. The first two picks, Cedric Ogbuehi, and Jake Fisher were both going to be backups on the offensive line. And with the relationship likely coming to an end with Andre Smith, they’re prepared. However, you can never be entirely prepared for this type of offseason. But for the Bengals, there is something else complicating things, something that they have only themselves to blame.

The Marvin Lewis coaching tree.

That’s right. Something that is typically associated with success is soon to become a burden, an even bigger one than it already was. Former defensive guru and current Minnesota Vikings head coach, Mike Zimmer, has already been known to poach talent from the Bengals. Last season he picked up cornerback, Terence Newman, after his time in Cincinnati ended. That was one of the several moves that Zimmer made relating to former Bengals.

This season, however, is an entirely different story. Hue Jackson and Vance Joseph have since joined Zimmer and Jay Gruden as former Bengals coaches now in new cities.

Jackson left Cincy to fill the void in Cleveland as head coach, and Joseph is now the defensive coordinator in Miami. Now two offensive minds join a pair of defensive coaches in the NFL circle.

Why is this a bad thing? Well, it’s simple. These coaches were able to grow relationships with players while in Cincinnati, of course. And now they can call back on those relationships (and possibly ante up more money) to bring in former pupils. The most dangerous offensive players to hit the market will be wide receivers Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones. The danger is imminent on defense as the secondary, which was thin to begin with, could lose a pair of corners, Adam Jones, and Leon Hall, as well as safeties, Reggie Nelson and George Iloka; not to mention the pending loss of their two-time defending leading tackler, Vincent Rey.

The possibility that the Bengals only bring back a pair, or fewer, of those free agents is very real and equally scary proposition for the Bengals. Replacing a third string wide receiver or backup linemen is easy to do. Replacing four starters from your secondary and your second and third options at receiver is an impossible task.

How do the former Bengals coaches figure into the equation? Well, they’re all heavily rumored to be salivating over the possibility of reuniting with their former players.

The Vikings signed Newman away from Cincinnati last season, and they would love to find a similar result this season. Jones and Hall have both (as have most former Bengals defenders) expressed love for their former defensive coordinator. Fueling the fire would be the possibility of signing Vinny Rey. The Vikings are definitely a landing spot for all of those players. And if you think Zimmer isn’t going to be reaching out to the dynamic safety duo, you’re crazy.

The Dolphins are also in the market for defensive help and will likely reach out to Rey and fellow linebacker Emmanuel Lamur, another key cog in the Bengals system.

And, Jackson,  the newest head coach to leave Cincinnati, would jump for joy if he could nab the pair of Bengals wide receivers. The Browns are desperate for something on the outside; they’d both fit in nicely with Jackson’s system. But could they be crazy enough to leave Cincinnati for the black hole for quarterbacks and receivers alike?

Those three teams, and possibly the Washington Redskins, will all be in constant contact with former Bengals. This enemy is about to wage war with the Queen City, and it comes from a host of former allies.

 

Marvin Lewis Must Be Fired So The Bengals Can Take The Next Step

marv

(Marvin Lewis is holding the Cincinnati Bengals back, Courtesy sportsdesk.com)

The definition of insanity is commonly known as repeating something over and over again, while expecting different results.

If that definition is taken into the fullest extent, the Cincinnati Bengals should be checked into an insane asylum.

After their self-destruction in the final minute of their wild card round playoff game against Pittsburgh on Saturday, Cincinnati lost its fifth-straight playoff game in as many seasons. To add to that, Marvin Lewis etched his name in the NFL record books, as the loss gave him the worst NFL playoff record in the history of the league at 0-7.

Marvin Lewis is great at winning games he should win. So is every other coach in the NFL.

Where Lewis falls short, however, is when his team is under the lights. When Cincinnati has played in a primetime game under Marvin Lewis, they’ve lost more than they’ve won. They’ve lost a lot more than they’ve won.

Marvin Lewis has been coaching the Cincinnati Bengals for 11 seasons. His record in games that have taken place in the playoffs, or after 7:00 P.M. is 7-27.

“But he wins games.”

“But he works so well with team owner Mike Brown.”

“The league already has a shortage of black head coaches, losing Marvin Lewis would further extend how the struggle for black coaches in the NFL.”

I’ve heard all of these arguments, even the third. That’s great. Winning regular season games is fun. Picking out the right draft picks and agreeing to sign the right players is dandy. But when is enough, enough?

As this season wore on, the Bengals became one of the last undefeated teams in the NFL.

So as the team was on fire, what caused them to suddenly fizzle out in their first loss of the season? Let’s look at the circumstances coming into the game.

The Bengals, then 8-0, were on their home field in a Monday night game against the then reeling Houston Texans. The Texans were 3-5 and in the midst of an unruly quarterback controversy.

Cincinnati scored six(!) points in the entire game, while giving up 10. Prior to the game, the Bengals had averaged 28.6 points per game.

If this game was played at 1 P.M. on a Sunday, I believe the Bengals would have won. Marvin Lewis can’t prepare his team when it matters most, and that’s why he should be fired.

The Bengals went on to lose to Arizona on Sunday night the next week.

Lewis went 1-3 in primetime games this season. His only win was on Thursday night against the NFL’s dumpster fire, also known as the Cleveland Browns.

I blame Marvin Lewis, not Vontaze Burfict or Adam “Pacman” Jones for the loss on Saturday night.

Sure, Burfict and Jones earned 15-yard penalties after the exact same play, but for the entire game (and season), Marvin Lewis had allowed it to happen.

Burfict and Jones are grown men. They should be able to control themselves. The pertinent word being should.

Adam Jones is grown man. He’s also been arrested a total of eight times according to complex.com. His offenses include assault and felony vandalism, drug possession, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, resisting arrest, and on and on.

“Marvin Lewis shouldn’t be expected to control someone who commits crimes and has been a hothead for the entire season”.

Let’s ask New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. He coached Aaron Hernandez, and controlled him well.

Hernandez is sitting in a jail cell awaiting a trial for his involvement in a murder.

So don’t give me that crap that a coach can’t control a player. Bill Belichick controlled a (not yet convicted) murderer.

After the loss to the Steelers on Saturday, there were many parties being blamed. Jeremy Hill for the most unclutch fumble in Bengals history, the 1-2 combo of Adam Jones and Vontaze Burfict for their personal fouls with 18 seconds left, and Marvin Lewis for not controlling his players were the top targets.

The fact of the matter is that Marvin Lewis has not controlled his team ever since he’s been at Cincinnati. He failed to simmer Carson Palmer’s hissy fit that resulted in him “retiring” (I admit that can also be blamed on Bengals ownership). He allowed multiple players to be arrested with no repercussions from 2006-2008. Those years earned the Bengals a notorious tag of being the thugs of the NFL.

Even this season, reports filed in that Bengals players had feelings that Vontaze Burfict would have such a disrupting and illegal fit that it could cost the Bengals a game- or their season.

The blame must go on Marvin Lewis. He’s allowed the culture to take shape in Cincinnati. There is no discipline for players who act out of line, and no intentions of changing.

“It didn’t go over the edge,” Marvin Lewis said of Burfict’s unruly hit. “Unfortunately, he can’t have that kind of blow with a guy that’s receiving a pass. It didn’t go over the edge.”

He went on to reiterate that he thought there was nothing wrong with Burfict’s hit, and thoroughly supported him.

I guess he forgot that Burfict lost the game for his team.

Plenty of NFL experts gave their insight on the game. All quotes are courtesy of Bleacher Report.

“If you can’t control your players, then maybe somebody else should be trying to control them,” said Rodney Harrison.

Boomer Esiason had a similar take.

“And I’ll tell you one thing, if Marvin Lewis can’t control his players, maybe Marin Lewis shouldn’t be standing there on the sidelines coaching.”

Tony Gonzalez could only call the actions “embarrassing” and “stupid”.

Bart Scott: “He [Vontaze Burfict] lost his game and that goes on the head coach.”

Future first-ballot Hall of Famers, Super Bowl Champion players, and Super Bowl Champion coaches all agree that Lewis should be canned.
Lewis allows a disease in his locker room that can only be stopped by the firing of Marvin Lewis. The Bengals will continue to lose when it matters most until Lewis is out of Cincinnati.