(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.