The Bengals Loss to The Packers is 100% on Marvin Lewis
By: Alex Marcheschi
Yesterday the Bengals started their game against the Packers in the most refreshing way possible. The offense was dynamic, Andy was throwing darts and there was a semblance of a protection scheme. William Jackson even took a pick to the house, it was only the second time Aaron Rodgers has ever thrown a pick six. Impressive. We got one half of good football, they made us wait for it, but we got it. The Bengals walked into the locker room at halftime up 21-7, but we all knew the second half would be the real test.
Sadly, it appeared as if Marvin spent halftime relaxing in comfort. As a head coach, you have to know the Packers staff is going balls to the wall at halftime, coming up with adjustments for the second half. You have to know that. The one thing Marvin couldn’t do was get complacent, and that’s exactly what he did. In fact, that one word, “complacent”, can be used to sum up Marvin’s tenure here in Cincinnati. He’s never shown the hunger to win and get better that other coaches in our division, specifically Tomlin and Harbaugh, have shown. He seems to be completely OK with playing fine football and making excuses when things go awry.
He had to know that the defense wasn’t going to be able to hold Rodgers to 7 points for another half. The D has been playing great this year, and that first half was impeccable. Even though Cincinnati had a 14 point lead at the start of the second half, they should have been playing as if they were down 14. The second half was quintessential Marvin Lewis football, playing not to lose instead of playing to win. At this point, there’s really nothing left to say. Marvin Lewis is not going to be fired this season, even though he should have been fired years ago.
Yesterday, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport published a very interesting article about the Bengals. It basically said that Mike Brown made the decision to can Zampese, because as Rapoport wrote: “Brown calmly and reasonably informed the coaching staff that the talent is not the problem, per sources informed of the situation. Brown believes the team has top-five talent and that the players on the field aren’t the problem.”
Now, obviously it was a good decision to fire Zampese, and in the moment it was very clear that Marvin was not a fan of the decision because Zamp had been with Marvin for his entire tenure in Cincy. In reality, Marvin Lewis and Zamp should have both been fired after the Texans game. Brown fired Zamp because he’d never fire Marvin, the two basically consider themselves to be family. It’s somewhat refreshing that Brown made the call to give Zampese the ax, but Marvin should have been gone too and if Brown really believes the Bengals have “top five talent”, then this man needs to be checked into a retirement home.
We might have top five talent if you’re talking strictly skill position players, but if you include other important factors like, I don’t know, say…offensive line, we aren’t even close to top five. As we’ve seen this year, the O Line is the most important position group in the NFL, and we just might have the worst group in the entire league. I’ve written this countless times, but things will never change for us Bengals fans as long as Mike Brown is owning and operating the team. It’s that simple. Marvin is his yes man, and he’ll be our coach for as long as Brown is alive.