When It Comes To Pro Football, Cincinnati Is Confused

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What is going on in Cincinnati?

2017 was another tough year for Bengals fans. The team finished 7-9.

At least the 2017 team didn’t disappoint fans by losing a playoff game. Cincy didn’t get into the playoffs.

What’s new? Nothing.

Courtesy: Alchetron

To get a handle on this story, let’s go all the way back to 2003. That year the Bengals signed former Ravens DC, Marvin Lewis, as head coach. Lewis arrived with great promise for a team that hadn’t won a playoff game since 1991.

Cincinnati made the playoffs in Lewis’ second season. Even though the team lost in the playoffs (to Pittsburgh), at least the Queen City had hope.

Let’s flash forward to 2009. That was a promising season under Lewis. Cincinnati finished on top of the AFC North (10-6) and Lewis was named Coach of the Year. Everything looked like things would finally fall into place. They didn’t. The Bengals lost in the playoffs to the Jets, 24-14.

Over the next eight seasons, the same thing happened over and over. It was a pattern: good regular season, post-season potential and, then, losing when winning mattered most.

2009 was a sign that things hadn’t changed. And 2009 was a harbinger of things to come.

Many fans blame Lewis. He and his staff have never found a way to win a playoff game. And while fans’ angst is understandable, perhaps they should redirect their emotions to the Bengals’ front office. What it did recently is … well … just plain mind-boggling. Last week the Bengals signed Marvin Lewis to a 2-year extension (through the 2019 season).

Here’s what I think that signing tells the Bengals’ fan base:

We (the front office) don’t care about winning.

We (the front office) like the team’s direction–mediocrity.

We (the front office) prefer to be “not terrible” and, in exchange for that, we’ll get a high draft pick.

This contract extension is utterly confusing. It puts faith and trust in a coach who hasn’t won a playoff game in 14 years. And, remember, this franchise hasn’t won a playoff game in 27 years.

What is going on in Cincinnati?


About Andrew Waters

My roots begin in New York. Sports is my world and I spend time watching, talking, and writing about sports–especially the NBA, NFL, and MLB. I pay special attention to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Charlotte Hornets, and New York Yankees, as well as the exploits of James Harden, Jeremy Lamb, Aaron Rodgers, Josh Dobbs, Giancarlo Stanton, and Andrew McCutchen. l enjoy writing because it gives me the freedom to express opinions. I’m passionate about sports and thrive on sparking conversation about my points of view. I’d love to have you comment on my articles.

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