The Cincinnati Bengals have made the playoffs for five years in a row for the first time in franchise history. The Bengals record in the 1990’s was 52-108 in 2000-2009 it was 68-91-1 so far from 2010-2016 they have went 66-39-1. You can just look at the numbers and see a huge improvement… That is until the Bengals have a playoff game. Coming from a long line of Bengals fans I always hear the horror stories of the late 1990’s and how we “shouldn’t complain it could be worse.” and yes it could be worse.
Looking at the Bengals roster you see big names like AJ Green, Adam Jones, Carlos Dunlap, and many more and say wow this team can make a deep run and they can, but why aren’t they? Do you blame Andy Dalton? Do you blame Marvin Lewis? Or do you blame the players who didn’t control themselves in the most recent game against the Pittsburg Steelers? Well if you said either one of those three you’re correct… partially. All three are to blame for the struggles in the playoffs for Cincinnati.
Andy Dalton has been a blessing to the Bengals helping them to the playoffs every year he has been in the league. The Bengals have helped him by surrounding him with a good running game and solid wide-outs and he has given the Bengals results until the lights are on. Andy Dalton has had troubles in primetime games and its obvious that something isn’t right.
How long are the Bengals going to sit back and be OK with good regular season play and less than mediocre primetime play?
AJ McCaron showed up and almost won a playoff game. With that being said how long do the Bengals stand by and let Dalton flop before pulling him out and letting AJ Start? Why Dalton cant figure it out is beyond Bengal fans, but how long are Bengals fans willing to wait to see if he does figure it out?
Late in the game and Vontaze Burfict get an interception! Wow! They did it!?! Every Bengals fan was pumped at that moment its been 25 years! Little did they know it’s about to be the longest last few minutes of a football most of them have ever experienced. Jeremy Hill Fumbles the ball! In the biggest game of his career and he fumbles in the closing minutes? Ok maybe the defense will hold up and stop an injured Ben Roethlisberger.
The Bengals have a great defense, but no matter how good you defense is if you lose your cool you will not win and the Bengals found that out the hard way. 30 yards, 30 yards! in a matter of 30 seconds the Steelers gained thirty yards! Vontaze helmet to helmet hit 15 yards and them Adam Jones decides to lose his cool and shove a coach! Many have asked and they still wonder what was he thinking?!?! You add those two mistakes together and you get another first round exit! All of these guys deserve part of the blame.
Marvin Lewis came into a ship wreck of a team and helped turn it around! Bengals fans far and wide are grateful, but how long do you settle with mediocre when you can be doing better? Marvin Lewis is an amazing drafter most of the Bengals team is drafted. One thing that sticks out to me is how fast those players lost their tempers, yes they are their own person and should be able to control them self but Marvin Lewis should have enough control to be able to spot when tempers are running high and stop it.
Another thing that sticks out is there are no fines from the Bengals organization to those players who received unsportsmanlike penalties to lose the playoff game. Lewis could have those players fined in a heartbeat and yet there has been no disciplinary action taken against those players at all from the Bengals. Lewis has no control of the team and its becoming more obvious year by year. In my opinion if Lewis doesn’t deliver this year he may be looking for a job next season.