The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since 1990, Marvin Lewis is 0-7 in the playoffs, he’s 0-2 to start 2017, and his offense still hasn’t scored a touchdown.
And yet, he still has a job.
“Look at Buffalo. They haven’t been to the playoffs in 17 years. The Bears haven’t been there since they fired Lovie Smith after a winning season,” Cincinnati Enquirer Bengals writer Jim Owczarski said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Not that stories influence Mike Brown, (but) he isn’t swayed by outside opinion. But I think there is that sense of, ‘I remember the ’90s. Look what Marvin’s done, and at some point, your players have to win a game.’ I understand that coaches can do things. We know about Bill Belichick and all that stuff. But you get to the playoffs, at some point you need the guys to make a play.”
The Bengals haven’t made many of those in the Lewis era. In fact, Cincinnati has been held to 17 points or fewer in all seven of his playoff losses.
“Jeremy Hill shouldn’t fumble at the 2-yard line in 2015,” Owczarski said. “Or maybe in 2013, Andy Dalton shouldn’t have turned it over four times. So it’s one of those things where I think in some ways the coach is important, but I think Mike Brown also thinks (Lewis) needs some help. Carson Palmer and Chris Henry blew their knee out on one play. There’s always a rationalization, and I don’t know how far that goes, but I think it’s a real thing here.”
Some Bengals reportedly wanted Brown to sign Colin Kaepernick, but Owczarski believes that was more of a rumor than a report.
“No one would say that was said,” Owczarski said. “I don’t doubt it was said, but if you’re talking Thursday night at sort of the pinnacle of this offensive frustration, it might have just been a throwaway line that just got spun out. In that locker room, they don’t have an issue with there starting quarterback. The coaches don’t. For them, it’s a clear delineation. It’s Andy Dalton and AJ McCarron is the backup. If Andy gets hurt, they feel good about AJ stepping in. In Cincinnati, it’s a clear starter and a clear backup. That’s just the way it is here. The other stuff, if it was said, it wasn’t accurate to that degree regarding Colin Kaepernick.”
The Bengals (0-2) play the Packers (1-1) at Lambeau this Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.