CLEVELAND — The Bengals fell to 6-9 on Sunday in a 26-18 loss to the in-state rival Browns, which as soon as extra prompts the eternal questions on longtime coach Marvin Lewis’ future.
The place does Cincinnati go from proper right here? Will the franchise do what it usually does and stand nonetheless?
Sooner than Sunday’s recreation, ESPN reported Broncos coach Vance Joseph, if let go in Denver, may presumably be a candidate to be Cincinnati’s subsequent defensive coordinator, and even head coach counting on what Lewis decides to do throughout the offseason. That’s correct, the Bengals reportedly are letting the coach resolve his future.
Lewis is 131-121-Three as Bengals coach with a Zero-7 doc throughout the postseason since taking on in 2003. His third straight shedding season goes reverse to the “Seize the Dey” promoting advertising marketing campaign the group rolled out this 12 months.
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“We merely didn’t make some essential performs in essential moments,” Lewis said after the loss to the Browns in a four-question press conference.
Cleveland did make these performs and completed a giant season sweep of its rival. The ultimate time the Bengals have been swept by the Browns was in 2002, part of a 2-14 season that preceded Lewis’ arrival in 2003. Lewis entered the 2018 season with a 22-Eight doc in the direction of Cleveland.
There have been some side-shows Sunday, naturally. Vontaze Burfict (concussion) left the game and waved off a coach’s arm whereas strolling off the sphere. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield stared down Hue Jackson, the earlier Cleveland coach who was employed as a result of the actual assistant to Lewis on Nov. 13. It wasn’t pretty the equivalent debacle as a result of the ultimate meeting, when the Browns beat the Bengals 35-20 at Paul Brown Stadium on Nov. 25 and the Jackson-Mayfield converse spilled into the next week.
Nonetheless it was typical of a Lewis loss.
“We had an opportunity there on the end of the soccer recreation to have a possibility to get once more and have a go at it on the end,” said Lewis, whose crew fell behind 26-Three sooner than backup quarterback Jeff Driskell made it a recreation throughout the fourth quarter. “We gave up a couple of completions, considerably on third down, which ended establishing performs, which ended up being the excellence.”
That’s becoming a well known chorus, which leads once more to the choice.
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Lewis can maintain and convey on Joseph, or whoever else, to help restore a safety that has allowed 25.1 components per recreation since Teryl Austin was fired after a 51-14 loss to New Orleans on Nov. 11. Or Cincinnati can do what it should have completed closing season: Press the reset button.
If the Bengals need any further convincing, then they’ll take a look at their AFC neighbors. To the west is Indianapolis, the place Frank Reich was employed, Andrew Luck was revived and the Colts found themselves throughout the AFC playoff hunt this season. To the east is Buffalo, which is coming off a playoff look and establishing spherical first-round quarterback Josh Allen.
Nonetheless among the finest occasion stays to be their neighbors to the north, correct up I-71. Baker Mayfield and Myles Garrett, the ultimate two No. 1 whole picks throughout the NFL Draft, have revived a franchise that had been on life help for 20 years.
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Bengals proprietor Mike Brown turns 84 in 2019, and his daughter Katie Blackburn stays the supervisor vp of the franchise. Andy Dalton has two years left on his contract as a result of the chief of an offense that now choices Joe Mixon, A.J. Inexperienced and Tyler Boyd. The safety desires work.
The question that has lingered since Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati throughout the 2015-16 AFC wild-card recreation — a soul-crushing recreation for the Bengals — must be answered after this 12 months’s Week 17 matchup in the direction of the Steelers, which could drop Lewis to 1-5 throughout the division and drop the crew to double-digit losses for the first time since 2010.
If Lewis is deciding his future, it’s a good guess he returns for a further season in 2019. If that happens, it’s larger guess that Cincinnati will not obtain flooring on Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cleveland.
If that continues, then Cincinnati will not ever “Seize the Dey.”