Defying all logic and reason, the Cincinnati Bengals reached a 2-year extension with head coach Marvin Lewis, a coach who has zero playoff victories in his 15 seasons has the Bengals head coach. He has a 125-112-3 record in the regular season, which is pretty darn average- especially as the only team with more than 1 tie dating back to 2003- and is 0-7 in the postseason.
Lewis is perpetually in over his head and serves as the coaching version of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and the Dalton Line: anyone better than Lewis or Dalton is a viable long-term leader of the team and anyone worse will need to be replaced.
Somehow, the Bengals wound up with both and will continue to exist in NFL purgatory until someone finally realizes that the Bengals are a Weekend at Bernie’s operation.
The extension of Lewis means that the AFC North will continue to feature a 0-to-3 win Cleveland Browns organization and a 7-to-9 win Bengals outfit, give or take a win based upon a bounce here or there. The Pittsburgh Steelers will continue to win the division, while the Baltimore Ravens will hope everyone forgets that they’ve made the playoffs just once in the five years since giving Joe Flacco an enormous contract extension.
I actually think the Bengals are hoping that Hue Jackson will be fired by the Browns after the 2018 or 2019 season, allowing Cincinnati to hire Jackson as Lewis’ replacement.
Meanwhile, this means that Bill Belichick- who has 38 fewer losses with the New England Patriots than Lewis has with the Bengals, despite coaching 4 additional seasons- will not have a 7-year gap between himself and the next-most tenured head coach.
New England doesn’t face the Bengals until 2019 when the AFC East and AFC North pair up, unless Cincinnati makes the 2018 postseason.
How does the extension of Lewis affect the Patriots? Well, let’s take a deep dive into Lewis’ role in the NFL, how the AFC North affects the rest of the conference, and hahaha just kidding, this is how the entire Patriots organization feels after hearing this news:
Sorry, Bengals fans.