Marvin Lewis turned into a character from a horror movie on Tuesday. No matter what you do, you can’t kill him off.
Lewis’ contract expired with the Bengals, after reports that he wouldn’t be back as head coach. Well, he’s back. The Bengals announced a two-year contract for Lewis. Amazing.
Lewis did finish the season well. What looked like a great curtain call to a long run in Cincinnati turned into two more seasons on the job. The Bengals beat the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens in back-to-back weeks, finishing both teams’ playoff hopes. It was impressive. The Bengals must have thought so too.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) January 2, 2018
While it’s a shocking move, considering earlier reports that he’d be out, it might not be the worst one for the Bengals. Lewis’ seven postseason appearances in 15 seasons matches how many times the Bengals made the playoffs in the first 35 years of the franchise’s existence. There are a decent amount of openings this offseason, and the Bengals’ job wouldn’t have been at the top of the list for most candidates. Instead of hiring the fourth or fifth best candidate on the market, the Bengals stuck with what they knew, even though Lewis has failed to make the playoffs the past two seasons.
That doesn’t mean the move will be popular in Cincinnati. Here’s what Cincinnati Enquirer Paul Dehner Jr. said about the news.
I would say "I don't know how you sell this to fans," but it doesn't even matter. No PR spin on Earth can keep this disenchanted fan base from a mass exodus.
— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) January 2, 2018
Lewis can finally try to get rid of a dubious mark: Even though he has brought the Bengals to the playoffs seven times, he has never won a playoff game. His seven playoff losses are an NFL record for any coach without a win.
Some (most?) Bengals fans likely were looking forward to a change, considering how long it has been without a playoff breakthrough. But Lewis wouldn’t go away that easily.
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