What Marvin Lewis, Carson Palmer And The Rest Of The Cincinnati Bengals Do Right Against The Pittsburgh Steelers? Can You Say Benson Ball?

Since I’v been hard on the Bengals in the past, and Marvin Lewis in particular, I want to be sure and give credit when it’s due. It may be a little bit early to start jumping on the band wagon, especially with a team that has the history of the Bengals, but they should be commended for their more recent efforts.

Were it not for a freak play at the end of game 1, the Bengals would be looking at a 3-0 record. As it is, they are 2-1, which is exactly one game above .500. That being said, I won’t be buying any Super Bowl tickets just yet. But, the Bengals definitely did give their fans something to be excited about this past Sunday.

With time winding down, the Bengals were able to drive 71 yards and cap off a 16 play drive with a touchdown to narrowly defeat the Steelers by a score of 23-30. In that final drive, the Bengals face a couple of 4th down conversions. On the last one, it was 4 & 10 on the Steelers 15. On the play, all of the Bengal receivers were covered, except Palmer’s last option–Brian Leonard out of the backfield. Leonard caught the ball around the 8 or 9 and knew he had to make it to the 5. It looked like he was going to be dragged down, but Leonard clawed and lunged for the yard marker to barely pick up the first down. With the clock still running, Plamer had to spike the ball to stop the clock.

Finally, with 14 seconds to go, palmer hits Caldwell to go up by one. He then hit Leonard on the 2 point conversion to go up by 3.

So who were the difference makers? Can you say Benson Ball? After running for 18 yards in the first half, Cedric benson gained 58 in the 2nd half, including a 23 yard touchdown run where he was untouched. More importantly, his grinding help keep Roethlisberger’s offense off the field.  It wasn’t pretty but it got the job done.

That and 2 new additions to the team that were let go by their former NFL teams: Andre Caldwell and Brian Leonard–both of whom made clutch catches.

Benson Ball–that has a nice ring to it.

Marvin Lewis Doesn’t Deserve The Cincinnati Bengals: Antwan Odom Gets 5 Sacks

After losing last week on a last second play to the Denver Broncos, Marvin Lewis escapes by the skin of his teeth in a well played win by the Cincinnati Bengals over the Green Bay Packers. However, had it not been for exceptional play by a few key players, the Bengals surely would have lost again. It seems Lewis may end up being their downfall–if he hasn’t been already.

Being one of the worst teams in the NFL in the last two decades, losing for the Cincinnati Bengals has become a habit. It seems Marvin Lewis is ok with it. Can you imagine Bill Cowher, Mike Tomlin, Mike Ditka, Vince Lomabrdi or any of the other coaching greats in history seeming so satisfied with such a lackluster team? Maybe being a wet paper bag is just Marvin’s personality and demeanor, then why is he coaching? What coach other than a loser could sleep at night with the kind of record he has had? How can the man look himself in the mirror? Surely he has donated ALL of his paycheck to orphans, the poor and homeless. No person in their right mind with a good conscience could accept a paycheck for doing what he has done (or really for what he HASN’T done).

Rather than step up and take responsibility for the loss at Denver, he blames it on one freak play at the end of the game. What about the other 90% of the game Marvin where your offense did nothing? Man up and take some responsibility. Who is responsible for their poor record Marvin? If not you, then who? Either coach or get out if you don’t want to coach Marvin. He obviously doesn’t have the killer instinct and isn’t able to go for the jugular when he has a team down.

Being up 7 points with over 4 minutes left in the 4th quarter, rather than try a field goal or go for it on 4th and 1 on the opponents 35 yard line, Marvin punts it. Are you kidding me Marvin? Were the Packers paying him? Why didn’t he go for the kill at that point to swing momentum in their favor? Because he was hoping the Bengals would win–just like he has for the last 10 years. The fact that the Bengals won today has absolutely nothing to do with Marvin Lewis and everything to do with a few exceptional players that didn’t buy into Lewis’ loser-like mentality of whoa is me.

Cedric Benson, a new running back addition to the team, carried the Bengals for 143 yards. Antwan Odom finally played the like player he is and recorded 5 sacks–yes, you read that correctly–5 sacks. Without those 2 players, we lose that game. Really, if Odom doesn’t have such a breakout game, we lose. Are you kidding me? One player with 5 sacks? I could have coached that team and won the game. What the heck does Lewis want???  Only an idiot could lose a game where you have one player with 5 sacks, a punter that averages over 50 yards a punt in Kevin Huber, and a running back that carries for 143 yards. With those kind of stats, if Lewis can’t win that game, he shouldn’t be coaching in football, period. Not in the NFL, not in college, high school, or pee-wee. That guy walks around like whoa is me–he reminds me of bad-luck Schleprock on the Flintstones. Get a life Marvin. Get fired up and ticked-off win your team loses or when your team loses games they should have won. Or when your team almost loses in games a 3rd grader could have coached and won.

Yah, the responsibility for winning no longer lies with the Bengals. They have shown they want to compete. Many of the players that want to compete are new to the team. So it’s not like Marvin has created this winning environment. In fact, he’s done the exact opposite really. He’s created an environment where losing is acceptable, expected, and it’s ok–as long as you try and keep “fighting.” Marvin hasn’t fought one day since he’s arrived in Cincinnati. He is fortunate enough to be working with players that are new to the system , used to winning, and don’t accept the loser mentality that Marvin has allowed to pervade the Bengals locker room over the years. Yes, the Bengals won. But in no large part due to Marvin Lewis. Hopefully the newer players will continue their winning ways and Marvin will stay out of the way. Just stay out of the way Marvin. Let the players play and the other coaches coach. You keep doing your “whoa is me” routine when they lose. Of course it’s not your fault when they lose Marvin, you’re just the coach!