According to a report by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals Marvin Lewis faced a near mutiny after falling to 0-2 by suffering a loss Thursday night to the Houston Texans. Florio also reported that some players inside the locker room want Cincy to bench Andy Dalton and sign Colin Kaepernick. Could you imagine a worse way to start a season?
Looking to bounce back after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2010, the Bengals look flat out terrible. The offense has been so bad that two weeks into the season their offensive coordinator has already been fired.
But don’t worry folks Marvin Lewis is still leading the charge with his 0-7 career playoff record. Lewis’s seat is definitely getting hotter by starting the season 0-2 and based on reports it seems he is losing the locker room and when the team loses confidence in the head coach then it is time for a change (take notes Mike Brown). Lewis has been hanging on for dear life almost his whole Bengals tenure but owner Mike Brown has stayed very loyal to Lewis but living on the last year of his contract, Brown may have had the last straw.
It isn’t all Lewis’s fault. Quarterback Andy Dalton is helping add to the Bengals troubles by playing like absolute garbage. He has been playing so bad that anybody watching the Bengals on Thursday Night Football was yelling, “I could’ve made that throw” at their TV every time Dalton attempted a pass. Now, Dalton’s offensive line has also played bad but if you’re a veteran quarterback in the league you are expected to play solid even if your line isn’t great.
So far this season, Dalton has a 54.5% completion rate, four interceptions, one fumble, a quarterback rating of 47, and a total QBR of 8.0. Yes, 8.0. Fans and apparently some players are hoping for the benching of Dalton; his play has at least warranted a discussion but is Colin Kaepernick coming to town? Not a chance.
The whole Colin Kaepernick situation is a tough one. Should he have a job in the NFL? Yes; he is way too talented. Too bad he won’t get a job in Cincy. If the Bengals do end up making a switch at QB, A.J. McCarron will be the guy to step up and replace Dalton due to his familiarity with the system, the Bengals fascination with his potential, and to possibly see if he is a franchise quarterback that can help Cincinnati finally win their first playoff game since 1990.
Although the offense has been a flaming pile of shit, the defense has played pretty well. They rank 5th in total yards per game and 1st in passing yards per game only allowing opposing quarterbacks to throw for an average of 104 yards per game. Granted it has been against an injured Joe Flacco and a rookie in Deshaun Watson but it is still nice to see some silver lining in this horrendous start.
So, how are the Bengals going to be fixed? Well there are a few things that should happen. The Dalton era is over and Cincinnati has to move on. Dalton has been unimpressive in his playoff starts and he has only really had one season in which he was an above average QB. Either before or after making a switch at QB, the Bengals need to get rid of Marvin Lewis. He has been a help to the organization helping them go from the Bungles to the Bengals but he has been there too long with too little success. Lewis is in the last year of his deal so Brown may just pass up on re-signing him. Finding a replacement for Lewis should come within the organization and Paul Guenther has done a tremendous job as defensive coordinator and he is very deserving of a promotion.
The season already seems like a lost one for Cincinnati but don’t expect them to make drastic changes during the season. Using offensive coordinator Ken Zampese as the scapegoat may be saving Lewis and Dalton’s job for the time being but now, the pressure on the two of them is double of what it was.
With the locker room and fan base looking for answers the only way the situation can be fixed is by winning football games. It doesn’t look like there is going to be a lot of that this year in Ohio but maybe with a new quarterback and new head coach next year can bring the Bengals back to the postseason.