Marvin Lewis Back On The Hot Seat?

On the heels of a gut-wrenching loss to the hated Steelers on Saturday night–a loss that dropped his overall playoff record as a head coach to 0-7–there is speculation that Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis could be on the outs in Cincinnati. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes that the loss–or, more specifically, the way in which the loss unfolded–might have put Lewis firmly on the hot seat. Marvin Lewis (vertical)

By now, the game has been dissected ad nauseum. With a 16-15 lead late in the game, Bengals RB Jeremy Hill lost a fumble deep in Steelers territory as his team was attempting to run out the clock, giving Pittsburgh one last gasp. Although the Steelers were able to convert a fourth down to keep their hopes alive, they were still well outside of field goal range with time running out when Vontaze Burfict was flagged for an unnecessary roughness penalty for a brutal hit laid on Antonio Brown after a Ben Roethlisberger pass sailed over Brown’s head. As Brown was being tended to by Pittsburgh’s medical staff, the Bengals were hit with another 15-yard penalty when Adam Jones bumped into an official while jawing with Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter (who was doing a fair amount of chirping in his own right, and who should not have been on the field at that time).

In any event, the thirty yards’ worth of penalties put the Steelers squarely in field goal range without having to run another play, and after kicker Chris Boswell split the uprights on a 35-yarder, the game was essentially over and the Bengals had suffered the type of loss that will leave permanent scars on the Queen City. And, as the man in charge of a team renowned for its volatility, Lewis may be forced to pay the price.

Lewis, of course, is no stranger to the hot seat. Despite an otherwise admirable coaching tenure in which he has turned one of the league’s laughingstocks into a yearly contender, Lewis has yet to deliver a playoff win, and rumors regarding his job security seem to spring up to at least some degree each offseason. But if team owner Mike Brown sees last night’s debacle as a direct reflection of Lewis’ control over his team, then he could finally decide to go in a different direction.

If he does, offensive coordinator Hue Jackson–who is expected to land a head coaching gig of his own anyway–could be offered a promotion to the top job, although Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets that defensive coordinator Paul Guenther would be the top internal candidate. For all of his flaws, Brown has at least recognized that maintaining continuity at the head coaching position is generally the appropriate strategy, but after a loss like last night’s, maybe it’s time for a change.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

View Comments (16)
newest oldest

16 comments on “Marvin Lewis Back On The Hot Seat?

  1. star wars

    the browns well never win a playoff game intill they get there highly good players to control there bad penalizes.

    • Vedder80

      Which players on the Browns are highly good?

      • sponspie

        I think he’s saying the Brown family

  2. TJECK109

    Lewis should be fired. Is the goal to get to the playoffs or to win the Super Bowl? But I have a feeling it will be same as usual in Cincy.

    • TJECK109

      Let me add to that comment… Brown is known for loving his money; how does he keep players and a coach that just cost him and the city millions in additional revenue?

    • I agree that Lewis’ seat should be extremely hot, but its not his fault the team lost yesterday. If the Bengals win, we wouldn’t be having this conversation about Lewis even if the Bengals lost the following week (unless they were to get embarassed). Once the players go onto the field, there is little Lewis can do to control his players. He can’t control Hill fumbling the ball, he can’t control Burfict hitting Brown in the head and he can’t control Jones letting his emotions take over and drawing another penalty.

      And what does additional revenue have to do with any of this. Yeah its good to make money, but an owner/city isn’t going to fire a coach and get rid of players with the primary reason being that they cost us potential revenue by not getting further into the playoffs. On that theory, any team who doesn’t make the playoffs should just fire the entire coaching staff and completely revamp the roster right?

      • TJECK109

        Most teams that don’t make the playoffs do fire their coaches and revamp rosters. And I disagree that money and additional money isn’t a factor. Owners are not in this just to say they own a team. They are in this to make money. If you or I cost the company we worked for millions of additional revenue because we couldn’t control the people that report to us we would be out of jobs.

        • Benjamin

          Most teams that do not make playoffs do not fire the coach and staff that is not true

          And your analogy about costing your boss money and comparing that to NFL football is just plain absurd

      • Biggun

        It’s the coaches job to control and discipline his team had Marvin done his job Burfect and Jones would have been on bench on the last drive and Bengals would have won period way to many I sportsmanship penalties on Bengals entire season this is a direct reflection on Marvin Lewis period!

  3. byu812

    Star Wars and vedder, the steelers did not play the Browns, they played the Bengals and they are in Cincinnati not Cleveland

    • Vedder80

      I am well aware. Hence why I asked which Browns players are good. The Bengals have quite a few good players.

    • MagicMuskie

      He meant the Brown family, owners if the Bengals. Dummies.

      • MagicMuskie


  4. 3Tavgreg

    Why would you consider promoting the DC to HC after firing the HC for losing control of his defensive players. The DC should share at least some of the blame, when 2 of his best players act as if they’re mentally challenged on the most important drive of the season.

    • Benjamin

      Good point

  5. Mike Brown will either keep Marvy Marvy or promote one of his other lame coaches to head coach. Same ole bungles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.