Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is confounded.
Confounded is an adjective of confound (v): Cause surprise or confusion in (someone), especially by acting against their expectations.
Per the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals "fell to 6-14 in regular season prime time games under" head coach Marvin Lewis, who is currently confounded. They've lost for the "12th time in the last 14 prime time games" during Cleveland's 24-3 win over the Bengals.
"It does confound me," Lewis said following the Bengals' 24-3 loss Thursday night to the division-rival Browns. "It does."
"For whatever reason, two times this year, we haven't played very well," Lewis said, referring to the 43-17 loss at New England on a Sunday night last month. "The one thing that comes out of both of those [games] is turning the ball over. You can't do those things."
Let's go ahead and include the confounded Lewis' record in the postseason... 6-19.
Andy Dalton, who completed 10 of 33 passes for 86 yards passing and three interceptions, accepted blame but added a the usual talking point that "I have to play better", which he's been saying since '11. But whatever. He is what he is. Expecting more is officially my fault. No one elses.
"We didn't execute, and we got beat," said Dalton with a comment that shocked everyone after the game. "It’s what it comes down to. We didn't start fast. That’s on me. I have to obviously play better. When you take turns missing assignments, missing a throw, whatever it might be, it’s not going to turn out well for you, and that’s what happened tonight."
God forbid that we recall a conversion in July about "change".
Recalls: Dalton "The first thing he said was, 'You're my guy. We're gonna do this thing together. You're the guy that's gonna take us to where we want to go.' It's exactly what I wanted to hear, and exactly what this team needs. You want to know, from the top down, that they've got your back."
In the same conversation, Jackson told Dalton that "things will be different. We have to be better. And I'm going to coach you hard. If you'll allow me to push you, we can get to where we both want to go." Dalton, the coach recalls, "was receptive. He didn't even blink. He said, 'Coach, let's go.' I'm very proud of the fact that he's allowing me to coach him. He wants to be great."
BREAKING NEWS: Marshall Newhouse just allowed another quarterback pressure. Of the 37 dropbacks, Newhouse allowed 81 quarterback pressures. Which defies physics but explains why Dalton was throwing with Paul Kruger and Desmond Bryant jammed into the quarterback's backside.
Cincinnati has lost both primetime games that they've played this season by a combined 47 points (67-20). They have a scheduled Monday Night game against the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning, who has NEVER lost to the Bengals in his entire career.
Yet primetime isn't Cincinnati's only issue this year... let's broaden the scope to their production against good teams. Cincinnati's record is 2-3 against teams with a winning record -- and both of those wins came against the Baltimore Ravens, who are currently in last place in the division. In the three games that they've lost (to the Patriots, Colts and Browns), Cincinnati has been outscored 94-20. On the other hand (and because I refuse to be called a Negative Nancy), Cincinnati's wins have come against teams with a combined record of 10-24 (15-28 if you count the Ravens twice).
Hey - Defense. Did you f***ing follow Mike Zimmer to Minnesota? Despite the lack of production on offense, the Bengals defense wasn't even worth celebrating either. OK, injuries caused an impact here -- Vontaze Burfict, Leon Hall and Rey Maualgua were out... NOTE: And it's awfully convenient when people mention Maualuga when he's hurt, but then go on to brutally rip him when he's playing.
Whatever. The end result is that Cincinnati allowed 170 yards rushing to the Browns, who were a mid-ranked team (15th) with 111.2 yards rushing per game. You try playing defense for 35 minutes while the offense (3/19 on third downs), who slept throughout the game. Anyone else want to project George Iloka's comments on the offense? Has the defense finally had enough?
Even if they do make the postseason -- and at this stage, I don't think they make it (but anything can happen) -- they're setting the stage for another one-and-done.
These games just aren't close.