At some level it is everybody's fault that the Bengals can't win a playoff game. The current guy to blame is Andy Dalton, but the truth is, the Bengals couldn't win in the playoffs before he was here. So what is the issue and what will be done about it.
Paul Dehner asked Marvin Lewis these questions exactly. Starting with if he feels he needs to win a playoff game this season to keep his job:
Marvin Lewis on if he thinks he has to win a playoff this year or he's out: "Could be. Can't tell that."— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) March 25, 2014
Marvin followed with:
More Marvin on need to win this year: "You always have to win this year. Look around. It's the nature of the business."— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) March 25, 2014
I think there is more meat to this notion than we may realize. Mike Brown's comments yesterday to Dehner were focused about locking up players and winning. He was asked about not winning in the playoffs and he answered with:
"Listen, no one wants to win that playoff game more than Marvin does. Believe me, this last year we thought we were going to win this playoff game finally, everything had aligned and lo and behold we found a way not to. Does that upset some people? I think it does, but they aren't just the people watching in the stands it's the people playing, the people coaching, the people in my situation, we all wanted to get that done. But my reaction to disappointment is not lop off people's heads. I think we proved that we were pretty good, that we have a good, solid football team. I don't know that starting over suddenly is the best way to take the next step. I think we have a strong base, we can build on that. One of these days we won't fumble and they will. If that is patience, then I guess I am patient."
If you read that at face value Mike Brown could be saying that Marvin has built this team to be successful and the patience and support is there. The one line I stick on however is this: "Believe me, this last year we thought we were going to win this playoff game finally, everything had aligned and lo and behold we found a way not to." This could be the hint into the thinking of the front office. There is no way they are happy with the way the playoffs ended last season. The Bengals were heavily favored against a team they probably should have dominated. We all know how that ended up.
I will always respect Marvin Lewis for what he has done to this team and organization. I understand that the business is winning. The Bengals are respectable now, and have become a fixture in the post season. I can believe that if the next step is not taken, there will be some changes at the top.