Marvin Lewis rarely comes across angered during a press conference, though, maybe that’s because he’s used to the Bengals winning more often than not in recent years. But on Sunday, after the Bengals lost their fourth game in five weeks to the Patriots, Lewis wasn’t as happy-go-lucky as we’re used to.
“It’s disappointing that we have a lot of things going right and doing things good, and correct and not finishing things. We continue to be our own Achilles heel, way too often,” Marvin Lewis said in his postgame press conference.
“Whether it be a penalty that sets us back, or more importantly a penalty on defense, whatever it is, third down conversion. You know, it’s key to a football game,” Lewis added. “You know, we got to do a better job. We got to coach it out of us and we got to just keep grinding at it.”
Did Lewis hint at there being a coaching issue? Maybe, or more likely, maybe not. Either way, the coaches need to ensure the Bengals don’t lose again next week when the Cleveland Browns come to town for the Bengals’ second AFC North clash of the season. Being the first team to fall to the Browns in 2016 would be even more embarrassing than what we’ve seen from Cincinnati so far this season.
“It is disappointing and you know, when you play against teams that aren’t careless with the football, you got to make every opportunity count,” Lewis said.
There were zero turnovers on either side of the ball, excluding the Bengals’ inability to convert a fourth-and-goal opportunity. So while the defense was unable to create a spark with a fumble or interception, the Bengals’ offense didn’t allow the Patriots’ defense any opportunities in that regard either. Dalton now has 6 passing touchdowns and 2 interceptions this season, which puts him on pace to have the least touchdowns in one season of his career, but also, the least interceptions and the lowest interception rate. On defense, the team has four interceptions and four forced fumbles. They also have only 13 sacks, which ranks among the bottom half of the league.
“What we are doing offensively, Andy [Dalton] is doing a good job, taking care of the football, but we have got to start maximizing those possessions, all the time, without him getting in the panic mode,” Lewis said, but made sure to mention he wasn’t saying Dalton has been in panic mode. “Once again, which he did a good job of today. And he continues to keep his eyes where they belong, keep the sticks moving and that’s good. Defensively we’ve got to do a better job, we aren’t executing the way need to in order to beat a good football team right now.”
In regards to the extracurriculars going on during the game on the field, Lewis didn’t seem concerned. “I think both these teams seemed a little frustrated, so I don’t know if it was necessarily our guys,” Lewis said.
That seemed to be true, and it was Rob Gronkowski, a Patriots player, who drew a taunting penalty; no member of the Bengals was the recipient of such a flag on Sunday in New England. In fact, while taunting penalties in the NFL seem to be at an all-time high, the Bengals have drawn zero taunting penalties this year.
Going forward, Lewis made it known that everyone needs to do their job for the Bengals to win games and get back to the type of Bengals football we’ve become accustomed to after five straight winning seasons.
“We’ve got to continue to coach harder, coach better, get guys to play better,” Lewis said. “You know, whatever point that comes from, whatever spurs us forward, we’ve got to do it now because we’ve kind of put our backs up against the wall here.”