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Flying Pigskin Podcast: Bengals run out of gas

The gang debates if Marvin Lewis’ tenure in Cincinnati was a success if it does end this offseason.

Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals
Burfict is one of the core Bengals
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Marvin Lewis’ slogan for the 2017 season was “Run on your own gas.” Unfortunately for the Cincinnati Bengals in their loss to the Chicago Bears, there was no gas.

This was the main topic in this week’s version of The Flying Pigskin podcast, which was hosted by Tanya O’Rourke and featured panellist Scott Kyser along Mo Egger, the host of Sports Talk on 1530 AM. I was also back on this week after taking last week off to get out a newspaper.

You can listen to this week’s show at any time, and be sure to tune in to get all of the latest news and commentary on your Cincinnati Bengals.

Everyone agreed that Cincinnati looked passionless and emotionless in the debacle against the Bears and most of us are pretty certain how this is all going to end – with a new head coach. As a Bengals fan, there was no silver lining, no redeeming value to this one.

The team laid down against the Bears, and the only question now is what is there that is interesting about this team as it goes into its final three games?

Sunday’s game was actually reminiscent of what it was like to go to a Bengals’ game in Paul Brown Stadium in 2002. Which is to say, not very good.

In Mo’s words, it was the “epitome of apathy.” And there was a certain sadness to it. We are nearing the end of the Marvin Lewis era in Cincinnati, and he was not supposed to go out like this.

Instead of saying definitively that Marvin Lewis’ time in Cincinnati was a success, we are now debating it. We are not to the point where the last three games don’t matter, and that is not where you want to be as a fan.

The good news is that the Bengals should be able to attract a pretty good coach to take over the reins, because this is actually a pretty good job. The new coach will know who his quarterback is. And while Andy Dalton is not flashy, he is a serviceable NFL quarterback.

And Cincinnati does have a nucleus to build around, with players like Joe Mixon, Darqueze Dennard, Vontaze Burfict, Geno Atkins, A.J. Green and William Jackson, III forming a solid core. The pieces are there, but some of the situations are muddled, like the receiving corps (with the exception of Green) and the offensive line.

There is a lot to make a coach want to take this job, including a management that is going to give you time to win. Unlike other teams, the Bengals don’t just fire coaches.

However, you can see the frustration building over another lost season, and one of the questions was whether Green would become the next Carson Palmer. There is a documented history of good players (Palmer and Corey Dillon) demanding trades.

But the good news for any coach is that the city will likely put up a statue of you if you simply win a playoff game! So the bar is low.

Cincinnati’s lack of success this year has put them in position for another top-10 pick in the NFL Draft, even though this last one was wasted, at least for now. The Bengals currently have the ninth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and will more than likely be looking at offensive tackle with that first pick. Other areas of need include tight end, cornerback and linebacker – someone in the mold of Pittsburgh’s Ryan Shazier.

Hopefully, Cincinnati will even venture into the free agency waters after the season, although this year’s free agent acquisition, Kevin Minter, has not performed up to expectations.

The Bengals go to Minnesota this week to play the Vikings, who are probably the most anonymous good team in the NFL. Cincinnati is more than a 10-point underdog and is probably on its way to its third straight loss.

Please join us on Twitter @flying_pigskin and answer our Twitter question of the day: Do you want to see the Bengals lose so they are better positioned for the draft, or do you want to see them win?.

You can also tweet Keenan directly @CKJMSingleton, or contact Tonya @TonyaORourke. In addition, you can now call in and leave a voicemail at 513-449-0716.

Be sure to tune in to The Flying Pigskin podcast this week and every week. You can find us anywhere podcasts are available, or go to Stitcher or Google Play. The show airs live every Monday afternoon for the rest of the season, with the exception of Christmas Day. Who Dey! Who Dey All Day!