Marvin Lewis is not a happy camper.
Being an 0-3 coach is bad enough as it is, but the most recent defeat is easily the biggest sting the Cincinnati Bengals have had this season. Despite building a 21-7 lead and dominating for much of the game, the Bengals ultimately fell to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, putting a cherry on top of what’s been arguably the worst start to a season in Lewis’ 14-year career.
What made Sunday’s loss even more painful was it involved some very questionable calls on the Bengals in key situations, which helped the Packers go on a 17-3 run to end the game. Some of those included some bad pass interference calls on the Bengals, and it sounds like Lewis is letting the NFL know about it.
Forgot to mention this: #Bengals Marvin Lewis was unhappy w/ the officiating Sunday. Sent a full sheet of questionable calls to the league.— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) September 26, 2017
During his Monday with the media, Lewis somewhat elaborated on the calls in question.
“Throughout the game. And we were there. We have to finish. We have to do a better job of those things. And we have to do a better job of (covering) the receivers — we can’t have the fouls that are being called,” said Lewis. “They seem to be pretty grey (not black and white), but we have to make sure they are not being called all the time. We’re not getting any breaks where they’re being (called) the other way. That’s part of it. We have to make breaks (for ourselves). We have to make them all the time, and for 60 minutes.”
Lewis went as far as to come some of the penalties “phantom” flags, including a block in the back that killed one drive.
“We got somewhat of a phantom call (called on us). So that hurts our field position, when we return the punt (for a long return) and then we start from our own 6-yard line,” said Lewis. “So, with all those things (occurring), we have to make sure we’re doing it the right way all the time, because (those calls) are big in a game like that, even when we’re up 21-7. They’re still big.”
Leave it to Lewis to shift blame for the Bengals’ misfortunes on someone else. There were some bad calls against the Bengals, but they’ve won plenty of games before with bad calls against them. That’s life in sports. The difference is the Bengals’ margin of error is much thinner this year, so they’re not as able to overcome bad calls as they’ve been before.