It seems the 2018 Cincinnati Bengals will look mostly just like the 2017 Bengals did.
That’s because Marvin Lewis is coming back, and with him will be most of the same faces from this past season, including offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. The team announced that Lazor had been signed to a contract extension on Wednesday, despite his offense finishing 2017 ranked dead last in total yards per game.
To be fair to Lazor, the offense was in way over its head this season, especially since Ken Zampese was the offensive coordinator for the first two games. Zampese will end up going down as one of, if not the worst coordinator hire the Bengals have made under Lewis.
But Zampese was the guy this offense was largely built with in training camp, the preseason and the entire offseason. That’s why it’s hard to judge Lazor after 14 games, as he was mostly working with the disaster Zampese had helped build.
That’s not even accounting for Cincinnati having one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines for most of the season. Once they got going in the final two games, Lazor’s offense scored 26 and 31 points in wins over the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens.
His offense even averaged 361.5 yards per game in those contests. That number over a 16-game season would have actually tied the Bengals with the Los Angeles Rams for 10th place in total yards per game.
So while we can all be angry Lewis is back, Lazor did enough that giving him another shot seems understandable.
Were Bengals right to bring back Marvin Lewis?
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