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Marvin Lewis and former Bengals assistants among favorites to be fired first in 2018

The Marvin Lewis coaching tree is in serious danger this season.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Will 2018 be the last stand of Marvin Lewis?

Oddsmakers seem to think there’s a pretty decent chance that 2018 will be the final year of his tenure in Cincinnati. The latest odds from Betway have Lewis tied with former Bengals assistant Vance Joseph, currently the Broncos head coach, for the third-best odds to be fired first in 2018.

Former Bengals offensive coordinator and current Browns head coach Hue Jackson has the best odds of being fired first. Fellow former Bengals offensive coordinator and current Washington head coach Jay Gruden is tied for the fifth-best odds to be fired first.

Needless to say, it’s clear the Marvin Lewis coaching tree is in serious jeopardy this year. While Mike Zimmer is completely secure in Minnesota, Lewis and the rest of his former assistants are in hot water if they can’t have winning seasons in 2018.

Ironically, many of these coaches will face each other in 2018. Because the AFC North plays the AFC West this year, we’ll see Lewis and Jackson both face Joseph. Then there’s obviously the two games Lewis and Jackson have against each other.

It’s probably safe to think whichever of those coaches ends up with a losing record in that three-game slate is going to be fired. The Bengals, Browns and Broncos all rank as bottom 10-12 teams in most preseason power rankings.

So for example, if the Bengals can’t get at least two wins from those three games, it’s hard to see them finishing with a winning record.

Then there’s Gruden, who just lost Kirk Cousins and replaced him with Alex Smith. They also play in the same division as the Super Bowl-winning Eagles, not to mention a Cowboys team coming off back-to-back winning seasons.

Between Lewis and his former assistants, who do you think gets fired first?