The Bengals have had a lot of success under Marvin Lewis, but they’ve also had plenty of frustration and shortcomings.
Lewis took the Bengals, arguably the league’s worst franchise of the 90s and early 2000s, and built them into not only a respectable franchise, but one that enjoyed seven playoff seasons from 2005-15.
This, with a franchise that had made seven playoffs in its previous 37 years. But Lewis’ success hasn’t been just wins and losses. His impact on the entire league is greater than most coaches you’ll find.
Since Lewis first became a head coach in 2003, many assistant coaches have come to Cincinnati and left to find greener pastures elsewhere, some even getting promotions to head coaches.
Unfortunately, the majority of these coaches did not fare well in the latest head coach power rankings at NFL.com, where Lewis himself came in at No. 20.
This spot is more a reflection of the direction the Bengals have been trending -- and the situation surrounding Lewis. Cincinnati’s longtime head coach has yet to win a postseason game and he’s logged a losing mark in each of the last two seasons. While still over .500 for his career (125-112-3 since taking over in 2003), Lewis has been afforded more organizational patience than any coach in this era. This is not to suggest that Lewis didn’t completely turn around an ailing franchise that sucked throughout the ‘90s, but Cincy fans deserve a postseason run. Perhaps no coach needs a successful 2018 season more than Lewis.
While it’s hard to argue with Lewis being so low, it is a joke to see John Harbaugh ranked fifth. This is the same coach who has lost seven of his last nine matchups with Lewis, including a Week 17 loss last season that knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs.
Mike Tomlin of the Steelers leads the way in the AFC North at No. 4 overall. If you truly believe Tomlin and Harbaugh are top-five coaches, then the Bengals will have five games against top-five coaches this season if you include Sean Payton of the Saints (2).
Of course, Hue Jackson is at the bottom of this ranking after going 1-31 over his first two seasons with the Browns.
As far as former Lewis assistants go, Mike Zimmer leads the way at No. 10 overall. Vance Joseph comes in at No. 30, and Jay Gruden checked in at No. 18.