The common thought suggests that a bye week is grossly beneficial because it allows injured players to recover, exhausted starters to rest and coaches to resolve deficiencies that have hurt the team prior to the bye week.
And maybe that theory works for most teams, but not the Cincinnati Bengals during the Marvin Lewis era.
Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers will mark the 11th occurrence during Lewis' tenure with a bye week. In the ten previous games, the Bengals have only won three, losing six and tying the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008.
|Before The Bye Week||After The Bye Week|
|2003||Buffalo Bills||L, 16-22||Baltimore Ravens||W, 34-26|
|2004||Pittsburgh Steelers||L, 17-28||@ Cleveland Browns||L, 17-34|
|2005||Baltimore Ravens||W, 21-9||Indianapolis Colts||L, 37-45|
|2006||New England Patriots||L, 13-38||@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers||L, 13-14|
|2007||New England Patriots||L, 13-34||@ Kansas City Chiefs||L, 20-27|
|2008||Jacksonville Jaguars||W, 21-19||Philadelphia Eagles||T, 13-13|
|2009||Chicago Bears||W, 45-10||Baltimore Ravens||W, 17-7|
|2010||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||L, 21-24||@ Atlanta Falcons||L, 32-39|
|2011||Indianapolis Colts||W, 27-17||@ Seattle Seahawks||W, 34-12|
|2012||Pittsburgh Steelers||L, 17-24||Denver Broncos||L, 23-31|
|2013||Cleveland Browns||W, 41-20||San Diego Chargers||?|
However, despite the six losses, the Bengals have only been defeated once by more than a touchdown ('04 Browns). Yet, they're 1-4 on the road -- though 1-0 during games played on the west coast.
Here's the oddity to all of this: Over the past five seasons, Cincinnati's result before the bye week was replicated after the bye. For example, the Bengals easily handled the Chicago Bears before the bye week in 2009, winning the first game after the bye against the Ravens. The following year was a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the bye, then a loss to the Atlanta Falcons afterwards.
In fact every year, save for 2003, 2005 and 2008, the Bengals have matched their results before and after the bye.
Considering that Cincinnati entered the bye week as 41-20 victors over the Cleveland Browns, it only bodes well this weekend when Cincinnati heads to San Diego.