The great state of Ohio has seen better days. Many are without power and most are still numb from Saturday and Sunday night's losses.
But it's Sunday afternoon's loss, and those along the Ohio River who I feel for.
This is hardly breaking news, but the Bengals are no longer among the ranks of serious football teams. It wasn't too long ago media was chirping about how Marvin Lewis and Co. were changing the culture of the franchise. Winning had become expected and the team peddled in exciting offensive play.
Now the offense is non-dimensional and losing, once again, is the norm.
Culture 1, Marvin Lewis 0.
There is no rematch. The Marvin Lewis Experience is finished, and it's not entirely his fault. A coach can change culture, but unless he has the support of management, it's impossible to transition those changes into standard operating procedure.
Compare the Bengals to their Sunday opponent, the Titans. Under Jeff Fisher and more importantly supportive ownership, the team recently ushered in a new era (Vince Young in, Steve McNair out), severed ties with a notorious troublemaker and harnessed a potentially ugly situation in Albert "cleat" Haynesworth. There were times when the team sacrificed winning now for reinforcement of their franchise's foundation. Football often draws war metaphors, and the backbone of a good military regime is discipline.
The Bengals, on the other hand, believed in the idea talent trumps character. Talent does trump character for the most part in the short term. But year after year of executing that philosophy eventually cripples a foundation beyond repair. It creates a culture of uncoachability.
That means Marvin Lewis' time is done. He may not be the best game manager around, but there was a time, briefly when he could manage this franchise. That time has passed, and it's time for him and the franchise to move on. He's too good a defensive coordinator to be stuck defending his abilities as coach of the aimless Bengals.
Broncos, Turner vs. L.T. and Cooley's unit
Still not buying the Broncos as the Cowboys after Sunday's game? They may not run with the same authority but the Marshall-Royal-Scheffler trifecta isn't far off from the Owens-Crayton-Witten package...
Name | 100-yard games | rushing yards | touchdowns
Michael Turner | 1 | 262 yards | 2
LaDainian Tomlinson | 0 | 132 | 0
I figured Turner would come down to earth vs. the Bucs, but playing Kansas City next week could be just what I need to get that touchdown total up. A bruised toe on L.T. isn't helping my Toledo opponent.
I'm eyeing the Rosebank 1991 signatory scotch...
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