- Marvin Lewis’ odds to be the head coach of Cincinnati Bengals in 2019 are still very good
- Having coached the team since 2003, is it finally time for Cincy to move on?
- More importantly, which way should you bet this prop
When Marvin Lewis was first hired to coach Cincinnati, Eminem’s Lose Yourself was at the top of the charts, the second Lord of the Rings film had just finished dominating the box office, and Bengals fans had only ever known misery.
Flash forward 15 years and well… Eminem and Lord of the Rings aren’t as popular. But Cincy is still irrelevant at their best and comically depressing at their worst.
So why is Lewis still running the show? And why is Bovada favoring him to return next year?
Odds Marvin Lewis Remains Head Coach of Bengals in 2019
|Will Marvin Lewis be the Head Coach of the Bengals for Game 1 of the 2019 Regular Season?||Odds at Bovada|
The short answer won’t shock you: oddsmakers know that this Bengals organization is not the brightest. But with the odds of staying much shorter than they would’ve been in the past, is now the time to jump on Lewis leaving?
Marv’s Rocky Tenure
Prior to Lewis coming to Cincinnati, the Bengals hadn’t had a winning season in 11 years, mustering just one 8-8 finish over that stretch.
Lewis took a 2-14 team and led them to back-to-back .500 finishes before the team captured their first division title in 15 years in 2005. Then, this happened.
This day in #PGHistory: The “Kimo Rule” is created.
During the #AFCWildCard in Cincinnati, the Bengals take a 10-0 lead, but lose momentum after an injury to Carson Palmer. The Steelers would takeover the game, winning 31-17. (2006) pic.twitter.com/HorrfYYAq0
— Pittsburgh Clothing Co. (@PGHClothingCo) January 8, 2018
Such became the legacy of Lewis.
While his 130-119-3 regular season record is by far a franchise-best for the Bengals, his 0-7 playoff mark is an NFL record: one not likely to ever be matched.
But while most organizations would eventually tire of embarrassing playoff ejections, Cincinnati owner/president Mike Brown –the human embodiment of ordering water at a bar then using their wifi – loves Marvin!
Where most people might look at that and see one of the most embarrassing, undisciplined playoff losses of all time, Brown probably looks at that game and sees that season’s 10th lowest payroll collecting an extra gate. (He’s cheap, is what I’m getting at.)
Lewis might never bring you to the second weekend of the playoffs, but he’ll also never lead a 2-14 squad. And that guaranteed mediocrity seems to be attractive to Brown.
That’s why after another disappointing 7-9 finish last year, that included some truly head-scratching decisions and quotes, he still offered Lewis a two year-extension.
#Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis Monday press conference transcript: "You don’t want this. I don’t think anybody does. These guys have a lot to play for, and it’s not my responsibility to get them — as I said — to turn up the music." https://t.co/Xu1J1DJnjh @Local12 pic.twitter.com/uIJSQTg5Af
— Richard Skinner (@Local12Skinny) December 12, 2017
What Alternatives Are There At Head Coach?
Lewis’s extension apparently does come with a team option after this season though, meaning Brown could let him go after the season and not incur any cost.
However, the rumor mill of potential replacements is not encouraging.
Report: Hue Jackson could take over as Bengals coach if Marvin Lewis retires or moves to an upper management position https://t.co/P2EhIiMHBQ
— The MMQB (@theMMQB) November 25, 2018
If 3-32-1 is the alternative, yeah, stick with Marvin. And it might be. Because Cincy isn’t likely to land any big ticket names out there. Looking around the league at other potential coaching vacancies, the Bengals should rank far lower than most.
2019 NFL Head Coach Openings update….
— Chad Forbes (@NFLDraftBites) December 3, 2018
Can’t see Lincoln Riley choosing the Queen City as the best of that bunch.
What’s the Play?
Honestly, it still feels like Lewis will be around next year.
Some reports say the decision will be up to him. It would take a real gut punch, like a Week 15 loss at home to the Raiders, to sway this conversation.
So rather than take the “No,” just back the Oakland moneyline that day for better value.
But I remain in the “Yes” camp for now.