How awful was that game? To be personally honest, neither team deserved to win the Bengals-Steelers game this weekend, but it’s the Steelers (again) moving on. Which in this writer’s opinion pretty much gives Kansas City the opportunity of a lifetime. But right now they don’t matter. Neither do the Steelers. This is about the Bengals (who I will be referring to as the Bungles throughout the rest of this article), who just shot themselves in the foot.
A lot will be said in how the Bungles threw this game away. From a potential 50 yard field goal becoming a 35 yard field goal because of unsportsmanlike conduct. The fumble. The hit to Antonio Bryant’s head on that final Steelers drive. It was as if this Bungles team didn’t actually want to win, even with the game pretty much in their control. A lot will be said about the sportsmanship on both sides in the next few days.
If I were the Bungles organization, Marvin Lewis’s head would be rolling tonight. That last drive by the Steelers wasn’t some of the worst coaching I’ve seen, but he’s definitely not in control of that team on the field. 30 in yards in one play on penalties alone? That’s horrific. I absolutely admire the patience in their organization, but enough is enough. Lewis can’t win a playoff game to save his life, even when they’re winning with 1:23 left on the clock. For a team and a city that has struggled for decades trying to get a playoff win for once this was absolutely pathetic on his part.
It was also absolutely pathetic defense in that last minute of play. Horrible execution, and horrible self-control. I know it’s probably very frustrating to have to go back onto the field and play to win a game you thought your offense had covered, don’t ever take it out on your opponents, no matter whether they did rotten stuff to you or not. Those were two of the stupidest penalties I’d ever seen, especially with so much on the line. Do you feel good about yourselves? What you did? You couldn’t play proud, you had to play dirty? I know the Steelers got away with some horrible stuff but don’t stoop to that level. You’re professionals. Act like it.
And a lot of people are going to blame Jeremy Hill for his fumble. He doesn’t deserve any of it. Had his leg been down a single second earlier we wouldn’t be having this conversation, but it was what it was. What happened, happened. It doesn’t excuse the lousy coaching of Marvin Lewis and sure doesn’t deserve the lousy performance by the defense and it definitely doesn’t excuse those two boneheaded penalties at the end.
This is an absolute heartbreaker for Bungles fans everywhere. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is perhaps the worst feeling in the entire world. I can only imagine the struggle you guys/gals are going through: doing well in the regular season, bringing hopes up and then tearing it all down the first game of the post season. If somehow the Bungles owners read this I will remind you: 0-7. He didn’t have control of his team that final drive.
This should end Marvin Lewis’s time with the Bungles. If it doesn’t, I’m calling it right now: the Bungles will be eliminated in the 2017 Wild Card.