NFL

Why The Bengals Won’t Win The Super Bowl

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Talent has never been the issue in Cincinnati.

Winning games in the postseason is a totally different story, however.

Ever since Marvin Lewis took over as head coach in 2003, the Bengals have been in the mix nearly every season, but they just can’t get over the hump.

Lewis is winless in seven postseason chances and to make matters worse, the Bengals as an organization haven’t won a playoff game since 1990.

Yes, 26 years ago.

While it’ll be easy to point the finger at Lewis, it’s important to note Cincinnati went through a 15-year playoff drought following their last playoff victory before finally reaching the postseason in 2005.

Nonetheless, fans in Cincinnati are getting restless and understandably so.

When looking at this title, Bengals fans probably smirked and said to themselves, can we just focus on winning a playoff game first?

While that is true, there’s no denying this team is more than capable of winning it all, as we’ve been saying for the past 4-5 years.

With that being said, this team may end their playoff losing streak, but don’t expect Andy Dalton to be hoisting up the Vince Lombardi Trophy next February.

All things considered, Cincinnati had a solid off-season.

Secondary players, Adam Jones, George lloka, Reggie Nelson and Leon Hall were all on the open market. The Bengals were unable to retain all four guys, but they did keep the most valuable two, in Jones and Iloka.

As an unit, the Bengals collected 21 interceptions, which ranked only behind Carolina and Kansas City.

Also, they upgraded the middle of their defense, after picking up veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby, who is still producing at a high level. This past season in Cleveland, the 34-year-old combined for over 100 tackles to go along with six passes defended, three interceptions and two touchdowns.

In that same breath, Cincy lost key guys such as wide receiver Marvin Jones.

A.J. Green is not only the Bengals top receiver, he’s arguably the best at his position, but Jones was a strong second option for Dalton.

In 2015, Jones hauled in 65 catches for 816 yards to go along with four touchdowns. With Jones only being 26-years of age, his best football may be ahead of him.

Especially considering Jones posed those numbers after missing all of the 2014 campaign due to injury. As Cincy looks to replace him, they’ll be relying on former Patriot Brandon LaFell and a pair of rookies, headlined by second round pick Tyler Boyd of Pittsburgh.

There’s no sport with a more difficult transition from college to pros than football, so with that in mind, it’s hard to imagine rookies Boyd and Cody Core having a major impact right away.

Considering the attention Green draws every Sunday, it’s essential having a receiver opposite of him capable of making big plays.

While that’s a concern, what’s even more worrisome is Dalton’s playoff reputation.

Throughout Lewis’ tenure on the sidelines, Dalton is responsible for a lot of Cincy’s playoff failures. He’s 0-4 in postseason play, but he’s only thrown one touchdown, while tossing six interceptions during those four outings.

To his defense, before getting injured last year, Dalton was experiencing his best season to date and it felt like it was the year he’d finally breakthrough in the postseason.

However, even if Dalton were to play in their playoff contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers, psychologically, the past playoff failures may have still snuck in the back of their minds.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see Dalton prove himself, so we’ll have to wait another year at least. As mentioned before, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if they won a playoff game (or maybe it would), but this team still doesn’t have the proper leadership to win the Super Bowl.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.