Time for a change in Cincinnati
By CLAY BENJAMIN
College Contributor Network
Different year, same result.
For the fourth straight year, the Cincinnati Bengals are one-and-done in the playoffs.
The Bengals playoff victory drought extends to seven games, as they have not won a playoff game since 1990 against the Houston Oilers, when the price of gas was $1.16 and 'Home Alone' was the top-grossing movie.
Since that 41-14 victory over the Oilers, the Bengals are now 0-7 in the playoffs after a 26-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Cincinnati is now 0-6 under Marvin Lewis and 0-4 under Andy Dalton during that stretch.
With the loss, the Bengals become the first team in NFL history to go one-and-done the playoffs in four consecutive seasons.
The last three years, the blame has fallen on the shoulders of Andy Dalton. In those three games, Dalton has thrown for 718 yards, one touchdown and six interceptions.
Sunday was a different story. No AJ Green and Jermaine Gresham to throw to made Dalton and the Bengals one-dimensional; making it easy for the Colts to shut down the Bengals' dynamic running duo of Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard.
In his 12th season as head coach, Marvin Lewis has more ties than he does playoff victories. There are no excuses for Lewis, and the Cincinnati fans won't take any. It's time for Mike Brown to cut ties with Lewis, who has failed to take the Bengals to the next level once again.
Before the Bengals can cut ties with the second-longest tenured coach in the NFL, they need a shortlist of coaches that can replace Lewis.
1. Hue Jackson, offensive coordinator, Cincinnati Bengals
When Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer left Cincinnati last season, the Bengals front office promoted from within, so it wouldn't be a surprise if the Bengals did it again. In his first year as offensive coordinator, Jackson implemented the establishment of the running game. With the duo of Hill and Bernard, the Bengals were sixth in the NFL in rushing yards per game, averaging 134.2 yards per game.
2. Darrell Bevell, offensive coordinator, Seattle Seahawks
Bevell and his offense in Seattle had the best rushing offense in the NFL, averaging 172.6 yards per game, almost 30 yards better than the next team. With Hill and Bernard solidifying themselves as key players to the Bengals offense, a coordinator like Bevell could take the Bengals rushing game to the next level. Bevell also worked with Brett Favre in Green Bay, and that type of experience could be what Andy Dalton needs.
3. Todd Bowles, defensive coordinator, Arizona Cardinals
A smart and energetic coach, Bowles' defense was one of the best rushing defenses throughout most of the season. The Cardinals struggled defending the pass, but with Bengals veterans like Terrance Newman and Leon Hall, Bowles could benefit from an established defense. Bowles does have some head coach experience, as he went 2-1 as the interim head of the Dolphins in 2011.
4. Dan Quinn, defensive coordinator, Seattle Seahawks
This season under Quinn, the Seahawks' defense was good, really good. The Seattle defense was first in yards per game, first in passing defense and third in rushing defense. That track record is enough to draw head coaching looks. Only 44 years old, Quinn would become one of the youngest head coaches in the NFL.
Clay Benjamin is a sophomore in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. He's a passionate soccer fan and overall sports lover. Follow him on Twitter: @ClayBenjamin_