How much has Marvin Lewis Changed

When the Bengals announced they were bringing back Marvin Lewis, they were highly criticized, and rightfully so. He’s been the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals for 15 years, and is yet to get a playoff win. Marvin Lewis is entering his 16th season as head coach. When asked about what he would do, Marvin said he would make changes. After week 2 of the NFL, let’s look and see what Marvin Lewis has changed about his coaching:

Halftime adjustments:

In the Marvin Lewis era, the Bengals have been known to be constantly out coached. Bengals will keep it close in the 1st half, then just get dominated in the 2nd half. That is because Marvin Lewis and the Bengals don’t make halftime adjustments. It’s made them lose a lot of games, and has hurt them in games that come down to the final minute. But so far this year, the Bengals have made halftime adjustments. Against the Colts, the Bengals were getting killed with the underneath type throws. So  the Bengals adjusted their defense to be more man to man. In them doing that, Luck had more trouble finding his targets, and that allowed the Bengals defensive line to cause more pressure. Against the Ravens, the run game struggled in the 1st half. So with Green dominating in that game(Green had 3 touchdowns in 17 minutes), they moved him all round, keeping the defense honest. In doing that, the run game opened up just a little more. That change really helped when Mixon gut hurt, and Giovani had to come in for a couple of minutes.

Now, yes, it is pretty ridiculous that it took Marvin Lewis 16 years to learn that he needs to make halftime adjustments. But now is better than never. 

Holding onto leads:

It’s no secret that the Bengals are known for choking away games. They’ve done it many, many, times. Often, when the opposing team is down by a few, and it’s a potential game winning drive against the Bengals, odds are they would successfully drive down the field and win. So far this season, that hasn’t been the case. In the 2 games that has been played so far, the Bengals wins have come down to the final drive. In week 1, the Bengals had a 27-23 lead over the Colts. The Colts were driving with less than 2 minutes left. Bengals safety Clayton Fejedelem(yes that’s how you spell his name) caused a fumble, picked it up, and returned it for a touchdown. That sealed it up, and the Bengals won 34-23. Week 2 Thursday night against the Ravens, the Bengals were beating the Ravens 31-23, and the Ravens had the ball with a little more than 2 minutes left. Bengals safety Shawn Williams had a strip sack on Flacco, and the Bengals recovered. That led to a field goal that clinched the game. The Bengals won that game of guess what score? 34-23, again. 

It’s too early to tell if Marvin has truly changed his coaching. For all we know, he’s gotten lucky these 1st two games. But, so far he’s shown some changes. If he can win consistently, Marvin Lewis and the Bengals might have a chance this year.

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Posted in NFL

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