The Cincinnati Bengals’ 2014 playoff chase will be a tough one


CINCINNATI – The Bengals are coming off of their third division title season under Marvin Lewis. In 2005 and 2010, the Bengals failed to make the playoffs, going 8-8 and 4-12 respectively. The prevailing theory in the NFL is that it is tougher for a team that has won their division to reach the postseason the following year. After all, around fifty percent of the division champions have done so going back to 2000.

In 2014, the path back to the playoffs does not get much easier for Marvin Lewis and the Bengals. In addition to their AFC North foes in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland; The schedule formula, instituted after the 2002 league realignment, has Cincinnati playing the NFC South and the AFC South. Lewis’ worst record against a non-conference division comes at the hands of the NFC South at 3-5. Meanwhile, the AFC South has Lewis’ second-worst record against an AFC division at 10-12.

Here is a breakdown of Marvin Lewis’ record against all NFL divisions:


AFC North: 34-33

AFC West: 13-11

AFC South: 10-12

AFC East: 7-17

NFC North: 10-2

NFC East: 7-4-1

NFC West: 6-6

NFC South: 3-5


Combine that with the fact that the Bengals also have to face seven head coaches who have either led their teams to Super Bowls or won Super Bowls, and the task looks daunting. Since Lewis took over in 2003, against Bill Belichick, John Harbaugh, Mike Tomlin, Lovie Smith, Sean Payton, Ken Whisenhunt, and John Fox, Lewis only has a 16-21 record.

Here is a breakdown of Marvin Lewis’ record against 2014’s coaches:


Lovie Smith: 2-0

John Fox: 2-0

Chuck Pagano: 1-0

Sean Payton: 1-1

Ken Whisenhunt: 1-1

John Harbaugh: 5-7

Mike Tomlin: 4-8

Bill Belichick: 1-4

Mike Smith: 0-1

Mike Pettine: N/A

Gus Bradley: N/A

Bill O’Brien: N/A

Ron Rivera: N/A


2014 is supposed to be the year the Bengals finally kick the door in. Here is hoping the door doesn’t fall and collapse on top of them.

Previous articleMOCKERY II: In a perfect world…
Next articleClowney, Beckham, Manziel headline 2014 NFL Draft attendees list of 30