The 2017 Cincinnati Bengals season is unofficially but symbolically over. As a result of their 34-7 loss to the playoff bound Minnesota Vikings.
The Bengals will have their second consecutive losing season now. Currently holding a 5-9 record going into the final two weeks of the season. The Bengals will also miss the playoffs for the second straight year. Yesterday’s game became practically a sidenote in terms of Bengals news. The game was practically over in the first quarter.
The Bengals lone highlight was Giovani Bernard’s touchdown in the fourth quarter. Helping the Bengals avoid a shutout as a result. By that time AJ McCarron was in at quarterback. From the Bengals there was no sense of energy. Similar to last week’s game against the Chicago Bears.
The Bengals season isn’t the only thing that effectively ended yesterday. Also unofficially reaching its denouement yesterday was the Marvin Lewis era in Cincinnati. Which became the main headline surrounding this game. It was the dominant story shortly before and after the game. Thanks to news that broke not long before kickoff.
A report surfaced from ESPN’s Adam Schefter before the game on Sunday. Stating that Lewis planned to leave the Bengals head coaching job after the season ends. A report that Lewis himself later denied at his post game press conference. It would be unsurprising if Marvin Lewis later does what that report suggested. However, it was also unsurprising that Lewis debunked the report.
Simply because of how that report ultimately broke out. A coach in Marvin Lewis’ position would try to leave on their own terms. The news wouldn’t surface hours before kickoff. It would be something that would be announced after their season finale or days before a game. In either case that coach would rather be the one making the announcement. Instead the announcement and the loss wiped out any sense of morale left for this team.
The Bengals gave up on their season but Lewis isn’t the reason. The Bengals gave up once that game against the Pittsburgh Steelers ended two weeks ago. They haven’t look the same since that moment. Now the Bengals face their last two games of the year. Without much other than the spoiler role to motivate them.