Marv Needs To Re-Take First-Grade Math

Let’s take a moment to discuss the latest blunder by Marvin Lewis. All right, it’s actually blunders, plural, in this case.

The Bengals scored a touchdown to cut the Dolphins lead to 17-12 last Sunday in the early fourth quarter. The obvious choice there was to go for two and attempt to make it a 3-point game. Lewis decided to kick the PAT and the Bengals were down 17-13 with 13 minutes remaining the game. When you are losing in the fourth quarter, you need to assume your opponent is not going to score again. That’s how you win from behind in the fourth quarter. Losing in the fourth quarter is not a good time to “go conservative.” However, as bad as it was, it wasn’t Lewis’ worst decision of the day.

Later in the fourth quarter, with the Bengals facing a 4th-and-5 at the Dolphins’ 25 with 3 minutes left — and the score still 17-13 — Marvtastic inexplicably decided to attempt a field goal. It’s irrelevant that Mike Nugent missed it. He never should have tried the field goal, unless it was a situation where he could have tied the game (a situation he should have been in if Lewis would have attempted to go for 2 earlier in the quarter and had been successful). Too much has to go right for a football team in that situation. The odds are against you because several things have to happen in a short period of time: You have to make the first FG, then stop the opposing team before they get a first down and get the ball right back (never an easy task), then you have to have a good drive, get in FG range and make the second FG.

Or, you could go for it on 4th-and-5. What do you think has the higher odds?

Let’s recap: Down 5 points in the fourth quarter, Marv decides to kick the PAT instead of going for two. That’s not fuzzy math; it’s idiot math. Then later in the quarter with just 3 minutes left in the game and the Bengals trailing by 4, Marv decides to kick a FG — one that wouldn’t have put his team in the lead or even tie the game — instead of going for it on 4th-and-5.


I’m not going to be happy when a team gobbles Jay Gruden up as a head coach and we’re left stuck with Marvin Lewis. The Bengals should be proactive and make Gruden their head coach at some point. Of course, that will never happen. 

One more thing: BenJarvus Green-Ellis is atrocious. That is all.