Every team in the NFL would love to win a Super Bowl. In order to accomplish that lofty goal, the club needs to get into the playoffs. So much for the elementary lesson in logic (I retired from public school teaching before the implementation of Common Core – although I still get requests from teachers on how I taught math – because apparently, some of the methods I used were concepts of Common Core).
Let’s move on to some more basic numbers. Each year the NFL playoffs consist of 12 teams, meaning 20 teams are left out. Since only five franchises – Patriots (7), Packers (7), Broncos (5), Bengals (5) and Seahawks (4) – have played in the playoffs four or more years in a row (number of consecutive appearances in parentheses), the chances of fans of a particular NFL team at least being able to dream about a Super Bowl title, would certainly seem doable. Yet there are ten clubs (no need to add further embarrassment by naming them – you can always Google it if you’re that interested) that are in the midst of a minimum five season playoff drought. Five consecutive years to a fan is even worse than the ratio of dog-to-people years – assuming the fan sticks around that long. I mean, there are 31 other candidates to back.
When a team experiences such a streak, the answer for a majority of fans – based on social media, talk radio, sports bar gossip and even age old barber shop advice – is to change coaches. While the logic of this theory makes perfect sense (at least to those who espouse it), it’s been tried on numerous occasions and, most of the time, doesn’t produce the desired result.
Now, consider the plight of the Cincinnati Bengals. Their problem goes beyond not getting into the playoffs, but in winning. Not the Super Bowl. Just a game. The Bengals have been on the losing end in their last eight first round playoff games. Their coach, Marvin Lewis, has been the coach for seven of those defeats, including the past five straight. Not once has he been part of a winning press conference.
Using logic to solve a problem, the answer for those ten teams (more, for the truly impatient backer, which covers a large number of constituents) that haven’t made it to the NFL playoffs is rather simple:
“Hire Marvin Lewis.”