Blog Entry

Lewis hinders team by making bad challenges

Posted on: January 7, 2012 6:15 pm
LewisBy Josh Katzowitz

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis isn’t known as one of the game’s great challenging coaches. As in, he oftentimes throws the red challenge flag on plays that clearly shouldn’t be challenged.

The last time the Bengals were in the playoffs, after the 2009 season, Lewis challenged official’s rulings early in the game vs. the Jets. He lost both, and New York went on to upset the Bengals in Cincinnati.

At halftime Saturday, with the Texans leading 17-10, Cincinnati -- and Lewis -- is, once again, out of challenges for the rest of the game.

While his second challenge wasn’t a terrible idea -- it was unclear whether Texans tight end Owen Daniels had made a first-down reception, or if the Bengals had caused an incompletion (though Adam Jones was awfully adamant that it was NOT a catch) -- his first challenge was a disaster.

That occurred on a second-and-two early in the second quarter when Cedric Benson went off right guard to gain one yard. But Lewis was led to believe that Benson actually had made the first down. Instead, after reviewing the call, officials upheld the original spot. On third-and-inches, Andy Dalton sneaked up the middle for the first down.

Which certainly could have been accomplished without challenging the second down in the first place. So, it was all for nothing in the end.

But because the challenges were ridiculous and because it created an instant firestorm on Twitter, here were my favorite reactions to Lewis’ bad decisions.
  • @willbrinson (Sorry, had to go with at least one account): The Bengals should try to trade one of the Raiders picks for more challenges.
  • @JeromeSolomon I see what Marvin was doing. With no more challenges, he can't make another stupid challenge.
  • @FO_MTanier Challenges squandered like so many of the opportunities of youth.
  • @FauxJohnMadden It wouldn't be a Bengals playoff game without a random awful challenge from Marvin Lewis.
  • @CindyBoren Bengals should do a ceremonial burning of the challenge flag while Marvin Lewis speaks at halftime.

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Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: January 7, 2012 8:44 pm

Lewis hinders team by making bad challenges

While he might be one of the worst, Marvin Lewis certainly isn't alone in making stupid challenges during games.

The thing I don't understand is the motivation behind Lewis' challenges today.  While you obviously want to see your team get credit for things they did if the referees miss something, you also have to think about the big picture.  Lewis' first challenge was plain stupid.  It wasn't a potential scoring play.  It was only 2nd down in a tie ballgame.  It's not like it was going to keep a desperate drive alive down by a score or two.  It was just plain stupid on Lewis' part.

I'm also going to disagree with Josh Katowitz that the second challenge was somewhat reasonable.  Even if it's a close call and possibly was a fumble, so what.  You've already wasted one challenge and you're still ahead by a field goal late in the half.  It's not like Houston was chewing up the yardage and you wanted to stop them before they got into scoring range.  It had taken the Texans 2 to 2 1/2 minutes to move the ball 25 yards.  At that pace they were going to plod their way down the field and you have to trust your defense can hold them.  They'd already done a good job so far, why doubt them then?

Nope, both calls were plain dumb.  Unfortunately for Bengals fans, Mike Brown is too cheap and stupid to make changes to put this roster over the top.  They've got some great tools in Dalton, Green, and Gresham and I think they can challenge down the road in an aging division.  As long as that bozo Brown is in charge, that team is screwed.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 7, 2012 6:40 pm

Lewis hinders team by making bad challenges

Brutal.  How he still has a job with all the futility the Bengals have had over the past decade is beyond me.  He has another good young team - but somehow he'll probably mess things up for them.

Since: Jan 7, 2012
Posted on: January 7, 2012 6:33 pm

Lewis hinders team by making bad challenges

Actually the second one was quite clear in the replays.  Owens was down by contact, and had the ball.  After being down by contact, the ball was wrestled away from him.  No enough evidence to overturn the completion, and cleary not an interception.  Very dumb challenge.  Shouldn't yield to the players on the field, but the booth before throwing the red flag.

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