Marvin Lewis was unable to get the Cincinnati Bengals a playoff victory during his 16 seasons as head coach.
But despite being three years removed from his role with the Bengals, Lewis is still pulling for his former team as they try to snap a 31-year winless drought in the postseason.
“Any time I see Mike (Brown) have success, it makes me smile,” Lewis said of the Bengals’ owner, via Jay Morrison of TheAthletic.com. “Any time you spend as much time as I did and talk to somebody every day for damn near 16 years, obviously, that’s somebody you’re very, very close to. I’ve spoken to him two or three times, and I’m really happy for the success they’ve had this season. So that would be great to see them win in the playoffs.”
The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since 1990 when they earned a 41-14 victory over the Houston Oilers. A 20-10 loss to the Los Angeles Raiders the following week in the Divisional Round kicked off an eight-game postseason losing streak that included a 14-year playoff drought prior to Lewis leading a charge back to the postseason in 2005. Cincinnati would make the playoffs six times in seven seasons under Lewis from 2009-2015.
The streak should have ended in the 2015 plauoffs against the Pittsburgh Steelers as they carried a lead into the final 90 seconds. However, a personal foul on Vontaze Burfict for a hit on Antonio Brown and an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Adam Jones helped the Steelers get the game-winning field goal to extend the Bengals drought.
The Bengals haven’t made the playoffs since until now.
“The goal was always to win the Super Bowl, and the only way to win the Super Bowl is you’ve got to get through the playoffs. It’s something I failed to do. You do the job for one reason, and that’s to win the Super Bowl. And I wasn’t able to get that done,” Lewis said.
Cincinnati will get the Las Vegas Raiders at home this weekend as they look to break the losing streak against the team that started the whole thing back in 1990.