Totally Biased NFL Midseason Award, Day 1: Coach of the Year

    

Some coaches, like Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin, and Sean Payton, are expected to have their team in a position to compete for not only a division title, but for the esteemed Lombardi trophy given out to the Superbowl champion.

Coach of the Year, however, is usually given out to those who do what no expert predicted they were capable of, which is leading their respective club to victory after victory.

This year, many coaches stood out, and all for different reasons. Tom Coughlin, head coach of the New York Giants, for leading Big Blue to a 5-2 record, while dealing with more injuries than thought imaginable. Jim Schwartz, the man in charge in Motown, for giving Lions fans hope everywhere that the future may be a little more Blue and Silver. Of course, who could forget about Jim Harbaugh, the man opposite Schwartz for “Handshake-Gate”, who should instead be known for leading the 49’ers to a surprising 6-1 record, but I digress.

One coach however, had a stellar draft, a great midseason trade, and has led his team to good record, in an extremely competitive division.

NFL’s Mid-Season Coach of the Year

Marvin Lewis, HC, Cincinatti Bengals

The man should’ve won Coach of the Year about five times by now, after dealing with a terrible owner, a diva wide receiver, and enough arrests to fill a small prison. The Bengals are very quietly competing in a very tough division, the AFC North.

Lewis has done plenty for Cincy, but a playoff berth this year would be the ultimate accomplishment.

It all started in April, when Lewis put together a great draft, by selecting AJ Green with the fourth overall selection, and then coming back and getting former TCU Horned Frog QB, Andy Dalton. Although the offense has been stagnant, ranking 23rd in the league, there remains a bright side, with Cedric Benson and AJ Green set to go over 1,000 yards in rushing and receiving respectively.

On the flip-side the Bengals defense has been fantastic. Their front line is limiting opposing rushers to only 85 yards per game, good for 2nd in the entire league. The pass defense had been exceptional as well, with opponents only averaging 212 yards through the air.

The Bengals enter a tough stretch after this Sunday’s contest with the Titans. Cincy will then play Pittsburgh, travel to Baltimore, come back home for two against the lowly Browns, and upstart Texans, before traveling to Pittsburgh for a game with definite playoff implications.

Perhaps the best thing that Lewis has done for this team was trading away disgruntled quarterback Carson Palmer to the Oakland Raiders [We know this was Lewis, because, well, Mike Brown isn’t nearly that intelligent]. The Bengals were able to lock up Oakland’s 1st round pick in 2012, and future picks as high as another 1st rounder in 2013.

Rookie phenom A.J. Green leads all NFL rookies in every major receiving category

Essentially, Oakland traded a kings ransom to Cincy for their non-existent backup QB. With Andy Dalton doing a masterful job of learning the offense, he has the makings of being able to craft a decent career. The Bengals have a great young tight end in Jermaine Gresham, and an obvious future number one receiver in AJ Green. If Cincy can lock up a young scat back in the draft, and some pieces for the defense, they can turn into a great team that doesn’t have to rely solely on the QB.

Marvin Lewis has been through a lot in Cincy, with some rough years in the past. If 2011 is any predictor of the future, the Bengals might have a bright one. Now, assuming Marvin Lewis can keep players out of the slammer, he might be in line to lead the Bengals to the playoffs in the coming years.

Total joke by the way, nobody can keep Cincy players out of the slammer.

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