It was supposed to be the season where the Bengals answered all of their critics and made another run at the AFC North and a potential run at the Super Bowl.
After a 2-1 start, that seemed possible, especially with both the Browns and Bucs up next on the schedule (insert laugh). But as we sit seven games and eight weeks later, the Bengals have once again become the laughingstock of the NFL.
The most recent debacle was a 49-31 loss to Buffalo, a team that many considered the worst team in the league heading in. To spare you of the details, simply put, the Bengals were up 28-7 and still found a way to cough it up, much like they did at home to the Chargers in 2006.
So what do we take away from this year's heartless and horrific effort?
As I have said in prior articles, Marvin Lewis needs to go. He simply does not have what it takes to get this group of overpaid underachievers going. If he makes it past noon on Monday I will be surprised, and I do not assume Mike Zimmer will take over.
Zimmer's defense ranked at the top of the NFL last year, but in 2010 it seemingly haven't been able to stop anybody, giving up 49 points against the Bills, 39 to the Falcons, and 38 to the Pats. The run defense has been especially bad, allowing over 115 yards a game, which is near the bottom of the league.
So is it all the defense's fault?
An offense that was ball control last year that relied on Cedric Benson to carry them has failed to find an identity. One week they try and run the ball, the next, they are airing it out. Then the rest of the time they are trying to come back from double digits down to make it close enough to break Bengal fans' hearts in the end.
So what do we take away from this season?
We need to make changes, and not just on the field with players and coaches, but with Mike Brown.
Brown has seemingly run the franchise into the ground since taking over in 1991. He promptly started by firing a popular coach in Sam Wyche and replacing him with David Shula, who was the fastest coach to lose 50 games in NFL history (69 games).
Brown also employs the smallest number of scouts in the NFL, and has been labeled as "stingy" when it comes to finding the money to pay players, specifically draft picks.
As long as Mike Brown continues to operate this team as if it were 1976, they will simply never be able to get over the hump and become a true contender.
So is Marvin Lewis a lame duck? Probably.
Is Carson Palmer going anywhere? Probably not.
Whose fault is it? It takes a team to Bungal it up.
If today was any indication of how intolerant the Bengal fans are for this year's team, support will only continue to get worse. Today saw the lowest attendance since 2003, the first year Lewis took over.
What do we take away?
Like many other teams before them, the Bungals will take away a high draft pick and the distinction of being Bungals once again in 2010.