Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC North [Print without images]

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Did Marvin Lewis really guarantee win?

By Jamison Hensley

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis caused a stir at his Monday news conference when he slipped in a part about his team being 2-2 at the end of the week.

Of course, that assumes the Bengals (1-2) will beat the Bills (3-0) at Paul Brown Stadium this weekend.

Some say Lewis is guaranteeing a victory over the Bills. But it came across, at least to me, that it was just positive thinking. There was really no grand proclamation.

Here is Lewis' response to a question about whether he reassures his young players after two losses:

"Well, we just have to continue to work at the things we're not doing as well," Lewis said. "There's really not a big change. We're early in the year. We've got a lot of season ahead of us. And you know, at the end of this week when we're 2-2, there's going to be probably the other third of the league is going to be in the same situation."

The part that everyone is focusing on is "at the end of this week when we're 2-2." Over the past week, Lewis has dealt with a drug bust at the house of a starting wide receiver, the pending suspension of his starting running back and 20,000 empty seats at his home opener. So, let's forgive Lewis for taking a moment to express some optimism.