CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals' coordinators spent Monday taking phone calls from other teams arranging interviews for head coaching jobs.
Coach Marvin Lewis isn't going anywhere, not even with that 0-5 playoff record. And Andy Dalton apparently is entrenched, too. He was reassured on Monday that he's still the franchise quarterback.
The Bengals tried to move on Monday from one of the most painful moments in franchise history, a 27-10 loss at home to San Diego that stamped them as one of the NFL's worst playoff teams of all time.
"We'll be fine," Lewis said. "Today sucks. We'll be better. We'll be all right."
When it comes to the playoffs, it can't get much worse.
The Bengals haven't won a playoff game since the 1990 season, a 23-year streak of futility that's tied for sixth-longest in NFL history. They've lost their opening playoff game three straight seasons, tying the NFL record.
And Lewis is fast rising up the charts for postseason coaching defeats. He's 0-5 in 11 years as the Bengals head coach. Only Jim Mora started his career with more consecutive playoff losses (6).
The five straight playoff losses are tied for second-most overall — Marty Schottenheimer, Jim Mora and Steve Owen lost six each. And the five straight playoff losses are the second-most with one team, trailing only the Giants' Owen, who lost six playoff games in an 11-year span from 1939-1950.
Lewis has a year left on his contract and is safe in Cincinnati, where owner Mike Brown is reluctant to change. Lewis bristled on Monday when asked if he's in a unique situation that way.
"I don't think the situation is unique at all," Lewis said. "I think if the other places were in the situation — they lost a playoff game after winning the division — their head coach would be in place. Don't you?"
The big offseason question is whether they're still fully committed to Dalton, who has been horrid in three playoff losses. Dalton turned the ball over three times in the second half on Sunday, and has one touchdown pass and six interceptions in his three postseason games.
Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said on Monday that Dalton shouldn't be singled out for blame, noting the entire offense struggled. He acknowledged that Dalton played poorly in the second half, when Cincinnati was outscored 20-0.
"If there is one negative, I think that Andy probably pressed a little too much and tried to do too many things out of pocket which is not what his strength is," Gruden said.