The Bengals are sticking with Zac Taylor. They’ve gone only 2-14 and 4-11-1 the last two years, but they’re not making a coaching change. That’s surprising. I thought they might have given more consideration to maybe bringing in somebody new.

There is some talent on this roster. With Joe Burrow, they’ve got the quarterback position handled, which is the top priority for most franchises. And they’ve got some good stuff around him. Certainly at the skill positions, with Joe Mixon, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd being serviceable enough young talent.

Injuries have played a big role with the Bengals, with Burrow leading the way by missing the second half of the season. Mixon also missed a lot of the season, and they’ve had problems keeping their left tackle, Jonah Williams, on the field.

But every team has injuries. The Saints have played most of the year without Michael Thomas. The Steelers have had to make do without Devin Bush and Bud Dupree. The good teams find a way to make wins happen, and the head coach is part of that problem-solving process.

Bottom line is that since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule, only five coaches have been brought back after winning fewer than 5 games in back-to-back seasons. None of those coaches ever had another .500 season as a head coach. So if Taylor gets the Bengals turned around, he’ll be doing something no other coach has been able to pull off.

This is familiar territory for Cincinnati. In 1995, they brought back Dave Shula after a pair of lesser seasons. He went only 8-15-0 in his remaining season and a half with the Bengals before they finally pulled the plug. In 2000, Cincinnati brought back Bruce Coslet after a pair of down seasons but fired him only 3 losses into the next year.

YearFranchiseCoachRest of tenure
1986Atlanta Dan Henning7-8-1
1995• CincinnatiDave Shula8-15-0
2000• CincinnatiBruce Coslet0-3-0
2015Jacksonville Gus Bradley7-23-0
2018Cleveland Hue Jackson2-5-1
2020• CincinnatiZac Taylor?

—Ian Allan