The Bengals defense has been atrocious to say the least through the first two weeks of the 2012 NFL season. Through two games, the 869 total yards and 71 total points given up is the most yards and points a Mike Zimmer coached defense has given up to start a season, but what’s even more concerning is how bad they’ve been late in games.
In the teams’ Monday night opener against the Ravens, the Bengals defense allowed 430 totals yards and 44 points in a game that was 17-13 nearly midway through the third-quarter. While the defense had been struggling to that point, the offensive inconsistency was leaving them on the field longer than normal, and having only given up 17 points to that point was actually pretty good. However, the Ravens would explode to score the next 27 points to blow away the Bengals. Even the Ravens backups were moving the ball down the field with ease, signaling that perhaps the defense had simply stopped playing. This was simply unacceptable, especially for a defense coached by Mike Zimmer, who is one of the most demanding, fired-up coaches in the NFL, and his players typically reflect his demeanor. A bounce back perfromance for the defense the following week was in order.