The Bengals have struggled mightily on defense through two weeks of the 2012 season. While the season is still very young with plenty of time for the team to improve on its’ current ranking of 30th-overall in the NFL in total defense. The writers at CBS Sports did some research on the history of NFL teams ranked in the bottom-5 defenses through two game of a regular season:
Team: First two weeks of season rank/Final rank
Green Bay: 30/32
New England: 31/31
St. Louis: 28/19
St. Louis: 29/29
Tampa Bay: 31/27
- Of the 15 teams to find themselves in the bottom five through two weeks, only one worked back to a top 10 rating and only three even ended up in the top half of the league.
- Seven of the 15 teams also finished the season among the bottom five defenses in the league.
While there may be 14 more games for the defense to regroup, history says the odds are slim the Bengals actually do.
If anyone is capable of turning this defense around, its Mike Zimmer. After beginning the 2008 season as one of the NFL’s worst defenses, Zimmer had the team in the top-12 by season’s end, so a dramatic turnaround is nothing new to Zim. With Pro Bowl CB Leon Hall still continuing to regain his true form after last season’s Achilles tendon tear, along with this weeks’ return of the teams’ top pass-rusher in DE Carlos Dunlap, not to mention 1st-rounder Dre Kirpatrick will be playing within a month, there’s plenty of reason to believe Zim can pull it off. History is going against him though.