The Bengals are 28th in the NFL in turnover differential, which almost makes it miraculous they are even at .500 at this point. Both the offense and defense have had problems in this department, but it is the defense’s inability to force turnovers that should worry Marvin Lewis going forward.
The quick reaction in looking at the Bengals negative-7 turnover differential is to point at Andy Dalton’s nine interceptions (including three for touchdowns), or BenJarvus Green-Ellis’s sudden inability to hang on to the ball. Those two have been problems to be sure, but both players’ inconsistencies feel more like aberrations.
One of Dalton’s strengths in his rookie season was his decision-making and ability to throw the ball away rather than risking an interception. That skill hasn’t abandoned him—perhaps Dalton has tried to make too much happen given the Bengals lack of a running game and defensive struggles, or perhaps it’s been plain old bad luck. Either way, there’s no reason to think Dalton has suddenly become a turnover machine based off of just a few games.