Mike Zimmer's Second-Half Magic Saved Bengals Against Chargers

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Oct 30, 2011; Seattle, WA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer reacts during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. The Bengals defeated the Seahawks 34-12. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports


The jump the Bengals defense has made from the beginning of the season was very similar to their performance in Sunday’s win over San Diego. In the first-half, Cincinnati’s defense was making Phillip Rivers look like the elite QB he was once regarded as. He picked apart the Bengals secondary to the tune of 180 passing yards in the first-half, and it was most evident on the Chargers’ final possession before halftime.

On third-and-5 from the SD-19, Rivers hit Danario Alexander for a 28-yard completion. On third-and-13 at the SD-44, Rivers found Malcolm Floyd for 24 yards.52 yards on two third-down plays at any point in a game is unacceptable, and to top it off, Rivers had an 11-yard scramble late in the drive got the Chargers to the CIN-9 before the Bengals finally stopped the drive after an 8-yard pass to Ronnie Brown saw him stopped just shy of the goal line with only enough time remaining for Nick Novak to kick a chip-shot field goal to give San Diego a 13-10 lead before the half.

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