If you had questions about this Bengals defense, Sunday should have answered any questions you had. Make no mistake, this is a championship caliber defense. Yes, the Packers had 399 yards of offense, but keep in mind that is 83 yards less than their average (482.5). The Bengals forced Rodgers into 2 INTs for the first time in 3 years, they held him to just 1 TD, a 56.7% completion (his lowest since week 12 of 2012), 244 yards passing (his lowest since week 14 of 2012), a 33.3 QBR (his lowest since week 14 of 2012), and just a 64.5 Rating (his lowest rating since the 2010 NFC Conference Championship – 55.4).
The success the Packers had in the run game was surprising, but the Bengals were clearly playing to stop Rodgers and were daring the Packers to beat them running the ball. Take away the 51 yard run, and the Bengals kept the Packers RBs to 107 yards on 26 carries (4.1 ypc), not great, but not terrible. The defense came up huge when needed. During the stretch when the Bengals turned the ball over on 4 straight possessions, the defense yielded just 3 FGs, despite all 4 TOs occurring in the Bengals territory.
They also stuffed Franklin on a 4th and 1 try, forcing a fumble and returning it for a TD. Despite the Packers 30 unanswered points, this defense shut down Rodgers and kept the offense in the game long enough to win it.
Coverage Teams/Kevin Huber
The Bengals recovered a muffed kickoff return at the GB 5 yard line and Huber limited to the dangerous GB punt returners to 0 returns – forcing 4 fair catches, 2 inside the 15 yard line.
Big Plays on Defense
Aaron Rodgers last threw 2 INTs against the Bears in the 2010 NFC Conference Championship game – that was 38 games ago! The Bengals also had 4 sacks, 4 other QB hits, stopped the Packers on a huge 4th and 1 on a play which they forced a fumble and returned it for the game winning TD. Not a bad day at the office.