Cincinnati Bengals: Better At Home or On The Road?
Dec 14, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterbackAndy Dalton
(14) runs onto the field prior to the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals were undoubtedly better at home than on the road last season when finishing a perfect 8-0 at Paul Brown Stadium. This year the comparison isn’t as clear. The Bengals are 9-4-1 overall (5-2 road, 4-2-1 home). The record doesn’t speak for much difference, minus a tie at home, but they aren’t the only numbers to consider.
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The Bengals’ offense has been slightly better at home in several aspects. They ran into two very good teams on the road, the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts, which worsened some of the statistics, but they have their struggles at home too, i.e. the Thursday Night Football game against Cleveland. Dalton seems to be more comfortable at home evidenced by the increased passing statistics (43.1 more passing yards at home) while he seems also more willing to make risky throws, which is evidenced by the increased turnovers. Running backs, Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill seem to find their stride at home as well, averaging 11.7 more yards per game. The offense seems to be more poised at home as they are scoring 6.4 more points at home than on the road.
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The defense’s performance this year runs counter to the offense’s trend. The Bengals defense has allowed 6.5 more points at home than on the road. They have allowed 31.9 more yards on the ground and have produced a 0.31 less sacks per game at home. It is a very different defense than we saw last year and though the passing defense doesn’t change much depending on the venue, the lack of performance against the opposition’s ground game makes the defense susceptible to being worn down. Counter to much of the defensive trend this year, the defense has forced more turnovers at home than they have on the road.
If the Bengals’ offense and defense can find some harmony and play a couple of complete games at home against Denver and on the road against Pittsburgh, this team will be dangerous and poised to win the AFC North. The only question remaining is, will they? We will definitely be watching and rooting with you Who Dey Nation!
*Statistics Courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com