Bengals poor second half first versus Dolphins is disturbing trend
The Bengals anemic second-half performance against the Miami Dolphins is becoming a disturbing trend.
The Bengals were outgained 181 to minus four in the quarter on Sunday in their 19-7 loss at Miami. The abysmal performance for the Bengals has become part of a disturbing trend this season. Cincinnati is averaging 178.67 yards per game in the first half and 161.16 yards per game in the second half.
The Bengals are 23rd in the NFL in scoring in the first half averaging 10.9 PPG in the first half. Cincinnati is 31st in the NFL in scoring in the second half averaging 8.8 PPG. In three games since Joe Burrow was lost early in the second half against Washington, Cincinnati has scored seven points in the second half.
Sunday against Miami was the low for the season. The Bengals had 32 yards in the second half against the Dolphins. The Bengals first four drives of the second half gained negative two yards. Cincinnati is 18th allowing 12.8 PPG in the first half, 20th allowing 12.9 PPG in the second half.
Remarkably, the Cincinnati defense has allowed fewer yards in the second half. Some of that can be attributed to the offense sputtering. More explanation is also Bengals opponents playing frequently with the lead and more likely to run the clock. Cincinnati has allowed 752 yards rushing in the first half, 853 in the second half.
The yards per carry are nearly identical with a generous 4.7 YPC allowed in the opening 30 minutes and 4.8 after halftime. Cincinnati opponents have thrown for 1,771 yards before halftime and 1,324 yards in the second half. The passing numbers also come on 51 fewer attempts after halftime.
If Cincinnati is going to even be competitive in the final four games of the season the offense has to at least be adequate in the second half. The Bengals have played like an FCS team against an FBS team in the second half this season. If there is no improvement the poor second halves will become the norm for the rest of 2020.