Lou Anarumo’s defense has been lauded for its “bend but don’t break” playing style. However, they put that mantra to the ultimate test against the 49ers.
Cincinnati’s defense surrendered 460 total yards to the 49ers, which is the most given up by the Bengals this season.
Quarterback Brock Purdy threw for 365 yards, which was the most passing yards by an opposing team against Cincinnati’s defense this season. Two well-timed interceptions by Logan Wilson and Germaine Pratt helped to apply lipstick to that flying pig.
The Bengals also gave up 113 yards rushing, most of which came from Purdy’s 57 yards. However, Anarumo’s squad held the 49ers to 17 points despite San Francisco’s offensive yardage output.
Despite being somewhat of a calling card at this point for Cincinnati’s defense, they can’t count on turnovers and red zone interceptions as a panacea on the days their defense allows so much yardage. Or maybe they can count on it because it has worked out for them thus far.
Anarumo’s defense ranks 29th in passing yards per attempt surrendered. However, they rank 12th in total passing yards given up. They rank 11th in passing touchdowns and completion percentage allowed.
Cincinnati’s defense ranks 12th in points allowed this season. So, while the Bengals’ defense is susceptible to giving up yards, they have done an excellent job of not letting it cost them on the scoreboard.
Nevertheless, it is difficult to imagine many more scenarios where the defense could give up almost 500 yards, and the team still comes out on top in a decisive fashion.
If they could limit their opponent’s output, Cincinnati’s defense would appear even more formidable than it already is. At the same time, Anarumo would become the top coaching candidate to fill any head coaching vacancy in the upcoming offseason.