The Cincinnati Bengals continue to win on the strength of good quarterback play from Jake Browning and a defense with a knack for forcing turnovers in the red zone. However, as we have seen this season, some familiar and unfortunate statistics continue to work against the men in stripes.
Here are six regrettable stats from an otherwise joyous Cincinnati Bengals victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
9.2 and 5.7
Heading into the game, the Bengals’ defense gave up a league-worst 6.0 yards per play. They ranked 31st in net yards gained per pass attempt at 7.0. They were tied for 30th in average rushing yards surrendered per carry with 4.7.
Minnesota’s offense averaged 5.3 yards per play coming into the contest against Cincinnati. They had managed 3.9 yards rushing and 6.2 yards passing up until Saturday.
The Vikings blew those numbers out of the water against a Bengals defense that has been prone to giving up a lot of yards this season. Quarterback Nick Mullens averaged 9.2 yards per pass. Ty Chandler finished with 5.7 yards per carry on his way to a career game.
Lou Anarumo’s unit is used to the 'bend but don’t break' mantra this year. However, the defense bent profoundly against Minnesota's rushing and passing attacks. Yet, thanks to a couple of perfectly timed turnovers, the defense limited the Vikings to only 24 points when it appeared Minnesota was on their way to putting up at least 30.
Counting on red zone turnovers can’t be part of the game plan. That is unless you are the 2023 Cincinnati Bengals.