Much of the hype around the Cincinnati Bengals after this weekend surrounds Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu and the blossoming Bengals offense. However, the Bengals defense has been stellar the last three games, providing a much-needed complement to the growing Cincinnati offense.
The Bengals have won their last three games against four quarterbacks: Eli Manning, Brady Quinn, Matt Cassel and Carson Palmer. Those four quarterbacks combined for 13 fantasy points against the Bengals. Palmer leads the group with five.
Opposing quarterbacks have averaged 183 passing yards and 3.3 fantasy points against the Bengals defense over the last three games.
The Cincinnati run defense has been solid as well, giving up 113.5 rush yards per game. Linebackers like Vontaze Burfict and Rey Maualuga have stuffed up the run game for opponents.
That is, if running backs can get past the defensive line, which continues to impress. Defensive linemen Geno Atkins, Michael Johnson and Robert Geathers have led the defensive line by consistently appearing in the backfield.
As the Bengals continue to push for the playoffs, it will become more and more important for their defense to play well. As cliche as it sounds, defense wins championships. The good news for defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is that the Bengals offense is playing well and not showing signs of slowing down.
The best friend to a good offense is a strong, reliable defense—when the defense can pin its ears back and play knowing that the offense can put up points. As these two units continue to improve, the Bengals are in good position to make the playoffs as a Wild Card.
Even if all of the attention is on the Cincinnati offense, we all know where the credit is due.